Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Fighting The Machine

Today I split a forecaddying job with another caddie. There were only four players to deal with, but we ended up having some competition. One of the players brought a rangefinder. Although not illegal outside of tournament play, I consider taking a rangefinder to a course and using it religiously when you have two caddies running their respective asses off just to get you yardages a little insulting. The guy using it wasn't even that good. Why put any doubt in your fellow players' minds that the caddies you have working for you don't know their stuff? The minute you second-guess the caddies' judgment, the role of the caddie becomes worthless. I definitely felt worthless on more than one occasion today.

I guess first and foremost, I felt a little useless because I've forecaddied for a foursome before. Splitting the job with another caddie is like putting a 5th wheel on a car. I suppose there's a need, but WHY? So it took me a few holes to figure out that the only way this would work with two caddies was if both of us half-assed the job. We're talking MAJOR slacking here. I felt bad about it for awhile, and then I realized that we were assigned 27 holes with these guys. Yep: I'm saving my strength.

So here's what I did today. I wrote down some notes on the back of a scorecard and I'm just going to run through them as they come up. I may take a little longer on some, but I'll try to keep this as concise as possible.

Us against the machine. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I did not understand why somebody would bring a rangefinder to a course with caddies. Is this guy a douchebag? Could he be a douchebag? Or, I know this might be a stretch, but HE MAY BE A DOUCHEBAG.

It's not that I'm insecure about my yardages. It's just that he has the ability to get the yardage faster than we can give it to him. And he was giving the other players their yardages too. So for a while today, I felt a little out of place. And then I got mad. I'm thinking: yeah, sure this little gadget can get you a yardage, but it can't tell you where to lay up, play for hidden break on the green, adjust for wind, or cheer you on if you make a good shot. Really, rangefinders should be kept on the practice range when you're working on your wedges. That's where they make the most sense. That's when the difference between 80 and 85 yards is actually important. If you're 175 from the hole, and the machine is telling you 172, you better knock it stiff. If you don't, that would mean all that fuss you gave me about being incorrect would be worthless. But the funny thing is, I've seen what you can do with a club in your hand. You've mastered the SKANK-PUSH and you take longer than BERNHARD LANGER to hit the ball, but I don't think you've fine-tuned the 172-yard shot yet.

So I kept up with the machine about 90% of the time. The two yardages that I was really off by did nothing but raise suspicion with the other players about my judgment and slow down play. I feel a "real men of genius" commercial from Bud Light coming on.

Bud Light presents: Real men of genius...

(singing) Real men of GENIUS!

Here's to you, Mr. Anal-Retentive-Slow-Golfer...

(singing) Mr. Anal-Retentive-Slow-GolFER!

Without you, 6-hour rounds would not be possible...

(singing) Oh the pos-sibil-ities!

You won't swing until every possible yardage is double-checked...

...and you do it...with a RANGEFINDER...

(singing) Oh God damn the FIIIINDER!

Is it 145... Or 146? You know. Because you're Mr. Anal-Retentive-Slow-Golfer...

...So here's to YOU Mr. Holiest of butt-plugs...

Damn the pace of play. Damn the caddies. You're the MAN.

(singing) Mr. Anal-Retentive-Slowwwwww-Gooooollllffer!!

(ending) Bud Light is a product of...blah blah blah St. Louis Missouri.

Sorry. Had to do that. So where was I. Let's see. Oh yeah. The guy I was caddying with always looks pissed off. I think it's because he kind of has one of those uni-brows goin' on. In addition, he really IS always pissed off, so that just leads me to one question: why caddie? Why choose a profession that relies so heavily on customer service? Can you even pull off a believable smile?

He also likes to bullshit. And of course, with these innate bullshitting capabilities, he instantly gravitated towards reading greens for players. I suppose it just goes hand in hand.

"Does this one go right?"

"Yeah, it definitely looks like it may be going in that general direction."

Way to cover your ass Sally. This other caddie was kind of nasty too. When Mr. Douchebag asked for the yardage on a par-3 and this pissed-off caddie read the wrong initial yardage off of the sprinkler-head, obviously his yardage was wrong. Way wrong. But instead of saying, "I'm sorry," or something to that effect, he replies with: "I took the wrong number, ALRIGHT?"

Wow. If I were to ever start my own business, that guy would be first on my list to hire. Or fire. Not sure which.

Oh yeah. On the scorecard, I also wrote: "I'm struck by the beauty of this job. It's certainly better than all those stressful nights slingin' drinks." Sounds a little funny now that I'm reading it over again, but it is certainly true. For any of you who bartend or are thinking of bartending, please understand one thing. Yes, it can be a good amount of money. But you get burnt out. Anyone who can last more than 2 years as a bartender either has some birth defect or is doing drugs, drinking heavily, or both. You just can't do it after a while. Your whole life moves behind the bar.

So yeah. Caddying is a lot of fun. Beautiful course, laid back job, and you get a great cardiovascular workout. Yes, I didn't like the douchebag. But he's maybe 1 out of every 20 players that I work for.

Alright. I'm out. Take care everyone.


Anonymous said...

Bud Light is a product of...blah blah blah St. Louis Missouri.

Anheuser-Busch is tough to spell - unless you have one in front of you to reference like I do right now ;)

Keep up the great work - I look forward to every post!

Rich (Eat Golf)

Jam Boy said...

Good man. I'm glad you could reference it so quickly. Hope to keep you coming back.