The 'Belgian Bomber' is the longest driver on tour, absolutely loves house music and tore it up at Medinah. Oh and he is an absolute lad!
Highs and Lows
In an age of political correctness it is sometime nice to see someone who is just completely different and comfortable enough in their own skin to say and do what they want.
Nicolas Colsaerts has experienced the highs, accolades and praise that might make many a modern professional golfer an absolute diva.
He has also experienced lows like missing a boatload of cuts over in America that might have seen off the confidence of many too.
But you get the impression that ‘The Dude’ just stays chilled, keeps it on an even keel and rocks up at the next place ready to take what is thrown at him.
“If you live your passion 100% whether it be art, music or sport it can always become a bit touchy. You know plenty of examples with people who have lived their passions 160% and died from it.”
With the reputation Colsaerts has in the media you might not know which was his passion, the sport of golf or indeed the music and the partying. But he told us straight and set us right on the myth.
"There is a bit of a misconception about that. Yeh, I used to come back to Belgium and party a little bit but I’ve never really been someone who would go out on tournaments, get shitfaced and play the next day. When it matters it matters. We were never really animals like some guys back in the 80s and 90s would have been.
"The only problem is that electronic music is usually played in very dark and obscure places and it doesn’t really go together with waking up at 7am in the morning to go and hit balls on the range.
"I have come to peace with just listening to music and not being the guy I was maybe a couple of years ago!"
Speaking to him you know there is a real passion in music and the fact that he actually DJs is probably a much-needed release from the stresses and strains of tour life.
“Some people read, some people watch movies, I just listen to music. I get a kick on finding the new stuff that comes out, most of the time it is electronic or house. I’ve always been very into finding tracks that I relate to, I’ve never really listened to mainstream because you listen to that shit and find it very impersonal.
“I spend a lot of time on the web and find track lists and sets of what is going to be the summer anthem. Not Ministry of Sounds anthems, that is low-class shit, stuff that is being played in the right places where people really go to listen to music.
"There is a great documentary called The Sound Of Belgium. The guy where I used to go and buy my vinyl when I was playing on decks at home is one of the guys that put it together. It is very interesting doc because it goes back to the 50s and 60s, and shows the start of an underground movement.
"There was basically three places for house music in the 80s. There was Manchester with The Haçienda, Chicago and Detroit in the US and then there was this sound in Belgium that was very unique. It is just because we are this melting pot of culture, French-speaking, Flemish-speaking that Belgium was able to create this sound.
"It is fascinating to see how we are social chameleons. We can go to England and know straight away how to talk to people, where French people or German people don’t. We have this habit of having to adjust to whatever is happening in front of us. It is a very artistic place."
This chameleon nature was infectious with many of the Ryder Cup team back at Medinah in 2012 where Colsaerts really made a name for himself on a global scale, especially with his partner Lee Westwood.
In an afternoon fourball session on the Friday the rookie put in one of the greatest debut performances ever witnessed in the event making eight birdies and an eagle to defeat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.
It was all the more impressive under the pressure as the Yanks had taken the top three matches and were looking to build a lead.
We all know what happened in Medinah at the end and Colsaerts heroics played a major part in that and unsurprisingly he wants that vibe more often.
“We should definitely play more team events because everyone single one of them brings people together, there is always a good atmosphere and people play their heart out.
“Someone like me would give a bit more of what I have got in a team environment that in an individual one.”
Life on Tour
But from Medinah in 2012 he moved on to the PGA Tour and had a mixed time with only a handful of Top 10’s to show for in his couple of years in the very different world stateside.
“Golf wise you have the Top 20-30 guys on both sides are about the same, they play strong and the level is pretty much the same. But I think the middle players in America are maybe a little bit better. I mean you can go very easily from being two off the lead to missing the cut by one in America.
“If you look at 2011 and 2012 I was kind of on a mission and really had a clear idea of the goals I had and what was ahead of me and where I was going. Then since going to America for two years I didn’t really have a plan, I basically went there to give it shot but I didn’t really go there to conquer it.
“It’s been the same since I got back to Europe, even though I have come to peace that I want to play in Europe and this is where I want to be I maybe don’t set goals that are clear enough or have a big picture in my mind… not enough anyway.
“I think I’m not far off getting on a roll and playing really well though. I just keep on throwing in silly doubles that doesn’t allow me to put a decent week together. I mean at Wentworth I played really well but had a double every day and finished 25th… take two or three of those out and you are right up there.”
If Nico does get on a roll then the European Tour better watch out because a man who is as relaxed as him, can bash it 350 yards off the tee and hole putts under the biggest pressure to topple a decent Tiger Woods, must be a dangerous prospect no matter who you are.
You get the feeling Colsaerts is just about ready to get back in the mix.
Words - Ryan Curtis
Nicolas Colsaerts was talking to #GCW at Callaway’s #KingsofDistance event in Germany, where 90 golfers gained over 1,600 metres using Callaway products and were treated to instruction sessions and clinics with Tour Professionals including Colsaerts, Thomas Pieters and Alvaro Quiros
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.