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INSIDE SCOOP: Here’s how the LIV Golf tour will handle on-site equipment needs for players at each U.S. event

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During practice round days at nearly every PGA Tour event, equipment reps, expert fitters, and club builders from various OEMs are on-site to help competitors with their golf equipment needs. The reps conduct club fittings, provide equipment for players to test, and they help build and repair golf clubs for players to use.

To house all of the product inventory, tools and repair equipment for each manufacturer, large “tour trucks” travel in fleets to each event. These trucks are like traveling pro shops and club repair facilities that provide the space and tools (such as loft and lie machines, grinding wheels, etc.) that club fitters and builders need to make any equipment changes necessary.

The newly emerging LIV Golf tour, however, doesn’t have the same structure. With only 48 golfers competing in each event, fleets of tour trucks aren’t traveling to each event to help competitors with their equipment wants and needs.

There will be one tour truck, though.

Ben Giunta, golf industry veteran and founder of The Tour Van, has confirmed that he will be traveling to each LIV tour event, alongside his partner Jason Werner, to help LIV players get what they need equipment-wise

Giunta is currently a club fitter based in Portland, Oregon, and has spent his professional career fitting and repairing golf equipment. He started at TaylorMade Golf working with customers, then transitioned to Nike Golf, where he worked for years on the company’s PGA Tour Truck. While at Nike, he helped fit, repair and build golf clubs for the game’s top athletes at PGA Tour events.

Following Nike’s exit from the hard goods business in 2016, Giunta acquired the Nike Tour Truck and started his own club repair and fitting business, called The Tour Van. Currently, The Tour Van is located at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, which is the upcoming venue for LIV’s next golf event (The Tour Van is located at The Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Arizona, during winter months).

Since the company’s inception, The Tour Van has also expanded to Nashville, where Werner – a club fitter and company partner – fits and repairs golf clubs out of a former TaylorMade Tour Truck that once serviced the Web.com/Korn Ferry Tour. The second Tour Van is currently located at Hermitage Golf Club in Nashville.

As GolfWRX has confirmed, Giunta and Werner will be on-site at Pumpkin Ridge ahead of the upcoming LIV event on June 30, working out of the The Tour Van’s original truck. There, the duo will be working with manufacturers to supply product, and helping LIV competitors with their equipment needs (club builds, club repairs, re-grips, wedge grinding, etc.).

Following the Portland event, Giunta and Werner will also be traveling to Bedminster, Boston, and Chicago as contractors for the remaining LIV events in 2022. Giunta says there are plans for a “larger trailer” in the events following Pumpkin Ridge.

“I am going to be responsible for managing the equipment trailer on the LIV tour, and making sure that we have all of the resources in place to service the athletes that will be playing on the tour from week-to-week,” Giunta told GolfWRX. “Whether it’s lofts and lies and regrips, or doing some testing, whatever the player needs as an unbiased position just to help them out. It doesn’t really matter who they represent, as far as a manufacturer standpoint. I’ll help them with whatever they need, and work with their sponsors to make sure we can facilitate their goals with their equipment…

“Right now, in the summer, one of my trailers is setup at Pumpkin Ridge, so it’s conveniently located. We’re going to be using this trailer here on property to service the athletes for the Portland event. Then we’ve got a plan moving forward with a larger trailer that will cover the rest of the domestic events here in the U.S. Jason and I will be working those also.”

While they’re not on the LIV tour servicing equipment needs for the players, Giunta and Werner will continue fitting, repairing and building clubs for customers of The Tour Van.

“If you call us up and you know your specs, we can build up your clubs the same way we can for a Brooks Koepka or an Abe Ancer, or Dustin Johnson, or anybody that’s playing out here, or any of the guys I worked with in the past…at the end of the day, I’m just here to help golfers play better golf. If one of the members comes to see me, that’s what I want to do: help them play better golf. If one of these [LIV] guys comes to see me, I’m here to help them play better golf, too.”

