By: Ian Yelton, AJGA Communications
Ernie Ball is a name that might not jump out and grab the attention of most, but on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Southport, North Carolina, it grabbed mine. Ball was an American entrepreneur, musician, and innovator, but known most for the development of guitar-related products. When I saw that name sewn on the black fitted hat of a junior golfer that Sunday afternoon I just had to ask… “Do you play guitar?”
Being a golfer and guitar player myself, all I could think of was picking this 17-year-old’s brain about the two hobbies we happened to share. I caught up with Garret at the conclusion of the event and was able to have a little fun getting to know a bit more about his golf game and passion for the guitar.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you Golf vs. Guitar with Garret Buckley.
- Three Favorite Golfers: Brandt Snedeker, Louis Ousthuisen, and Phil Mickelson.
- Three Favorite Bands: Periphery, Parkway Drive, and Northlane.
- Favorite Club In The Bag: Has to be my 64 degree vokey wedge with seven degrees of bounce. It makes me more confident firing at pins knowing that a short sided bunker shot is not really an issue.
- Favorite Guitar: I'm lucky to own what I consider my dream guitar. It's an Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci signature, the JPXI 7 string model. With the extended range, and built in acoustic /piezo output, it has infinite potential.
- If you could play 18 holes with anyone who would it be: I would likely go play Harbour Town with Brandt Snedeker. I want to see how he approaches putting first hand. He has figured out something about putting that few others have.
- If you could play on stage with anyone who would it be: I would probably pick Parkway Drive. Although they are all great musicians, they have more wiggle room when it comes to just having fun on stage rather than having to really focus on the playing. Also the crowd reactions they have are just incredible.
- What are you currently playing out of your bag: I'm enjoying my last season with the Phil Mickelson Prototype Callaway irons. Unfortunately made in 2009, they do not have the new grooves to conform in 2014.
- What are you currently playing on your iPod: Volumes - Via.
- Best golf course in the world: Obviously Augusta National is the greatest golf club in the world. It is timeless, the strategies to conquer each hole are known in the far reaches of the golfing world yet only the select few are able to execute. There are no tricks. It is a pure test.
- Best concert venue in the world: Most of the big festival tours like Sonisphere have insanely fun crowds, especially when the big names are playing.
- Would you rather be on the PGA TOUR or be a rockstar?
- Although the PGA TOUR is monumentally tougher, it is more objective. I like that there is no dispute that the top players on tour are the best in the world. Being the top selling artist doesn't always equate to having earned that spot, although many have.
- Which is harder golf or the guitar?
- Golf is harder under almost all circumstances. The main goal of guitar is to make music and that can be done very simply if need be. There is an objective measurement of golf that doesn't exist in music. You can get very lucky in music and guitar and make it big. And even if you can't play complicated songs, you can still entertain for hours with four well played chords and people who like to sing songs.
- If you could play any song for any PGA TOUR player who would you play for and what song?
- Born of Osiris - Shaping the Masterpiece to Ben Crane. The first line is "I'm ready to go faster." I'm not sure that it's his style of music, but he would get a good laugh.
The Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands from July 1-4, and the Randy Wise Jr. Open at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club from Aug. 19-22 are the next AJGA events on Garret's schedule. They will both be played in his home state of Michigan.