Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Second Round Results

Today was beautiful. Slept in until 8, took a nice long shower, typed up a post, deposited some sweet cash at the bank, and got to work right on time: 11:30. After putting on an absurd amount of sunscreen, I walked into the office.

And the first player to walk through the caddie area? None-other than Mr. Whiner. Wow it is way too early in the day for this. At first I pretended I didn't see him, but then I noticed him rooting around in the trunk that he left in the bag room yesterday, and decided to make an appearance.

"Hey Mr. Whiner, can I help you with something?"

"No, thank you. I'm just looking for that marker I said I had in here. Boy it's amazing what you find in an old bag."

Okay. So Mr. Whiner's in a good mood. Let's see how long this lasts.

After the initial pep talk by the boss, the meet-and-greet with the other players (for those caddies who didn't get to meet their participants yet), and a few remarks by the head professional, the tournament was underway. We were scheduled to start on the first hole. Alright, today should be a no brainer: we (me and the other caddie) already know these guys, we know what to look for, and we know how to talk to them. Simple.

But they threw us a bit of a curve. One of the players had been having some back problems after yesterday's round, and had decided to ride in the cart for today.

Okay, we can work with this. We'll just throw another bag on that cart and have one caddie take care of the two guys on the cart while the other carries two bags. And just to switch it up and give the guy carrying two bags a break after nine, we'll switch roles on the back side. Sounds logical, right?

Nope. Turns out Mr. Whiner had insisted on putting his bag on the cart, and by the middle of the second hole I had no idea what the hell was going on anymore.

The problem was that Mr. Whiner was a bit of a "high-maintenance" player. Holy crap I'm just as surprised as you are. Being a "high-maintenance" player means that whoever was taking care of the cart had to do an enormous amount of running in order to satisfy Mr. Whiner. Yeah, that was me for the first two holes. Mr. Whiner never took any clubs with him, even after you gave him the yardage and he was standing RIGHT next to his clubs. He would just walk over to his ball and attempt to smile. And you know, it really wasn't even a smile what he was doing. It was more like the face you make when you're trying to make a farting sound with your lips. Yeah, that was his attempt at a smile.

"It's 147 to the front and 167 to the flag Mr. Whiner."

(farting face) "Tom, could you bring me an 8-iron?"

"Sir, you're standing right next to your bag."

"Well of course. But going into my bag would require that I lift THIS ARM. And I'll be damned if I'm going to strain THIS ARM before I hit this gorgeous 8-iron. Get over here you little bitch."

Yeah. What a great couple of holes those were. Fortunately, halfway up the 2nd fairway Mr. Nice-Guy realized the problem the caddies were having in trying to figure out how far we should jam that 8-iron up Mr. Whiner's ass. So Mr. Nice-Guy came up with a great solution. One caddie carry two bags while the other carry Mr. Whiner's clubs and forecaddie for the guy in the cart.

So by the 3rd hole things were finally working out. I was carrying two bags, and despite attempts by the other caddie to lighten my load after 9, I declined. Two reasons: first, we've already established that Mr. Whiner is "high-maintenance." So having one caddie concentrate a good portion of their efforts just on him is the thing to do. I don't want to pinch hit halfway through the round when the other caddie seems to be getting along with this guy. Keeping the other caddie on that bag can only help our tip. The second reason was because of me. At this point in my career as a caddie, I HATE going from two bags to one or vice-versa. I just get into a great rhythm and I get screwed up for a couple of holes if I have to switch. Plus, I was really getting along with my players. I don't want to give them up! They're mine! And that's sad. Now I can easily understand why professional player's and their caddies go into couples counseling from time to time to help work out their differences. You get so close and start to rely on each other so much. It's bittersweet, really.

Sorry. Guess I blacked-out there for a minute. So what else happened. Oh wow. Almost forgot. On the first hole, I talked in a player's backswing, and just like Tiger, the guy stopped his follow-thru just before impact and stared at me. Shit. I just bit onto my towel and hung my head in shame for a few minutes. I apologized when I was washing his ball, and he seemed cool about it, but I still felt like a dick. And boy oh boy, the other caddie would NOT let it go.

