Exclusive Interview – Robert Rock
He refuses to wear a cap and was working in a pro shop selling Mars bars less than 10 years ago, but none of that has stopped this bubbly Brit in his tracks. 33-year-old Robert Rock has tamed the Tiger and broken into the world’s top 50 this year already, meanwhile he strolls the fairways looking a million dollars in J.Lindeberg’s latest threads. TrendyGolf caught up with the man some people call the Justin Bieber of golf!
Hi Robert, why do you choose to wear J.Lindeberg?
“Hi TrendyGolf! Well, I have always been a fan of the label – it’s the best stuff out there. It’s the most innovative and up to date, it’s not typically golfy. I’ve never been a fan of the sporty golf look, so JL is perfect because it’s generally stuff that you can wear on and off the course without looking too much like a golfer. That’s the way it should be.”
You're obviously a fan of modern golf fashion principles...
“Definitely, I love modern clothing with classic elements. JL encapsulates the new shift in golf fashion, it’s part of helping golf’s wider reputation. Golf is trendy, golf is cool, and companies like JL are reinforcing that message to newcomers and the younger generation.”
How important is the way you look on the golf course?
“It is important to me. I am playing in front of lots of fans and TV cameras now and so like to look smart, without going over the top. JL treads that line nicely. It’s a good fit, obviously with its European roots the cut is a bit tighter and that’s much more fashionable than the baggy American look. Luckily it fits me well.”
You’re known for not wearing a hat on Tour, what’s the story behind that?
“I’m an individual and I choose not to wear a hat because I don’t want to blend in with everyone else. I get a bit of stick for it from Westy and the lads, but they’re just jealous! When you sign equipment contracts they stipulate that you have to wear a cap, but I don’t like being told what I can and can’t wear, so I take less money on the proviso that I don’t have to wear a cap. A lot of the time climate and conditions aren’t conducive to wearing a hat and I’ve never been entirely comfortable wearing one, so I choose not to.”
You have a decent head of hair as well – you wouldn’t want to mess that up with a cap!
“Exactly! My barnet has become a bit of a trademark. Plus, I don’t look particularly good in a cap anyway.”
Do you get complimented on the way you look by fellow Tour pros?
“Yes I do, quite often. I’m sure plenty of them would like to have the freedom to wear what they like. They all like JL and some wear it off the course out of choice, so I bet they wish they could wear it on course too! Obviously Camilo Villegas is huge for the JL brand in America – I don’t quite have his frame but I’m happy to be associated with the same clothes!”
What do you primarily look for in a Tour uniform?
“I look first at the shape of the clothes, I like the tighter fitting European style. Then it comes down to colours – generally I like blacks, whites, navy blues and greys. I’m starting to get a bit more adventurous with greens and lighter blues and JL recently sent me a pair of red trousers but I haven’t had the bottle to try them out in public yet!”
You should’ve tried the red trousers when you were up against Tiger Woods in the final group in Abu Dhabi – him in his red shirt and you in your red trousers…
“I did think about that, but it would’ve been very brave, and probably very stupid! You don’t want to rile Tiger! I played it safe that day with a black Vinson Fieldsensor shirt and some grey trousers. It must’ve worked because I won, so no regrets.”
Your schedule currently takes in all different temperatures and climates, with muggy conditions and tropical weather. How does JL clothing stand up to these challenges?
“It’s great. In hotter, muggier conditions you have the synthetic performance shirts and pants that are brilliant in terms of moisture management and leaving you feeling cool. There’s also some great waterproofs that match well with the rest of your outfit. One thing I noticed when playing at the WGC event in Miami this year is that the water resistant polyester Troyan pant is a god send for tropical conditions, because if it rains for 10 minutes the pant will resist the water, but when the sun then comes out the pant has the breathability and lightweight properties required, so you don’t have to be putting waterproof trousers on and off every few holes."
On the other hand, you’re used to playing and practicing back home in England, where it tends to be freezing in the winter…
“Indeed. To be honest, overall, the best thing for me is the knitwear: when I’m playing in colder climes, such as at the British Open or even just practicing back home in Birmingham, I need thicker cotton shirts and layers that keep me warm but do not restrict my movement – JL are experts in this type of thing and what’s more, you can whack a pair of jeans on afterwards and wear the sweater or cardigan out to dinner because it is so smart.”
Robert Rock wears J.Lindeberg on the European Tour.