Nick Taylor’s 1% Advantage

adidas & SHARP

In the 50 years after the Canadian Open was first held in 1904, 8 champions were Canadians. But, from 1954 onwards — when Pat Fletcher shot 8-under at Vancouver’s Point Grey Golf Club to win $3,000 — no Canadian managed to win on home soil. That changed in 2023, when Manitoban Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, BC lifted the 22-pound trophy after shooting 17-under par and defeating Tommy Fleetwood in a play-off — 69 years on from Fletcher’s win, Taylor took home the considerably more princely sum of $1,620,000.

There are some things that are worth more than that, though. “That moment meant everything to me,” Taylor tells us, “it left me speechless.” The 36-year-old is getting ready to defend his title at the 2024 edition of the RBC Canadian Open, hosted, this year, at Hamilton Golf and Country Club, but found time to sit down with SHARP.

nick taylor adidas golf

A year on, being the first Canadian in two generations to win his home open is still somewhat surreal. “It was the most incredible feeling,” he says, “all I can think of was my family and being in that moment, it was amazing.” Taylor isn’t the only one who hasn’t forgotten that moment. Whether on Tour or when he’s back home, Taylor says “it’s been cool to attend events and have people come up to me to congratulate me on my win last year. I’ve gotten countless comments about how it was one of the most exciting things they’d ever seen.“

Golf being the challenging and somewhat fickle sport that it is, stringing together four solid rounds is hard enough — defending a title is a notoriously tall task. Taylor, however, isn’t fazed. “I’m very excited,” he says about the challenge. He’s ready to draw on the fact he’s playing at home — a defending champion, yes, but a Canadian champion, too. “It’s always nice to go back home to Canada and compete for a win on home turf. The crowd and the environment gives all of us Canadians a boost of confidence and energy.”

“I refer to it as the ‘1% stuff: making tiny adjustments to everyday routines in order to concentrate everything on becoming the best version of myself.”

Nick Taylor

While being back in Canada comes with its benefits — the energy and unwavering support of the crowd — golfing here can be challenging at times, on account of the weather. While late May and early June, when the RBC Canadian Open is held, is usually cooperative, Taylor has dealt with his fair share of cold and damp weather over the years, as he worked his way up the ranks from amateur to champion. For the adidas athlete, the gear is what makes getting rounds year-round manageable. “The gear definitely makes a big difference when playing in colder weather during the winter months back home in B.C. adidas has some awesome layering pieces, like the Ultimate365 jacket, that I reach for any time I’m playing in cooler temperatures.”

nick taylor adidas golf

Hopefully Taylor won’t be dealing with cold or wet temperatures at Hamilton Golf and Country Club, but he’ll still be looking for his gear to allow him to put his best foot forward. Taylor has been wearing adidas’ latest iteration of the Tour360. “It’s been great this season,” Taylor tells us, “I’ve been wearing them for the last few months and they’re definitely my favourite yet.” The Torsion bridge, Lightstrike and BOOST sole and 360Wrap make the Tour360 24 “super comfortable and supportive.” He’s also a fan of the apparel, too. “It’s awesome,” he says, “the performance tech goes really well in all conditions.”

Taylor is a big believer in marginal gains, whether with his gear, his play or his routine. “I refer to it as the ‘1% stuff,’” he explains. “Making tiny adjustments to everyday routines in order to concentrate everything on becoming the best version of myself.” That means focusing on the marginalia when a big tournament, like the RBC Canadian Open or a major, is on the horizon. “A lot of my routines are only minor changes, like my diet or a focused workout schedule.”

nick taylor adidas golf

For the most part, though, Taylor is focused on repetition. “My team and I have had a road map since the fall of 2022, setting goals on where we want to get to in terms of my golf game,” Taylor explains. “It hasn’t really changed and I have been sticking to the same things that we know will get me to where I want to be. It’s been the consistent practice of doing the same boring stuff.” It’s worked for him, with wins in each of the last two seasons, at some of the biggest tournaments. “My team knows what we’ve been doing has been effective, so they will pull me in if I try to do something different, so just sticking to the basic stuff.”

When it comes to repetition, Canadian golf fans are hoping Taylor can repeat last year’s feat and become the first Canadian to successfully defend the title.