To learn more about The Tour Van and set up a time to work with Giunta or Werner, check out the company’s website.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Pingback: 2 big European names reportedly in talks with LIV Golf – GolfWRX

  2. Bob

    Jun 23, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    The harlots sure are running for Saudi blood paper printed from nothing.

  3. LIVing the Dream

    Jun 23, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    How soon before these tour van guys get ridiculed for servicing the LIV guys?

  4. S

    Jun 23, 2022 at 11:28 am

    How does that pass with the manufacturers though???? Do they send all the secret specs etc to these Vans???? Probably not. Will be really interesting how the Proto testing and use will happen on this Tour……. does it play by USGA rules? Or do “non-conforming” be allowed to used with a blind eye????

    • Jon

      Jun 23, 2022 at 1:59 pm

      Legitimate questions, especially since LIV wants to give them $54 mil to shoot a 54.

    • Professor

      Jun 24, 2022 at 3:47 pm

      Great point! I think these guys under contract will probably be spending more time at their OEM’s headquarters and then maybe utilize the Tour Van for regrouping, lofts and lies, and any last minute needs. The guys without contracts? We’ll see…

      I want to see how the OEMs deal with LIV though. They pay a player X amount of money because that guys plays on the PGA Tour, is ranked somewhere where they’ll get exposure, over at least 15 events. LIV currently doesn’t have anywhere near the same viewership or exposure. Are they really going to continue to pay that same player the same amount of money for less exposure? Again, we’ll see…

      • Chuck

        Jul 1, 2022 at 1:45 pm

        Yes, these are all the correct points. It seems inconceivable to me that it would not be a material breach of a player’s equipment endorsement contract, if he were to voluntarily quit the PGA Tour, ending all of the exposure he’d have there, to go play for LIV.

        In some cases, it’s already happened. Phil Mickelson and Callaway are no longer a thing. Details being negotiated doubtlessly. And quietly.

        Many of the LIV players are minor players in equipment endorsement. Quick, tell me who Talor Gooch, Richard Bland and Carlos Ortiz’s equipment sponsors are.

        There are some middling names, who may maintain their sponsorships. Something tells me that Peter Uihlein is going to be okay with Titleist/Acushnet. Maybe they will just adjust their deals. (Westwood; Poulter; Schwartzel.)

        But then there are Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. TaylorMade’s two biggest tour stars short of Tiger Woods, and Srixon’s one superstar. My guess is that there will be a story there, whether it is made public or not. It’s a major alteration of the sponsorship fundamentals.

        I’ve wanted to see a Tour equipment contract — especially a Titleist/Acushnet contract — for about 20 years. I’d love to see a lawsuit and some public exhibits.

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Tour Rundown: Canadian Thanksgiving arrives early at Sanderson Farms | Fox, Hull

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Out in Mesquite, Nevada, on October 1st,  Martin Borgmeier won the Pro Long Drive 2022 Open Division championship with a blast of 426 yards. Quite the achievement for the German long-drive specialist, and certainly something that flies not quite on the pro golf radar. You have to wonder when the world tours will figure out a way to leverage the sideshow and main events and create even greater content for golf fans. For now, we have four events to run down from the past two weeks, and we’ll explain all about that as we move through four of the world’s great tours. Let’s have an October Rundown, whaddayasay?

PGA Tour: Canadian Thanksgiving arrives early at Sanderson Farms

It seems like forever since we’ve seen overtime in professional golf. We watched the Packers and the Patriots do battle in an extra session on Sunday evening, but golf has gone a few weeks since a good, old-fashioned, playoff. Thanks to Sepp Straka and Mackenzie Hughes, we were gifted some bonus golf in Jackson, Mississippi.

Both Straka and Hughes finished round four at 17-under par. Straka began the day two shots behind Mark Hubbard, with Hughes starting one back of the lead. Hubbard struggled on day four, ultimately finishing in a tie for fifth after 74. Straka notched six birdies on his scorecard, against one bogey, to move up two spots in the standings. Hughes posted four birdies of his own, against a solitary hiccough, and away the pair went to the 18th tee. After pars the first pass through, the duo returned to the final tee deck for a second crack at a resolution.

