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Interview with PGA Tour Caddie Duane Bock

Interview with PGA Tour Caddie Duane Bock

October 17, 2017 / by Steven Wright

Steven Wright:How did you first get into golf? What is your history with the game?


Duane Bock: My father, I have two older brothers and my father got us all started. He was a good amateur player himself and he gave us some cut down clubs. I was fortunate, being the youngest, I started golf at the age of five years old and by the time I was nine years old I was playing in golf tournaments. In New York State you are allowed five years of a varsity sport in high school, so in the eighth grade, while I was still in middle school, I made it on the varsity golf team.

When I was in high school I knew golf was something that I wanted to pursue professionally, so I wanted to come south to play golf. Unfortunately, being in a small town in NY, I wasn’t recruited. I had a pretty good high school career, but I wasn’t recruited by any schools. I decided to travel down south to NC and looked at Campbell University. When I visited Campbell, they offered me the opportunity to walk on and they said if I went through the qualifying process and was good enough to make the team I would play, even though I wasn’t on a scholarship. I decided to come to Campbell, and I qualified for the team my first semester and I played four years. I was the first player in Big South history to be named all-conference, all four years. I won four college golf tournaments and graduated in 1992, about a month after graduating I was fortunate enough to win the North-South Amateur in Pinehurst, which is one of the biggest golf tournaments worldwide.

I was the 9th ranked amateur in the nation at the end of 1992 and turned professional in 1993. I played on the South African tour, the Canadian tour and in Central America. I played for twelve years professionally, started a family, and at that point I decided that I didn't want to really be a career mini tour player. My wife was supporting us while I was out on the road and playing and that’s when I decided that a perfect transition for me was to get into caddying. I saw the potential income and that is was my turn to take over the reins and support my wife rather than the other way around and that's how I got into caddying.


SW: When did you realize you wanted to be a caddie? Who was the first person you caddied for?


DB: I would have to say caddying for Ken Duke. He qualified while we were playing the Canadian Tour. It was an off week for me, so I caddied for him, and I really enjoyed that. When I decided to start caddying, I worked for Ken.


SW: How did you become Kevin Kisner’s caddie?


DB: I met Kevin in 2008, I was caddying for Doug LaBelle on the PGA tour, and we were in Memphis, Tennessee for the U.S. Open qualifier. We went to the first tee to play a practice round, and there was Kevin. He was standing there, waiting to tee off to play his practice round. So we joined up, and I ended up spending the day basically caddying for Doug and also spent the day with Kevin and we just hit it off. Our personalities really matched well, I really liked his attitude and I loved his game. It was the summer of 2008 when we met. I kept in contact with him and would see him through 2008 and 2009. He would qualify for a few events. He was out of college, playing the mini tours and things like that. He would qualify for some nationwide, web.com tour events and I would see him there. I just kept up my relationship with him and in the fall of 2009, I was looking for work, wanting to caddy at the PGA tour qualifying school. I gave him a call and he gave me an opportunity to work for him and I decided to stay with him. Now, years later, we’re still together.


SW: In a past interview, you said that the “caddie does everything but swing the golf club.” What are a some of your roles as Kevin Kisner’s caddie?


DB: I would have to say that the most important role that I have is to just be the best teammate possible for Kevin. I believe that a great teammate is reliable, committed to the process, shows support, and prepared every single day no matter if we’re competing or just practicing. I believe that for a caddy and a player, it is all about relationships and how you get along, how you prepare, how you handle certain situations. I would say that is my most important role, being the ultimate teammate for Kevin on and off the course.


SW: How did you discover Lock Laces®?

DB: I was first introduced to Lock Laces by a PGA pro here at Mimosa Hills, Jimmy Piercy. We both had young kids at the time and Jimmy was talking to me about Lock Laces, and he had them in his kids shoes. He gave me a couple of pairs for my kids and I put them in their shoes right away and my kids absolutely loved them. They thought the colors were cool, the ease of use, and more.


SW: When was the first time you laced up with Lock Laces®?


DB: After seeing what they were doing for my kids, I was intrigued with the system. The first pair I ever tried them in was my golf shoes. When I’m on the road, I really don’t play a lot of golf. I’m there to work, but when I come home, my release is the golf course. It seems like my golf shoes, every day they were on and off. I’d put them on to go to the golf course in the morning, I’d take them off to leave for lunch. Then I’d go back out and put them back on, then take them off to go pick up my kids, and so on. My golf shoes were always on and off, so I put them in and the ease and the convenience of it all, the fit, the comfort, everything about them was great. I fell in love with them.


