Rickie Fowler burst onto the golf scene as a shaggy-haired phenom out of Oklahoma State, poised to lead golf’s next generation. Nearly a decade later, Rickie, 29, is among the one-named wonders that have taken over the Tour, along with Jordan, Justin, Dustin and Rory.
Fowler is an Olympian with the rings tattooed on his forearm, a Ryder Cup winner and a top-three finisher in all four major championships — including a runner-up at The Masters this year. We caught up with one of the game’s greats on the 19th hole to talk golf and gear.
What's your favorite club in the bag?
The putter. No, it depends. You go through times where you're driving it well, so you love hitting driver. Might be hitting wedges close and having fun with that. Or making a lot of putts. It can change day-to-day, but it's always fun making putts.
How involved are you in COBRA club development?
I'm definitely very involved in the testing of new products for COBRA, giving feedback to make clubs I'm going to want to look down at, that I like the feel of.
How has your style evolved over the years?
It's changed over time. I've gone from wearing solid, one color head-to-toe. It's always been me having fun, never really trying to dress like anyone else or be anyone I'm not. Joggers. High tops. We've had fun doing different things, pushing the limits here and there.
You were runner-up at The Masters. What was working for you at Augusta?
That was (caddie) Joe (Skovron) and I working well together. It was a mental challenge. We did a good job of really committing to every shot and holding myself accountable for what I was trying to do.
You’re one of the leaders of golf’s new generation, but you honor the game's greats. Who’s had the biggest impact on you?
Obviously, Arnold Palmer. I’ve gotten to spend a decent amount of time around Jack (Nicklaus). My coach growing up was a big (Ben) Hogan guy. Those would be the guys I would put on the list of the pre ‘80s. Post, I would put guys like Phil and Tiger. Tiger definitely having the biggest impact on the game out of the past, what would that be, 25 years or so now?
What's your favorite golf course in world?
Royal County Down Golf Club (in Northern Ireland). I love playing links golf. We played the Walker Cup in 2007. It's just a fun golf course to go play. No matter what the weather is, go tee it up and figure it out that day.
The must-have golf gear for 2018 — Rickie Fowler edition.
Thinner. Lighter. Faster. Golf’s first CNC precision-milled forged titanium driver face. Eliminates the inconsistencies of traditional hand-polishing and ensures every driver face is machined to exact specifications. $399 cobragolf.com
An Oklahoma State alum, Rickie’s monochromatic all-orange Puma wardrobe was a staple of his early career. Now, the simplicity of the Puma “P” is more his style. $28 cobragolf.com/pumagolf
This free iOS and Android app seems too good to be true but is permitted under the Rules of Golf. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your game by tracking every shot with 14 ultralight low-profile sensors, one for every club in your bag. $249.99 arccosgolf.com
Inspired by the Cobra KING F8 driver and luxury cars like Audi and BMW, Nardo Gray is the new “it” color in design and Puma golf polo shirts. $70 puma.com