With light dwindling, both players found the fairway. From 164 yards, Hughes sent an iron skyward, landing it about fifteen feet right of the hole. Straka’s approach, from a bit closer, drew a bit past the stick and released to the side fringe, about 25 feet distant. Straka’s putt had great weight, but drifted left at the end. Hughes lined up his putt and delivered a dagger to the center of the hole. Canadian Thanksgiving had, indeed, arrived ahead of schedule.

DP World Tour: Dunhill Links is Fox’s second win of 2022

There’s is something Hoganesque about the career trajectory of New Zealand’s Ryan Fox. The 35-year old didn’t claim a major-tour title until his 32nd year, and that came in the Super Six (a great event if there ever was one) in Perth, in 2019. Fast forward to 2022, post pandemic, and Fox claims a second DPWT title, this time in United Arab Emirates, in February. Now it’s October, where the trees are bare of all they wear. Fox finds himself in the Kingdom of Golf, in the auld towne itself, St. Andrews. On Saturday at Kingsbarns, Fox posted a stellar 65, but still found himself chasing the leader, Richard Mansell. On Sunday at the Old Course, Fox had his stumbles, but found seven birdies around the loop to post a 64. When Mansell closed with 76, Fox had an unexpected, one-shot triumph over England’s Callum Shinkwin and Sweden’s Alex Noren.

LPGA: The Ascendant is second stateside win for Charley

England’s Charley Hull claimed her first LPGA win in 2016, at the Tour Championship. No one anticipated that six years would pass before trophy number two found its way to her hands. On Sunday, Hull stared down Lydia Ko, Xiyu Lin, and a host of other birdie machines, and eaked out a one-shot win at The Colony, in Texas.

Hull had taken over the lead on Friday, on the strength of a 64. Her two-shot advantage over Lin went away on Saturday, when she posted her highest round of the week, a 71. Knowing that low was the order of the day on Sunday, Hull began her march early. Four birdies in the first seven holes gave her the lead, but a bogey at the eighth brought a halt to thoughts of an early coronation. Hull regrouped on the inward half, ran off three birdies from 12 through 14, followed by another at 17. It was a good thing that she did.

Intent on chasing her down, Hiyu Lin closed in furious fashion. A birdie at 13 was followed by a birdie-eagle stretch at 16-17, and the lead was but one. Needing birdie at the last, Lin could only manage par, and the title went home with Hull.

PGA Tour Champions: PURE Insurance Championship to Flesch

Tour Champions was off this week, before resuming its schedule in Jacksonville, Florida. Last week, the PURE Championship along the Monterey Peninsula in California hosted junior amateurs from across the country. The First Tee saw these representatives paired with the senior professionals, and both sides of the age meter put on quite a show. Paul Stankowski and Ken Duke, both journeymen with a few titles on their resumes, shared the lead after 36 holes. With everyone at Pebble Beach for the final round, the playing field was level.

Making runs at the title were Ernie Els (64 for -10), Steven Alker (69 for same) and Stankowski (70 to tie the first two.) Facing a seven-feet birdie putt at the last for 68 and minus-eleven was portsider Steve Flesch. We wouldn’t be writing about him if he didn’t make it, and the lefty drained the curving putt to lock up another Tour Champions title.

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Team USA retains 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow

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The host team from all across America recovered from a lackluster Saturday. It put on a singles show on Sunday, winning 6.5 of 12 points from Team World. The final tally at the 2022 Presidents Cup was 17.5 to 12.5 for the Red, White, and Blue. There were two sides to this presidential coin, however. Days one and two saw Team World dig an inescapable hole, dropping eight of ten points. Days three and four saw the two teams play essentially even. Despite a few premature obituaries from some of our celebrated golf pundits, the Presidents Cup is alive and well. 2024 sees the tournament reach Canada for the first time, at the Royal Montreal Golf Club. Chances are that it will feel like a home game for the USA, unless the locals spike the poutine. That event is two years off, however, so let’s have one last look at the Sunday Singles, courtesy of my Saturday evening predictions.