"Oh yeah Tom? Well at least I don't talk in people's backswings."

Jerk. But I did deserve it. I got him back though. On the 8th he was halfway up the fairway and the player on the cart had to drive out and catch up to him because he had forgotten to give his player a DRIVER to use off of the tee. Boy that was an amateurish move. And I made sure to rub that in the rest of the day. That was fun. I've learned very quickly that caddies are extremely good at policing themselves. They do not let anything slide. And they do not forget anything, either.

There were lots of opportunities on the first 5 or 6 holes for hand-slapping. I felt like The Waterboy. Slap hands! Slap hands! Every good shot became fair game for a hand-slap. It was fun for me because up until that point, I thought Mr. Nice-Guy was a little too distinguished to slap somebody's hand in celebration.

And it's good we got all of those hand slaps in early. Because they really shit all over the back nine. On 14, all four of them carded a 7. I'll just leave it at that. But what I will say, which may sound a little weird, is that I absolutely love it when Mr. Nice-Guy says the word "fuck." Again, I think it's the distinguished image, but when he hits a stupid shot or just barely misses a 4-footer, there's nothing funnier. The word comes out low and resonates through your bones. I think Lewis Black is the only person who could top it. He's almost 70, and I think a little senility may be setting in, so when he says it there's this great expression on his face like he knows his instinct is right in saying the word, but he's still trying to figure it out upstairs. I'll have to try and figure out some discreet way to record it someday so you guys can enjoy it too. I mean, of course it's better to actually witness it in person, but I think you'd get a great idea of what I see by just hearing the sound. Oh it's great.

So that was pretty much it for today. Some great things are starting to happen: my course management skills are improving exponentially, and I'm starting to be able to walk a player through a hole and show him where the best place is to play his next shot from. I'm also noticing that I'm starting to hustle out of habit, and not because I'm still a little nervous about caddying. I'll run every which way without another thought. Today I looked back towards the 17th tee and couldn't even recall how fast I was moving to get to where I was standing. I could barely remember running at all. It was weird. Not sure if this is making any sense, but I think I'm starting to develop a routine or perhaps a little of my own style. So that's cool. So the team may not have finished as well as they would've liked, but it still went very well. I guess it really helped that I wasn't involved with Mr. Whiner after the 2nd hole.

Although, now that I think about it, he still made me clean his balls the whole round. That little bastard. And yeah, that last comment did sound pretty bad. So I'll stop there. Take it easy everyone.

6 comments:

Temple said...

I found out about your site from an article by Tim McDonald on travelgolf.com. I enjoyed the first post so much that I read each one back through 04/28 "The little bitch that couldn't" and laughed throughout. I have a friend who caddies on tour and am often jealous of all the funny ass stories he always has to tell. Keep it up and I'll keep reading!

Jam Boy said...

Wow. Thank you so much for alerting me to this article. I had no idea. For all those who are curious, Click here.

Wow.

MB said...

"Get over here you little bitch."

...classic! Ha ha haaaaa!

Anonymous said...

Also found your page on travelgolf.com. I've read most of them and look forward to keeping up each day. Your stories absolutely crack me up. I've passed the page on to a bunch of people that will appreciate it.

trainer said...

Read your rave reviews, fowarded by a caddie wanna-be. Way to go. Hope you get Mr. Whiner again soon, I have a pro at your home course I'd like to send them to.

Shanks said...

Jam boy, you're killing me!! Your blogs are laugh-out-loud funny. I swear, HBO ought to do a show on this stuff similar to The Entourage.

Travelgolf.com tipped me to this site. Now it's a couple days later and I've read everything on it. People in my office think I'm crazy, laughing like a hyena while they're working their asses off. Personally, I think it's even better since you went to stream-of-consciousness writing style. I look forward to the next installment on your caddy life.