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We spend some time with Eric talking about his experience on the show and how it has changed his life.
Tom Brassell: In the home of Wilson Golf at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show, a guest we didn’t have last year. Eric Sillies, the winner of Driver versus Driver, the developer of the Triton Driver. Eric, thanks for joining us man.
Eric Sillies: Absolutely, thanks for having me.
Tom Brassell: I was going to ask you, what were you doing this time last year, and did you ever think you’d be here?
Eric Sillies:Well last year at this time, we had just wrapped up finishing up the final CAD models, and so we were gearing up for a bunch of the trips to go actually see the prototypes we made, and get hits, so I never thought I’d actually, well I don’t know if I should say I never thought, I think I always hoped I would get to be in a place like this with the winning driver, but you know it’s all been such a whirlwind that it’s hard to even remember where I was a year ago actually, to be honest.
Tom Brassell: As the show went on, and the weeks went on, obviously you got to form relationships with the other contestants and all, but when did you really feel like, “Hey I think I got a shot at this” or did you think all along you’re confident in your work?
Eric Sillies: It was always a balance game for me, to be honest, so I was always confident. I believed I had … I think I honestly believed I had the most innovative driver on the show, and I was trusting in that and trusting that working with the Wilson team and everything that we were making this thing and actually delivering everything I said I wanted to deliver. At the same time always keeping myself, trying to keep myself grounded and knowing every time I stand on that stage I could be going home, and honestly I didn’t want to break down on camera if I did, so I think I was trying to always temper expectations and know this has been a great experience, even if I don’t make it. But at the same time, I was confident and I felt like I had a good design and knew that I always had a shot.
Tom Brassell: Well it’s the most adjustable driver on the market, and it’s now in play on PGA Tour. How’s that make you feel?
Eric Sillies: It’s really incredible to have that. I think, you know, all along when the call went out to design this, the call was, “Let’s do something innovative and just world-class, and that is top of the line” and so to have it being played on the tour is that validation that this is a top of the line driver, that it can be played by the best because it is really one of the best. So it’s a huge validation for everything we’ve been working for.
Tom Brassell: Well Eric, other than the obvious like the money, or something like that, how has this changed your life?
Eric Sillies: It’s been amazing. Like you said, the prize money cannot be understated and how much that’s going to change my life and my family’s life. It’s also just been an incredible experience. Something that is really once in a lifetime, if not less than once in a lifetime, right? It’s just something I never dreamed I’d ever be able to do, and so to have that has been incredible. It’s been a great platform for people just reaching out and saying, “Hey, we saw you on the show. Incredible job.” You know, whether it’s fans, friends and family who are really proud, or just other people who just want to reach out and just say, “Hey, you know, congratulations” and then also going to meet a lot of great people, and I think that it’s something that I didn’t expect when I signed up for a reality TV show you know, I didn’t know what to expect but meeting so many great people, whether it was the people at Wilson, Golf Channel, the other contestants, everyone was so incredible that I thought it was a really nice added bonus.
Tom Brassell: How great are the people at Wilson?
Eric Sillies: Oh they’re the best. They are the best! First of all, they’re just some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. They’re also some of the most intelligent and hard-working, and the amount of work and top-quality work that they put out across everything they do, not just in golf if you think about that, but then especially in golf is really incredible.
Tom Brassell: Yeah, well it’s early in the week in the show, is this your first show?
Eric Sillies: Yeah.
Tom Brassell: So go ahead, get out there and enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun, but pace yourself.
Eric Sillies: Yes, I got to walk the show, I walked the whole thing a little bit earlier, I was like, “There’s so much here” you can’t even take it in, so it’s really fun to be here.
Tom Brassell: Congratulations again Eric.