Correct ~ Match One: Justin Thomas vs. Si Woo Kim

Si Woo says See-You to JT and Team World gets to 8-11

Did I know that Justin Thomas would demonstrate ignorance by conceding himself a putt? Nay. I just had a feeling that this battle of Players Champions would fall to the South Korean juggernaut. Thomas was two-up at the turn, but lost 10 and 11 to fall back to even. To their credit, both players went for broke, and the final seven holes saw five outright wins. Kim banged home a birdie at the last to eke out a 1-up victory.

Incorrect ~ Match Two: Spieth vs. Davis

Cam Davis dispatches Spieth and it’s now a two-point affair

This was the must-have match for Team World, and Cam Davis came out like he understood the plan. Wins at the first two holes had Jordan Spieth on the ropes, but the Texan responded like Spieth. His putter ignited with volcanic heat, and he proceeded to make nearly everything he looked at on the frog hair. Spieth squared the match at the fifth, fell behind at the eighth, and squared again at the ninth. On the inward side, he turned out the lights. A birdie-birdie-birdie-par run from 11 to 14 gave him a 4-up lead, and he sealed the deal with a par at the 15th.

Correct ~ Match Three: Burns vs. Matsuyama

Burns and Hideki trade 14 birdies and end up tied. 9.5 to 11.5

Well, it was only eight birdies, and Hideki even won a hole with a bogey. In the end, he almost pulled a Jordan Spieth out of his hat, with a chip-in at the last. The ball stayed out and the match stayed even. Do you know how hard it is to predict a tied match? Pretty hard!

Incorrect ~ Match Four: Cantlay vs. Scott

Another massive upset, as one-major beats none-major and Team World is just one back.

Adam Scott’s point was also a necessary one, but pars weren’t going to get it done against Captain Cantlay. The American went out in one-under par, and somehow built a two-up advantage over Scott’s even par. How does match play work again? Oh, right, like that. On the back nine, Scott did his level-best to strike, but he is no longer the Adam Scott of old, the major champion. Cantlay’s golf was equally uninspired, and the match ended at 3 & 2, after both players made par at the 16th.

Correct ~ Match Five: Scheffler vs. Muñoz

Colombia’s pride does some accordion-inspired Vallenato all the way to a personal Encanto, and the
game is tied!

Scottie Scheffler had a whale of a 2022. His first win and first major win, and the world number-one ranking all reached his doorstep. To allow him a week of exhaustion is just fine, but let’s not minimize the effort put forth by SebMu. The Colombian watched his opponent win three of the first six holes and jump out to a two-up lead. Muñoz won eight, nine, and ten, to flip the script. From there on out, he was rock-solid and claimed a much-needed point for the visiting side.

Correct ~ Match Six: Finau vs. Pendrith

Tony Two-Step takes down Maple Leaf One to stem the international tide. It’s 12.5-11.5 for the hosts.

It was a rotten week for the Maple Leaf. Pendrith couldn’t do much as a partner to anyone, and he had no answer for Finau’s finesse over the closing stretch of holes. Finau followed up a successful individual season with a strong team performance. He’ll look back on 2022 and smile.

Incorrect ~ Match Seven: Schauffele vs. Conners

Corey Conners vindicates Taylor Pendrith, and Team Canada scores one for the globe. Tied again.

These guys played some rotten golf over the first nine holes, at +2 and even par. They followed that up with more rotten golf on the inward half, posting matching even-par totals. It was an uninspired match that fell to the USA side. A point that could have kept Team World in the equation, somehow got away. Hopefully Conners will learn and grow, and be a grizzly bear in Montreal, in two-years time.

