RJ Manke : RADMOR's Rising Star
There's very little that needs to be said about RJ Manke - if you know, you know. If you don't, we'll you'll be seeing a lot of him in the coming years. Known for being one of the nicest guys out there, local hero and 2022 University of Washington All-American, 2022 Pac-12 Champion, 2021 NCAA Champion, and 2022 PGA University winner, RJ Manke, joined the RADMOR team at the end of his college career this June.
RJ signed a multi-year contract to wear RADMOR on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tour as RJ embodies "everything we stand for; he’s conscientious, wants to do good in this world and when it comes to golf, he’s an absolute winner on and off the course,” RADMOR Co-Founder Scott Morrison says. “He’s off to a great start professionally and we’re so excited to support him in his journey.”
Manke was first drawn to RADMOR because of the sheer comfort and unique look of its polos, pants, hoodies and accessories. As he dug deeper into the company’s ethos, he gained an appreciation for its unwavering commitment to sustainability and use of all-natural, high-quality cotton and (in select garments) recycled polyester. “You don’t realize how much plastic you’re wearing,” Manke says. “You come out to these tournaments, and we’ve got aluminum cups and water bottles. People are trying to get rid of plastic, and they don’t know it’s used most in clothes. People wear it, and it sheds (microplastics) and even comes off in the laundry.”
So we sat down with RJ in between events and got a little more background to share from our favorite Korn Ferry member:
So RJ, what’s in your bag?
Driver: PING G425 LST
Three Wood: PING G425 LST
Driving Iron: PING G425 Crossover
Irons: PING i210 4-W
Wedges: PING Glide Forged Pro’s
Putter: PING Nome TR
Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
One accessory you couldn’t live without?
My alignment stick. My dad and I made it out of wood together in the garage when I was in high school.
Your Desert Island Course?
Chambers Bay. Each hole can play so many different ways depending on the tees and pins that I could play it day after day. I grew up 15 minutes away from the course and will never pass up an opportunity to play.
Course that changed your life forever (or at least how you see the game of golf)?
The Country Club at Seattle. No, not Seattle Golf Club (even though it’s a great track). This ultra-hidden gem is on the south tip of Bainbridge Island was built in 1896 and still features sand greens and no irrigation. Bring a mashie niblick, a sleeve of gutta-perchas, and knickers and you’d feel like Old Tom Morris.
I’d have to say #15 at Pasatiempo. I’m a sucker for a short par 3, and Alister Mackenzie’s nasty greens make this 120-yard hole feast or famine. Birdies can come with an aggressive wedge but any slip and five comes into the equation.
2000 Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, and Alister Mackenzie. I’m curious what the Doctor would say about his 1930s green complexes rolling at 13s on the stimp.
Nicklaus or Palmer?
Palmer. All the stories of his compassion and positivity are tough to beat.
Tiger or Phil?
Tiger. The best to ever do it and the largest influencer of what golf has become today.
Rory or DJ?
Rory. I’ve never seen him hit a driver in person, but I want to. Bad.
Cam Smith or Zalatoris?
Cam. His haircut might deserve a two-shot penalty, but you do you, mate. Clearly it works and he has such a simple way of moving his ball around the course.
Most amazing thing you’ve seen while on a golf course?
Noah Woolsey’s hole in one at Lakeshore Golf Club near Chicago. It’s the only hole in one I’ve ever witnessed, and I wasn’t even in his group.
What most people don’t realize about a what it takes to make it professionally as a golfer?
A lot of flying. Gone are my days of driving 20 minutes to a WJGA subdistrict for an 18-hole tournament. In my third week as a pro traveled alone to Maine and couldn’t believe how geographically far golf had taken me.
Most admired player currently on Tour (Not including Tiger)?
I haven’t met him, but I don’t think a negative thing has been said about Scottie Scheffler. His golf game is like Ringo Starr on the drums—the Beatles drummer played with “that sloppy, swampy, falling down the stairs kind of sound.” The Scottie Shuffle is so odd that it’s cool.
Who’s coming up in college/Amateur golf that looks like a possible superstar?
I wouldn’t be surprised if Pierceson Coody makes a special name for himself on the PGA Tour. He was a stud at Texas and won on the Korn Ferry Tour in just his third start as a pro. Great guy, too.
Greatest lunch/meal (eg. HotDog) you’ve ever eaten at a golf course? What course?
There’s nothing like an Aldarra chicken quesadilla at the turn. It’ll get delivered on the 10th green, then all golfers hop in carts for #11 and #12 to keep pace of play moving. Golf is a walking game but trying to eat a boxed lunch while on foot is the worst. This paragraph makes me sound really spoiled.
Most important thing you hope to pass on to your children about the game of golf?
Staying in the present. You get a lot of bad breaks out there on the golf course, so you have to take things as they come. You can’t change the past, but your attitude will change the future.
Someone once asked me if I liked to catch or if I liked to fish. I think a similar metaphor can be used for golf. Which do you prefer these days?
It’s the moments between shots that I enjoy the most. Whether it’s chatting with good buddies down the fairway, seeing a new course for the first time, or meeting new people and hearing their stories, I play golf because I love the game.
Favorite RADMOR item:
The Taylor BobRad Pimaformance Microstripe Jersey Polo in Pale Pink. Getting me into a pink shirt took some convincing from Scott and Bob, but once I put it on, I knew.