Oct 19th, 2017
Boom!!! It's Nicky Colsaerts
The Belgian Bomber 'fesses up to GolfPunk
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Steve Read
When Nicolas Colsaerts rolled in his winning putt on the 18th green at Finca Cortesin, Andalucia, in 2012 to beat Graeme McDowell in the Volvo World Match Play Championship after a brutal day of windswept golf, he quite simply put Belgium golf on the map. On his way to the title, Colsaerts also accounted for Charl Schwartzl, Brandt Snedecker, Paul Lawrie and Justin Rose.
Too lazy to read? Here's the video
The victory catapulted him up the world rankings to 35th. I mean, fair play to Flory Van Donck (second in the Open twice), but his exploits occured in the mid 1950s. Since then, Belgium has had to watch with gnashing teeth as Germany, Spain and even France have produced, European Tour winners, Ryder Cup players and major winners. It's been a long wait but Nicky C, as I like to call him, has finally broken through – 'Nicolas Colsaerts World Match Play Champion 2012'. Solid.
Nicolas Colsaerts is the ultimate GolfPunk. He's into house music. He DJs and during his 14 years on tour he's been a self-confessed occasional party animal. He's lost his tour card three times and bounced back almost immediately, confounding critics who concluded too quickly after another false start that Colsaerts would never fulfil his undoubted potential.
Oh, yes, and he's officially the longest driver of the ball on both sides of the pond, averaging 317.6 yards compared to Bubba's 314.5. That's length and accuracy. Best driver on the planet.
When Monty played with Colsaerts at the BMW, a week after his World Match Play triumph, I asked him what he made of Colsaerts. He just looked at me with the expression of a man who had just been introduced to a type of golf that he is completely unfamiliar with.
"He's amazing," said Monty. Reckon he'd make a good Ryder Cup player?' I asked. "Oh yes," replied Monty as if I'd just triggered a fantastical and magical image in his brain. You could understand Monty's thinking. Colsaerts had just smoked a driver 392 (yes 392!) yards down the middle of the fairway. What's more, he'd done it with an ease and grace that totally defied its trajectory.
"Wow". That was all Monty could add. Colsaerts was on his way to the 2012 Ryder Cup.
It was in 2011 that Nicky C finally stepped up to the level many of us knew he was capable of, winning the Volvo China Masters by four shots from Peter Lawrie, Soren Kjeldsen, Danny Lee and Pablo Martin, on his way to making over £1million Euros for the season. He's already surpassed that figure in 2012 and talk of a Ryder Cup place is by no means fanciful. Nicolas Colsaerts has arrived.
To be fair to GP, we were going to interview him anyway. It just so happened that he went on to get all famous on us in the two weeks between us arranging the interview and photo shoot and it actually taking place. When he arrived for the shoot at Wentworth on the eve of the BMW, the only course of action was a big hug and some high-five expletives.
We've always liked the cut of Nick C's gib, ever since he became the first tour pro to walk through the doors of the Golf Punk Clubhouse at Troon in 2004. A proper gent and we couldn't be happier for him following his recent triumphs.
Your greatest experience so far?
"Playing in the Ryder Cup at Medinah was completely amazing. And winning the World Match Play, that was incredible, it was even more special because my parents were there. They weren't with me when I won in China in 2010 and for them to be there seeing their son up close bringing down a tournament like that was something special.
There were a lot of tears. My mum just actually cracked up as soon as I walked off the 18th green and when you see your mom crying of happiness like that then you're going to follow straight away!"
You've been asked a ton of questions about the Match Play win and, well, anyway, we're going to do something entirely different… have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
"No but I've come close a few times I can tell you, it's pretty dangerous stuff…"
Who would play you in a movie?
Hmmm, I think, hmmm, Robert Downey Junior
Great choice, but is it the Iron Man version or the drug addled version?
"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang style!"
What did you watch on TV last night?
"Last night nothing at all, I was too busy looking at my Facebook page and replying to everyone. When I got back to my hotel room I had 117 text messages and when I stopped reading all those I had another 35 to read. A lot of them were from fellow tour pros saying well done etc and promising to buy me dinner this week."
What's your worst character trait?
"Outside of golf I'd have to say I'm impatient. I really hate waiting on people if they're late or if I'm waiting in a queue or something and I can't understand why things are taking so long I just get very impatient."
Will you DJ for us at the Golf Punk Clubhouse at St Andrews?
No problem, I'll do an early warm up session for you. You guys get started a lot earlier than we do on the continent so I could do… hmmm, 8 to 9.30, that sounds perfect.
Fantastic, we'll hold you to that! How difficult has it been making it as a tour pro from Belgium?