Incorrect ~ Match Eight: Young vs. Im

Cameron Young wins because he and I are both Demon Deacons, and that is all that needs to be said.
13.5-12.5

Easily my least-logical and most-emotional prophecy was … almost correct. Young rolled out of bed on the fourth tee and found himself three down, after three consecutive bogeys. From there, the legend of Sleepy Hollow gritted his teeth and ground his way back to even, by the eighth hole. A dogfight ensued, with Im winning two holes, and Young but one, down the home stretch. Still, #GoDeacs.

Incorrect ~ Match Nine: KH Lee vs. BillyHo

OK, back to cloudy logic. Billy Horschel is a grinder, and he finds a way to split his match with KH
Lee. 14 to 13 with two matches left.

Sorry, no video on this one. Go figure. Horschel was plus-two on the day when he conceeded the 17th hole to KH Lee, and his match went to the Korean by a tally of 3 & 1. Lee was one-under on the day, so by this juncture, we can conclude one of the following: Quail Hollow was an absolute bear on day four, or the teams were absolutely exhausted.

Incorrect ~ Match Ten: Homa vs. Tom Kim

There is a reason that this match is so late. Homa and Kim find three eagles and ten birdies around
the course, and TK delivers a TKO and squares the matches.

Max Homa has remade his persona. From Captain Twitter, the Californian just might become the next Captain America. Homa had a taste of international team play at the 2013 Walker Cup at National Golf Links of America. Now, the lad looks like he is here to stay. A team without Homa is like a day without … victories. Tom Kim tossed everything he had at the Burbank bombardier, and it just wasn’t enough. It was another one of those last-hole losses that doomed the visiting squad.

Incorrect ~ Match Eleven: Morikawa vs. Pereira

Morikawa has a PGA Champinship, while Pereira came oh-so-close at Southern Hill. The tables turn
and the pride of Chile outlasts the two-time major winner. For the first time, Team World takes the
lead.

Another upset special that didn’t pan out. We finally saw some electric golf on Sunday. Morikawa had three birdies, one eagle, and five pars on the outward half, and poor Pereira could just stand there and shake his head. Mito was one-under himself, but was three-down in the match. He went four-down at the 10th to another Morikawa birdie, and the end was in sight. The match finished 3 & 2 for the American, as he notched his sixth birdie on the day at hole 16.

Incorrect ~ Match Twelve: Kisner vs. Bezuidenhout

Kisner, the match-play specialist, faces the grittiest, South African golfer ever. The Christiaan with two As makes one ace in the final match, ties Kisner, and wins the Presidents Cup for Team Globe.

Another one with no video, so we’ll try to paint you a picture. You know, a thousand words are worth a picture, or something like that. I think that we’ve read the last of Kevin Kisner is a match play god and he should be on international teams. He might be that at the Dell, but he ain’t that with a team USA kit on. Bezuidenhout played even-par golf through 17 holes, essentially daring Kisner to out-duel him. Didn’t happen, and CBez snared a point for Team World.

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Five Things We Learned: Day Three of the 2022 Presidents Cup

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A funny thing happened on the way to the rout: orange pylons went up and the route to the rout was closed for repairs. Team World said, in its collective language, NOT TODAY. With eight points up for grabs, and the potential for Team USA to win the match with one day left, Team World won six of eight matches and closed the gap to four points. Can I get an Amen, or a holla, or at least a dab? In Friday’s installment of #FiveThingsWeLearned, it was suggested by an astute and prescient writer that this may not be a done deal. Well, heading into Sunday, it ain’t. Let’s get to the five things we learned on Saturday, in Charlotte, at Quail Hollow, of the 2022 Presidents Cup.

1. Scott and Matsuyama finally put on their green capes, errr, jackets

Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama had been all but invisible through 48 hours of the Presidents Cup. In their morning match with the formidable pairing of Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young, Scott and Matsuyama jumped out to a 2-hole deficit through eight holes, and looked to be on their way to another loss. The de-facto team leaders decided that enough was enough, and turned things around. The International pair won five consecutive holes from 9 to 13, and seized a three-up lead that they would not relinquish. Gobsmacked, Morikawa and Young had no answer, and a point went to the visiting side.

