Stay Home Snaps: Pat Perez
The pro golfer and well-known sneakerhead talks life in quarantine.
This interview was conducted in May, prior to the relaunch of the PGA Tour season.
Since the PGA Tour’s season was brought to a halt back in March, Pat Perez hasn’t thought much about playing golf. The three-time PGA Tour winner used the isolation period to rest his body, and enjoy the time it has afforded him to be home with his wife and daughter as they completed the final stages of moving into their new home in Arizona.
As season restarted on June 11 in Texas, Perez will soon begin getting back into the swing of his normal routine. When that time comes, all the Jordan’s in his shoe room will finally be in place and he can turn his mind towards resuming play post-pandemic.
What’s been your daily routine since the PGA Tour suspended the season?
A whole lot of nothing, which has been perfect. I haven’t picked up a club since the second round at TPC Sawgrass, before the tourney was canceled. My coach Drew Steckel is headed out to Scottsdale this week and we’re going to get back to work, but it’s been great to rest up and get away from golf for a few months. Been doing yard work and projects around the new house to stay busy and active, as well as just hanging out with Ashley and Piper and appreciating some unexpected time home with the family.
Where in your home do you get the most work done?
The kitchen and my grill. Meals tend to be the highlight of every day and it’s been great to get to cook at home for the past few months. Usually, I’d be on the road a ton this time of year.
What is your typical attire when working at home?
Anything but golf gear. Mostly T-shirts and basketball shorts. The Jumpman crew loaded me up with a ton of gear, so I’m dressing everyday like I did when I was stumbling to class down the road at Arizona State a few decades ago. Comfort is the daily goal right now. Grew back the goatee, as well, just for fun.
How have you and your wife managed to keep your daughter entertained, and what are you guys doing for fun?
Lots of games and pool time. Thankfully, we’re in Scottsdale and it’s 80 degrees here everyday, so we can get outside to enjoy ourselves. I saw it snowed in New York [in May]. Can’t imagine dealing with that kind of weather on top of being trapped at home.
What’s it been like to be a part of Bill Murray and his brother’s clothing line William Murray?
Awesome, as well as surreal. You grow up watching Caddyshack, Ghostbusters or Kingpin and you see the guy on the big screen for all those years—and next thing you know, you’re playing at Pebble Beach and talking about new designs for spring. It’s a trip. The brothers are great, too—they’re all in the Caddie Hall of Fame and couldn’t love golf anymore if they tried. Golf and a wicked sense of humor; sort of the perfect combo.
Your shoe room has garnered a lot of attention. As someone who loves Jordan, what’s it like to be a partner of the brand and actually be part of bringing his retro line to golf?
A surreal and unbelievable feeling that will never get old. To be the oldest active athlete tied to the brand isn’t lost on me either. All these things that have happened later in my career—two post-injury wins after turning 40, aligning with Bill Murray and his brand, getting on board with PXG and then a Jumpman deal with an icon like MJ—you can’t dream this kind of stuff up.
Which shoes from the line would you like to see transitioned to golf ASAP?
The Air Jordan 12 Low would be a dream golf shoe. It’s iconic and one of the most-comfortable shoes I own
You mentioned you were resting your body and not touching a club during this period. What things have you been doing to keep your body ready for when you begin ramping things up?
Nothing but resting up and yard work the past few months. Hadn’t even thought about picking up a club until this week with my coach Drew Steckel in town. Just started back up on some cardio, body movement and stretching. One month to get tourney-ready, so it’s officially go-time again.
What’s been your favorite part of The Last Dance documentary?
The whole thing has been fantastic to watch and I’m glad a younger generation is getting this kind of deep dive into Michael and his dominant ways. It’s so easy for people to only focus on present-day athletes or comparing stats, but when you really get into Jordan’s legacy—the work ethic, how badly he wanted to win and what a force he was—there’s no debate that he was the greatest of all time.
We know everything about today’s athletes through social media and just the media in general, but Jordan was a private guy back then—so for all these stories to come out now, it’s fantastic. I heard him say that people might not like him as much after seeing this series, but I think it’s the opposite—I think people will love and respect him more. Honestly, I loved how Isaiah Thomas was left off the 1992 Dream Team as well as not letting Horace Grant eat on the team charter after a bad game. That’s the stuff of legends.
You’re also in the process of moving. Has that been easier or more difficult with all that is going on?
The break has actually been a blessing in disguise in regards to getting settled. We finally moved in Christmas Day last year and within a week I was off to Hawaii and played most of the West Coast swing. Having two unexpected months at home has allowed us to really get everything dialed in, which might’ve taken a year if doing here or there when taking an occasional week off during the season.
How anxious are you for play to resume on June 11?
Ready to get back out there to compete, but not completely sold the Tour will be ready to get back to business in less than a month. A lot of moving parts have to come together to pull off a tournament week and even without spectators, you still have volunteers, players and caddies out there—as well as lot of confusion has to what the new set of rules will look like. Can’t hand your club directly back to caddie, when he gets it back he has to sanitize before putting back in the bag. Everyone staying at same hotel, but what about hotel staff not being quarantined—as well as travel from Texas to South Carolina to Connecticut to Michigan to Illinois to Ohio, Minnesota and Tennessee over a six-week period? Seems ambitious to try and pull all that off so soon. We’ll see.
What is the shoe that is most special to you?
The Air Jordan 4, hands down—white cement. I’ve talked about it before, but that was my first pair of Jordans. I literally pulled a pair out of the trash in junior high, after a friend threw them away because they were too scuffed up for him. To go from that to sitting with him at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, smoking cigars and sipping tequila—asking him if he could make a cement 11, only to have him tell me he’d make me 4 in a golf shoe—surreal doesn’t even begin to describe it.