The T+L Carry-On: PGA Tour Golfer, Jamie Lovemark
This week, we sat down with PGA tour player and Nike athlete Jamie Lovemark, who travels at least thirty weeks out of the year—lugging 70 pounds of golf clubs around with him. Read on to get a glimpse into his travel essentials, and to find out how he keeps himself sane on the road. Plus, don't forget to check out last week's column with model Lindsay Ellingson.
On his hometown of San Diego, California:
"I miss everything about it. The surf, the weather, the people, the whole vibe of California—it’s one of the most amazing places in the world. For some reason I moved—a lot of golfers live in Florida now, and I’m one of those people."
On where to go in Jupiter, Florida—where he lives now:
"Jupiter is a really cool beach and fishing town. You can go to Square Grouper, which is right on the water. I also love U-Tiki, and Burger Bar. There’s also this awesome restaurant called Leftovers. Also: don't miss Food Shack. There’s a lot of great places. Jupiter is really blowing up; it’s become very populated in recent years. I think one of the reasons is because a lot of golfers moved there. Tiger [Woods] is living there now. He just opened a restaurant there, The Woods, near harborside place. It’s amazing—great sports bar."
On what it's really like to travel that much:
"It’s stressful. It’s a lot, but I’m never going to complain about what I do. Thirty weeks a year is a lot, especially when I go two, three, four, or five weeks in a row trying to bring all of my clothes and do my laundry. My clubs weigh 70 pounds, so lugging them around New York City and through airports and rental cars gets a bit crazy."
On his carry-on essentials:
"A typical day is like, you wake up early, go to the course, have a little stretch, eat breakfast, go play 18 holes, and practice for two to three hours after that. The next thing you know is it’s four o’clock in the afternoon, and you go back to your hotel room or studio where not much is going on. So I bring Apple TV; me and my fiancée are watching Billions, Homeland, Making a Murderer…you name it. I’ve also got this brutal tool, it’s a foam roller. It’s very, very firm. Walking 18 holes a day doesn’t sound like much, but it is—going seven miles up and down hills wearing golf shoes and pants is not ideal. This thing will tear into you pretty good, and loosen you up. This is a must-have for a long flight across the country, too, because it keeps you loose.
I always bring my basic Bose noise canceling headphones. We were sitting next to a younger child on the plane recently, and she was having a rough time, so you pop these babies in and it drowns out that noise. And then a really cool golf thing that we have is a Trackman—it’s like a big block of nothing, really. But it’s actually radar, and you put it behind the ball, about ten feet, and it actually tracks the ball through the air. So it tracks every shot you hit, and it gives you club data, which is what’s the club doing when you hit the ball and how far it’s going. It’s a great tool to have.You can go to a local club and they’ll probably have one. It’s a great way to learn."
On his best trip of 2015:
"Me and my fiancée went to Exuma in the Bahamas. We went to Staniel Cay and the George Town area—it’s awesome. There's crystal clear water and a really cool laidback vibe. We got to swim with the pigs (Ed note: nterested? more on that, here) and the sting rays. There’s so much awesome stuff there."
On the least glamorous part of traveling as a professional golfer:
"Probably just all of the ins and outs. I’m on two flights a week, basically. Luckily, the PGA tour provides us with courtesy cars; not all professional golfers get that courtesy. A lot of time they’ll have to go rent a car, and with lugging all of the stuff around, trying to catch flights, and being at at an airport for six hours every day twice a week—it gets tough. But I get to go to awesome places. I’ll be in New York City one week, and Houston the next. I’ll also be in Asia this year, and hopefully Europe, too. We get paid to play golf; it’s awesome."
On what happens if those clubs get lost en-route:
"If my clubs get lost, we’re in trouble. My clubs are very worn down, they’re very old, they have a lot of character—they’re a part of me. So if they get lost, we’re in trouble. Luckily Nike has a van on site of each tournament that basically has everything you need...although it’s never the same as having your own. I do have a lot of backups, though."
On his favorite clubhouse of all time:
"Pebble Beach is amazing, right on the Monterey Peninsula. It’s one of the most amazing places in the world, no matter the weather—if it’s bad, good—its just got such a cool vibe. It also has so much history, and it’s right there in NorCal."
On the most difficult course he's ever played on:
"Oakmont, in Pittsburgh. It’s impossible. I played there for my first U.S. Amateur, when I was 15 years old. They’re actually having the U.S. Open there this year. It’s by far the hardest course; the rough is extremely long and the green is insane. The test this year at the U.S. Open will be next to none; ten over could win. Who knows? It’s a crazy, hard course."
On the trip he's most excited for this year:
"I’d say our trip to Kauai; my and my fiancée are getting married there in October. We’ve been to Hawaii and Kauai a few times. We actually went last year at the Sony Open. It’s one of the most special places in the world, for obvious reasons—we got engaged there a year and a half ago, but just the beauty of the island…and the St. Regis resort is insane. It’s probably one of the top resorts in the world, so I’m looking forward to going back."
On how he stays healthy on the road:
"It’s tough. Luckily enough, the tour has dining for us at the clubhouse, so we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner available if you want it. Obviously depending on what hotel you go to, you can get a kitchen or a villa so you can cook. But sometimes you get a hotel with no kitchen, and you always have to eat out. I do my best to mix it up; its tough eating out every night. It’s expensive, it’s not healthy, and it’s tiring, so it's cool to be able to find a hotel with a little kitcheonette and cook up some stuff.
Working out is hard. Day to day, I’ll probably do it three to four days a week. On a Tuesday we’ll play a practice round and then go practice for four hours, so I’m not going to go workout on an eight-hour golf day. But I’ll go workout on a Wednesday, or a Monday—a travel day—and just do a light workout. It's hard to find the energy to work out when you’re on a four-week stretch doing a few flights a week. It takes its toll."
On his favorite course of all time:
"The Royal County Down, in Ireland. We played there for the ’07 Walker Cup. It was such a cool experience; it was my first time in Europe. Obviously Scotland’s the home of golf, but Ireland’s not too far behind. It has just a beautiful clubhouse, an insane course— and such rugged terrain. We had a great time there winning the Walker Cup."