2. If not for Thomas and Spieth, these matches are tied

Say what you will or won’t about the American duo, they get the job done. Four matches, four outright wins. On Saturday, with Team World rallying, Spieth and Thomas knocked off Sungjae Im and Corey Conners by 4 & 3 in the morning, then returned after lunch to dispatch Hideki Matsuyama and Taylor Pendrith by the same tally. In case folks aren’t paying attention, foursomes and four-ball are in no way, shape, or form, similar. They require different skill sets and partner interactions, but you’d never know it with these two guys. Unless both get knocked off on Sunday, however, Team World won’t have a chance to steal a cup.

3. Patty Ice and Professor X disappear on day three

Inexplicably, Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele sat down in Saturday’s morning foursomes, despite a 6 & 5 foursomes skunking of Scott and Matsuyama on day one. Head-scratcher, am I right? The pair returned in the afternoon to face the Kim brothers (not really, just playing) Si Woo and Tom, but could not recapture their earlier spark. And yet … the American pair had a two-up lead at the 11th hole, when Tom Kim buried a massive putt for eagle to thrust a dagger home. Si Woo won two more holes coming home, and then Tom etched a birdie into the 18th green to steal a one-up win from the USA stalwarts. Wow, just and simply wow.

4. A new Cam has begun

Forget the mullet and the 1970s, B-Movie stache guy. Cam Davis is a guy on the move. After receiving a morning smack-down with Si Woo Kim, at the hands of Tony Finau (sorry, Michael Kim) and Max Homa, Davis regrouped with Aussie mate Adam Scott. Locked in a tight match with the SEC duo of Billy Horschel and Sam Burns, Davis closed eagle-birdie-birdie, and turned a one-down situation into a one-up victory. Instead of being down 6-12, Davis’ squad now has but 4.5 points to make up on Sunday.

5. How the Sunday Singles will shake out

Match One: Justin Thomas vs. Si Woo Kim

Si Woo says See-You to JT and Team World gets to 8-11

Match Two: Spieth vs. Davis

Cam Davis dispatches Spieth and it’s now a two-point affair

Match Three: Burns vs. Matsuyama

Burns and Hideki trade 14 birdies and end up tied. 9.5 to 11.5

Match Four: Cantlay vs. Scott

Another massive upset, as one-major beats none-major and Team World is just one back.

Match Five: Scheffler vs. Muñoz

Colombia’s pride does some accordion-inspired Vallenato all the way to a personal Encanto, and the
game is tied!

Match Six: Finau vs. Pendrith

Tony Two-Step takes down Maple Leaf One to stem the international tide. It’s 12.5-11.5 for the hosts.

Match Seven: Schauffele vs. Conners

Corey Conners vindicates Taylor Pendrith, and Team Canada scores one for the globe. Tied again.

Match Eight: Young vs. Im

Cameron Young wins because he and I are both Demon Deacons, and that is all that needs to be said.
13.5-12.5

Match Nine: KH Lee vs. BillyHo

OK, back to cloudy logic. Billy Horschel is a grinder, and he finds a way to split his match with KH
Lee. 14 to 13 with two matches left.

Match Ten: Homa vs. Tom Kim

There is a reason that this match is so late. Homa and Kim find three eagles and ten birdies around
the course, and TK delivers a TKO and squares the matches.

Match Eleven: Morikawa vs. Pereira

Morikawa has a PGA Champinship, while Pereira came oh-so-close at Southern Hill. The tables turn
and the pride of Chile outlasts the two-time major winner. For the first time, Team World takes the
lead.

Match Twelve: Kisner vs. Bezuidenhout

Kisner, the match-play specialist, faces the grittiest, South African golfer ever. The Christiaan with two As makes one ace in the final match, ties Kisner, and wins the Presidents Cup for Team Globe.

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