It obviously depends on how good you are to start off with but it's not a sport where we've had that many people to look up to and aspire to. There were a couple of guys but they were while back, a few generations.
When I started out travelling the world at 15 I was always on my own but then I got to be friendly with the British players. When you have a passion in common you always find friends.
It can be lonely enough being a teenager anyway but a teenager on the road, how did you deal with that?
Well, when you know you're going to make a living at the sport and you know that's what you really want to do then you make sacrifices. When you're 15 or 20 you don't even know what those sacrifices are, that they are even happening but then when you get older you realise what they were.
It's taken me 10 years to win on tour and 12 years to win something really big so it just shows you how patient you have to be in this sport. All the different experiences and phases you go through travelling the world trying every week to get better and make that extra step and make the most of your game.
Who was your golfing hero?
Fred Couples. I just thought he was so cool, just dragging along as loose as you can be. He just made the whole thing look so easy andy that's something I think I may have in my game too, making it look so easy to hit the ball so far. I finally got to meet him in Dubai this year and I played a practice round with him.
The fantastic thing was that when we got to the ninth hole on the Friday,… you know the ninth and 18th greens are together, the public are not allowed to go there…. there's all these VIP tents at the back with windows and my caddie says look up there, and there's Freddy in one of the windows giving me a great big fist pump!. So I've just met my childhood hero and there he is cheering me on, absolutely fantastic.
When was the last time you laid down the law?
You mean break the law?
Well, that works also but I mean when you had to make a point and put your foot down…
I don't really get it, what do you mean?
Y'know, when you had to confront a situation and be very stern…
Oh, right, well I'm not really like that. I don't like conflicts, I'll just look at these people and think 'what the bleep are you doing?', shrug my shoulders and walk away, let them get on with whatever shit they want to do and get on with my own life.
So we can shout at you in the future whenever we like?
Yeah, it'll be fine man, I mean it won't be me shouting outside the ropes and getting thrown off the got course!
What football team do you support?
I follow Anderlecht. I know some of the people at the club and it's my home town club in Brussels. We have a run at the preliminary stages of the Champions League this year so we're hoping for big things. Y'know it's really unbelievable that Belgium weren't at the Euros this year. We have some great players who play in the Premier League. Other countries can't believe we didn't qualify but there you go, there have been some issues…
Who's been your biggest influence?
My biggest influence is music. I got hooked on music when I found my parents' old turntable in our house when I was six. I started listening to old Motown tracks and classic 70s rock like redneck Clearwater Revival, the whole Woodstock thing. Then when I was 12 I got into House music and I've been hooked on it ever since. However, I'm very bad at technology.
I'm good when it comes to decks and turntables but when it comes down to taking stuff from one device to another it's all Chinese to me. If you set it all up for me I'm OK but that's as far as it goes.
What's the most glamorous event you've ever been to?
The French Open at tennis is great. I've never been to Wimbledon but I have been to Queens, that was great, sitting in the stands drinking Pimms. I'm not really a big tennis fan but sitting there watching a grass court tournament is really nice.
What's your biggest indulgence?
I'd have to say cigarettes! I do buy Belgian chocolates when I leave the airport. A bag of truffles for my caddie and a bag for me by my bed. It's nice to have a little taste of back home when you're on the there side of the world.
When did you realise you were destined for greatness?
I knew when I was 12 that I was going to do this for a job, but I knew earlier than that that I had something that was different from the other kids my age. But greatness?? That's kind of a big word, we'll have to see about that…
If you could travel in time would you go backwards or forwards?
I would go backwards to Studio 54, that would be immense, roller skates, neon, the upper level… needs to be seen I guess…
Do you believe in karma
I do yes, I believe in karma a lot…
What car do you drive, given both your tour wins to date have been Volvo sponored…?
Actually, my first car was a square box been Grand Cherokee Jeep with fantastic leather seats. It was second hand so the seats were all worn out, really cool car. I still drive a Jeep now, it's a Wrangler. With the roof down in the summer it's really cool.
What makes you angry?
Bad service or lazy service. I think I'm a pretty cool dude, I'm not going to be a big diva or any trouble but it gets me when you acknowledge someone and they can't be bothered to acknowledge you…
If you met yourself at a party, what would you think?
I'd think this guy must be quite interesting…
Bomber's Booth!! Nicky C picks his fave jams.
My Top 5 Tracks in the moment
1) Gonjasufi - Candylane
Super chill rasta californian yoga teacher.
2) Robag Wruhme - Thora Vukk (12´ Edit)
Germans still do it best
3) Avatism - The Slug (Clockwork Remix)
Must have listen to this track 10000 times since it came out...
4) Lana del Rey - Blue Jeans (gesaffelstein remix)
5) Sailor & I - Tough Love (Aril Brikha Remix)