SW: Did you notice a difference when you switched from walking in traditional laces to walking in Lock Laces®?


DB: Yea, right away. As a caddy, I’m averaging probably 60-70 miles a week walking, and you do that close to 35 weeks a year. The reality is, every year I walk from the East Coast to the West Coast, close to 2,500 miles.

The biggest benefit I see with Lock Laces versus a traditional lace is that, throughout the days as you get going, your foot is in the shoe for so many hours, walking on different terrains, a traditional lace would become loose, your foot starts sliding around. I remember having a lot of problems with traditional laces. The heel of my sock would fall down, my heel would be sliding around in the shoes and would sometimes cause blisters and things like that. Since I’ve been wearing the Lock Laces, its not just the ease of slipping the shoe on and off but also the consistent comfort, and the pressure on the top of my shoe is never too tight or too loose. My foot stays stable inside the shoe throughout every mile, and to be honest with you, to walk that many miles, I’ve never had one issue with the Lock Laces being uncomfortable or breaking or anything like that.


SW: Do you wear Lock Laces® when you’re off the course, too?


DB: I have Lock Laces in every pair of shoes that I own except my dress shoes, my church shoes. I think I have somewhere around 11, 12, 13 pairs of shoes, and Lock Laces are in every single pair I own.


SW: What are people’s first reactions when you tell them about Lock Laces®?


DB: You know, it's interesting, they are pretty intrigued with what they do. A common thing that I hear when I show them Lock Laces is that every body's mind goes to wow, great for my kids, or this would be great for my wife, she loves to run or this would be great for my mother, she struggles bending down. It's not only what the Lock Laces would be for them but their minds immediately go to wow, this could help this person or that person. They all have somebody that these laces would benefit. Its a product that is great for anybody of any age.


SW: Besides your family, who is the coolest person you have ever laced up?


DB: Probably Michael Collins. I mean, Michael is very colorful, we hit it off. He loves the bright colors in his shirts and things like that, and Michael would immediately talk about their colors. When I gave him a few pairs, he fell in love with them. Michael is genuine, funny, easy to be around, and he’s probably the coolest person I was able to lace up.


SW: When you travel through airports, TSA, etc. do you smile when you see people bending or sitting down to their shoes?


DB: It's a chuckle. It's something that I see consistently, as the bin comes through, and my shoes are on it, I can just take my shoe and lift it up and slip my foot in there and lock it up. Everyone else is taking their shoes over to a seat and sitting down and everybody is on edge when they are going through that process of TSA. Everyone’s in a rush, yet they are sitting there with boots and shoes, having to untie them. When they first get in line, they leave them tied, then they get through and have to untie them, put their foot back in and re-tie. It's a process that most people have to sit down and do on a bench. It's just time consuming. It's a process that, as the bin comes though, by the time my backpack comes in behind it, my shoes are already on, my watch is already on, my wallets back in my pocket so I just grab my book bag and off I go, while everyone else is trying to figure out what they need to do.


SW: Have other players or caddie’s asked about you about Lock Laces?


DB: Yea, absolutely. They are very interested in them. If they don't first notice it on my feet, they notice it on the sleeve of my shirt, and they want to know what it is. Once people see what it is, and how convenient and comfortable it is, it's a product that can really benefit anybody and everybody. Everybody, including the amateurs we play with in the Pro AM, it's a product that people are interested in and learning about.


SW: What does Win. Never Tie. mean to you?


DB: The first thing that comes to my mind is comparing Lock Laces to winners and the qualities that winners have. To me, a winner gives themselves every opportunity to succeed and that's exactly what Lock Laces does. The comfort and the consistent fit, there are no distractions, no failure in the system where you have to stop what you're doing. There's no time when you have to re-tie it or get your foot back in the shoe where its stable. It never fails you. It's always there and it's always consistent. To me, those are qualities of successful people, no matter what you do. Not just athletes but in any aspect of life to be successful, you need the same values and the same things that Lock Laces provide. That is what “Win. Never Tie.” means to me.



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