Friday, May 20, 2005

Day Off?

Before I begin, I would like to paint a picture for you.

First off, on Wednesday I forecaddied for a threesome. It was one of the most frustrating rounds I think I've had yet. And I'm even counting my first few loops. Why was it so frustrating? Because one of the players is currently undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

Now don't misunderstand me. It wasn't the threesome that was causing the problem. I can say without any exaggeration that these players were by far the nicest I've encountered since I became a caddie.

It was me. And that was the most frustrating part of all. I've been working like a horse lately, and I was out of it. Here you have this guy who is having trouble breathing and currently eats all of his meals through a hole in his neck, and all I want to do is the best damn job possible. And I can't do it. My brain was fried. I'd run up to where they had hit their balls, and then I would space out for a second before I would remember what the hell I was supposed to do next. I was behind on everything.

I couldn't read the greens. To be honest, if the players had done the exact OPPOSITE of what I had suggested, they probably would've made all of their putts.

My yardages were perfect, but I lost a lot of confidence throughout the round because they took all of my yardages LITERALLY. That may sound stupid, but when I tell somebody 148 to the flag with some uphill and I recommend hitting more, I expect people to take my advice. Yet they would still hit their 145-150 clubs and end up short. Same goes for downhill. Yes, I suppose it was their fault, but MAN. I just really wanted to help these guys, and nothing was going right.

By the end of the round, I had had enough. I mean, the member undergoing this treatment couldn't talk, but I had a feeling I knew what he would've said. I sucked. So the first thing I did was go inside and ask my boss for Thursday off, and without hesitation he agreed.

So when I got home yesterday my mind was gone and I'm feeling pretty bummed. But I know I just need to sleep and have a good day of rest to get back into the swing of things. And I was really looking forward to finally being able to set up my new room.

So you can understand my frustration when I get a call today at 12:30 asking if I can come in to work.

You've got to be kidding me.

But again, I'm the rookie. I need to make a good impression. And fortunately, I got about 13 hours of sleep last night, so I was feeling pretty rested.

On the drive over to the course I was starting to feel a little better about my decision. So I want to make a good impression on my boss? Well I'm doing it. Right now. And that made me feel a little better. But I do have a real problem saying no to people. I don't know what it is. I need to work on that.

I think I was more worried about injuring myself than anything else. Like, I never have bad knees. But lately they've started acting up. As have my feet. Those arches ain't what they used to be. I sound like I'm 40 already. I feel a lot like my car must've felt when I looked at it and said, "Alright buddy. You ready for this cross-country trip?"

I wonder what "cough" and "sputter" mean in English.

And just my luck: I'm Forecaddying for a FIVESOME today. Never done that before. Another caddie was in the room when I found out which member I'd be caddying for.

"He's a fucking dickhead."

Well tell me what you really think.

"When I caddied for him, all I wanted to do was punch him in the face."

Alright. Got it.

So I'm working on my day off, under conditions I've never dealt with, and the guy I'm caddying for is a dickhead. Awesome.

But for some reason, against all odds, this afternoon went well. Somehow after the first hole I knew all of their names, I kept telling them I was new yet they still wanted me to help them on the greens, and they ENCOURAGED me to cheat for them. Sweet.

As for their golf games? They were interesting. First of all, the member looked like one of my old boss's, so that was a little weird. Somehow I'm working for you AGAIN? Damn. And his swing would definitely be an hour-long special on Golf Channel Academy. It was like he was going for a Jim Furyk look but was still studying up on it. He would take the club back slowly and deliberately to make it LOOK like a Furyk swing, pause at the top (probably trying to remember what to do next), and then whip the club down on a hard outside-to-in line that would always do one of three things: pull it dead left, pull slice it, or shank it altogether.

The first time I saw him hit a drive I didn't think he was serious. I mean, you tell me. Let's say you've got a swing that sucks balls (hypothetical) and your shots are so inconsistent that you always require your own cart so you're not breaking the rhythm of your playing partners. Wouldn't you conclude that you need to get your hands on a new, more repeatable swing? I'm crazy, right? But I've never seen three consistent shot patterns like that on one player. His swing must've been suffering from a multiple-personality disorder or something.

Two of the other players had some problems with putting. One would stand so far away from the ball that the shaft of the putter was never more than 45 degrees above the ground. The head of his putter almost stuck straight up in the air when he'd set up to the ball.

"Man, I really hit the crap out of that ball. Why didn't it get to the hole?"

Well, hitting the ball on the heel of the putter and topping it wouldn't have any effect. I don't know man. I'm stumped.

The other player had a similar fetish, except he liked hitting the ball on the toe with a little Mayfair flair: he would take the putter back well inside of his aimline and make contact with an inside-out swing. Maybe he was trying to impart some topspin to help the ball dive into the hole. I've heard of some players trying to do that. Until now they were just Roman Myth's to me. But it was impressive. I mean think about that: you set up with the heel of the putter off of the ground. Then you take the putter back well inside of your intended line. Then you somehow make contact on the TOE and get the ball to the hole. Takes years of experience I suppose.

Another guy liked beer. Well, they all did, but this guy especially. He was really enjoying himself, but he was getting so depressed about his golf game.

Heel putter: "Is Beer-guy in one of his 'I don't give a shit moods?'"

Toe putter: "Hey Beer-guy. You know we're playing for money, right?"

Beer-guy: "I don't give a shit."

Heel putter: "Yep."

Beer-guy was one of the biggest advocates for me cheating for them, so I tried to follow his advice and put a smile on his face on the back nine. At this point the fivesome was moving so slowly that my cheating efforts went a little like this: Walk over to Beer-guy's ball, notice it's in the hazard. Pull it out, clean it off, and set it down on some nice rough. Start to walk away. Stop, realize that the laws of physics do not permit the ball to come to rest in that position naturally. Walk back over to the ball. Have a brain-fart. Pick it up and move it down closer to the hazard. Look up to see if they've finished teeing off. Nope. Look back at the ball and notice that my cheating is too apparent. Reach down and put the ball further into the lateral hazard next to some weeds. There. Playable, and no penalty.

I mean, it was like 5 full minutes I had to play with. But I tell you man, I want to make sure that even if I'm caddying for a forensics expert, I want there to be absolutely NO traces of my work. I won't move on until that ball is clean of prints and every blade of grass is ready for inspection. Because the last thing I want is for my players to find out the truth. That would be like finding out that Santa Claus is not real. It would be traumatic for them. And I don't want that.

By the end of the round, it was dark and I was ready to go home. But I did have a great time with those guys. They even gave me a great line to give players when they ask for a read on the greens.

"So where does this ball break?"

"Towards Tulsa."

I even used that one against them on the last hole.

"Did you hear what this smart-ass caddie just said?"

It was great. Well I better get to bed so I can do SOMETHING useful tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Help me if you can I'm feeling down" - I also think I must be lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him on the golf course yesterday. Now this is strange because usually I see him in the supermarket.

Honest really, last time I saw him there he was right in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new lcd tv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a lcd tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger.

Then I'm gonna go home, put ma dancin' suit on, munch me some uppers and freak out to that maaaaaaaaad surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on ma lcd tv .

How cool is that boy?

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)