By Tim Taylor
IT’S easy to assume golf clothing and equipment companies are populated by wall to-wall-corporate suits who care only about the bottom line.
And, yes, Callaway throw fistfuls of dollars at star names such as Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.
But step forward one of the good guys, Martin Wild, so unassuming the vast majority of his fellow members at the Wilmslow club will not have the slightest idea he is Callaway’s regional sales manager for the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe.
Thanks to Martin, twice the Lancashire amateur champion and a winner of 22 36-hole scratch Opens, Callaway’s support made the creation of the Manchester based 1836 Tour possible eight years ago.
He has always been quick to help the careers of team-mates from his county amateur days and a close friendship with Lancashire’s latest British title winner, Trevor Foster, goes back 40 years.
Trevor is a normally ebullient character who feared his career was finished in 2013 when he began a near two-year exile from the golf course during a series of initially unsuccessful hip operations
Yet the 58-year-old was nine shots clear of an international field in winning The Seniors Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl.
Finishing on an eight-under total of 208, he was the only player under par on the sun-baked links and qualified for the US Seniors Amateur Championship in Oregon.
In July next year he will compete against the likes of Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie in the professional British Seniors Open at Royal Lytham.
Trevor competed in the same Lancashire amateur team as Martin 100 times. “Martin came on the phone as soon as I had won in Wales”, said Trevor.
“He was almost as emotional as I was – yet still finding me the best caddy I could hire in America and the best place to stay near the course.
“My mind was in a complete whirl so his organisational skills were a massive help but that is typical of him.
“For instance, I got really down with all that hip trouble and it was Martin’s endless optimism and encouragement which helped to keep me going through those dark days.”
Trevor, who has been assistant pro, head greenkeeper and bar manager at the Accrington club, has also won The Irish Seniors title this season.
He added: “Martin is one of those people who takes genuine pleasure out of doing things for other people and always expects nothing in return.
“You tend to make many acquaintances in life but few true friends and I don’t think I’ve got a better friend than Martin.
“I can’t thank him enough for how he’s been with me over the years and how he’s believed in me. He is down to earth, a true gentleman and you won’t meet a nicer person.
“I could talk all day and still not give a full description of the sort of guy Martin is.
“Among the other people I’ve got to really thank are Bill Bromilow, who caddied for me at Royal Porthcawl.
“He could have played in the tournament himself. He said ‘I can’t win it, but I know you can, so I’d rather be on the bag for you’. He was a rock all week.
“Ryan Done, the professional at Heysham, has coached me for the last three years and I think I’m playing as good as I’ve ever played. Ryan was my caddy in The Open at Lytham when I played in it 30 years ago.
“And I had a great surprise when my wife Debbie turned up unexpectedly to watch me after a nightmare six-hour drive for her from Lancashire down to Wales.
“Debbie being there for the biggest win of my career made everything absolutely perfect. She’s always been my biggest supporter.”