Friday, September 02, 2005

Back In The Saddle

Alright. So I’m back in the saddle. Back to the full-time schedule. The Grind.

And man does it hurt.

It’s amazing how hard it is to carry two bags for 36 holes after a week-and-a-half off. I would’ve thought that after all of the hard work I’ve done, day in and day out, that I would be in good enough shape to handle just about anything that was thrown at me. Guess not.

And my eyes are doing well. I guess my only concern nowadays is that my eyes aren’t healing up the way they should. Apparently I should be DONE with all the drops and be pretty much back to normal by now. My doctor says not to worry, as long as I “take it easy” and use lots of drops. But I mean come on. It’s windy out there. There’s all kinds of crap flying into my eyes. One of the caddies I work with suggested wearing those wrap-around basketball goggles while I caddie to block out pretty much EVERYTHING. While not such a bad idea, I wonder how that would look. I have these swim-goggle looking things sitting on my dresser that were supposed to be used after my surgery for sleeping. And I did use them. I mean, I always managed to rip them off midway through the night and throw them across the room, but I used them. Maybe I’ll bring them in tomorrow, just to see how they go over with the rest of the caddies. Maybe I could get away with caddying in them. I’m sure it would be hilarious. Well, that and my eyes would finally be protected. I’ll have to think about it.

So let’s see. The last two days. Well, today was just your average day. Well, wait. I guess there were two things worth noting. First off, I was a dumbass again and decided not to lighten up the bags I was carrying. And secondly, I was guilty of “trying to be jolly” when I was really in no mood to try and entertain. Well, the guys were all humorless-voids anyway, but I was still stupid for trying to act like today was a normal day.

One more thing I noticed: when I’m really tired and sore from the day before, I get very “upset” when I’m carrying for “beginners” the following day. Because I’m struggling enough as it is to keep up, and then these guys are all over the place and I appear as if I’m a bad caddie because I can’t get over to my players’ in time with their clubs.

When in reality, one of the players’ is on one side of the hole, the other is on the other side, and they’re consistently hitting their balls in offsetting patterns. One will hit it a long way, and the other will whiff it four times so I have to hang by the whiffer and see if he needs another club before I can get over to the other player. And then when I get over to Mr. Longballs, he whiffs it into the hazard and argues with me about where to drop while the other player is standing next to his ball wondering why the hell I can’t be there giving him a yardage.

And at one point today, I just wanted to throw the bags down, drop to my knees and beg for mercy. It was emotional. When you’re a dumbass like me and you forget to change out two really heavy bags, by the 14th hole you can feel your shoulders start to separate from your neck and it takes every ounce of your strength to keep the bags on your shoulders. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to be able to do 36 tomorrow. And I really don’t have any way around it. There aren’t enough caddies as it is, so even IF every caddie pulls a double, there are still two or three groups that are waiting to go out (the Superintendents have been making some major changes to the course so no carts are allowed). That means the only way a player can go out on the course is if they take a caddie. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a GREAT rule, and I know it definitely made me some money this summer. But right now, I wish some of those members would carry their own bags. It’s about time they realized what somebody might actually have to carry out there. Just as my boss pointed out before, it’s possible for some of these members to go through life without ever having carried their own bag. Hence, they have no idea how far they’ve stuck their dick up your ass already. I can only hope these bags tomorrow have wings attached to them. Either that or the players had better be scratch golfers. I’m not so sure I can last if they aren’t.

Wow I am WHINING right now. I had forgotten what it was like to write when I’m tired. Moving along.

As I mentioned before, yesterday I pulled a double. Now, the second round was fairly uneventful. I was caddying for the doctor who performed my Lasik surgery, and so really all I had to do was pretend to laugh at his jokes and tell his son that the Ferrari shirt that he had on was “cool.” I mean, don’t get me wrong. I like the cars, but I’ve never seen somebody wear a shirt that had the Ferrari logo on it before. Seems a little Nascar-ish.

The round that made the most impact on me was my first loop in the morning. I was carrying one bag, and it was one of the most challenging rounds I’ve had to date. Why was it so challenging? The guy was extremely fast, he was a good stick so I actually had to be dead on with my yardages and he demanded the best service I had to offer.

“Fix that mark.”

“Yes sir.”

“How far is it to that bunker?”

“Well, to the opening it’s about—“

“No, I didn’t ask how far it was to the opening. How far is it to the bunker?”

“186.”

“You need to learn to speak up. Say that again?”

“186. Sir.”

“Where do you see this putt going?”

“Aim two balls left.”

“You think this is going right? I don’t believe you. Really LOOK at the nose on the left. It doesn’t come into play as much as you’d think.”

And then he’d make the putt. This went on for 7 holes. After the 7th, as we were walking over to the tee, he stops me.

“Now I want you to go up to the halfway house and get me a water. While you’re up there, I want you to get yourself a water and anything else you’d like. Sandwich, candy bar, whatever. Just put it on my tab and they’ll take care of you.”

Wow. Thanks.

And while we’re walking down the 8th fairway, he started to warm up. Not very much, but just enough to show me that he really meant well. He just didn’t know how to show it. Or something like that.

“You’ll have to forgive me for not being friendlier with you. I just like to play fast and I have a meeting to get to later today. I want to make sure we make good time. And one more thing: if you’re ever feeling tired, thirsty, whatever. Don’t feel embarrassed to tell me. The way I see it, the caddie is the most important thing out here. I want to make sure you’re taken care of.”

You see, that’s the kind of thing I can’t get enough of out here. Tough-as-nails businessmen who know exactly what they want AND care about the caddies’ welfare. I mean sure, tough businessmen are a dime-a-dozen around here. So are members who really care about the caddies. But it’s extremely rare to run into a member who puts it all together.

I responded honestly: “I really appreciate that. But to be honest, I also really appreciate you pushing me a little today. Call me a Sadist, but I just really enjoy working hard and being challenged out here. It’s easy to fall into a rhythm and slack off. Many of the other caddies enjoy that. But I don’t. So trust me, I’m fine right now. This is great.”

And now that I look over what I had said to him, two things hit me. Firstly, I’m wondering if I used “Sadist” in the right context. Not really sure if I did. And I only care because I was talking to a successful businessman and I’ve heard they all have HUGE vocabularies. Secondly, I shouldn’t make any generalizations about my brothers in arms. Who knows, they may like a hard days’ work as much as I do.

But he seemed to enjoy my statement and it showed the rest of the round. He was asking for reads, my opinion on shot selection and even asked where I went to school. Maybe not a big thing to some people, but coming from this guy, I felt privileged.

I’m also wondering how much I really “enjoy a hard days’ work” when I’m sitting here bitching and moaning about how awful I feel right now. Hmmm.

On 11, he made another request.

“I feel my blood pressure going down. I need to raise it a bit. So do you. So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to take a couple clubs from you, and you’re going back to the halfway house to get two bags’ of chips, one for me and one for you. You’re also going to get me a lemon-lime Gatorade and get yourself one as well. I’ll meet you on the 12th fairway.”

Again, an incredibly nice gesture, but my round just got a little more complex. I already have three waters in my bib, and now he wants two bags’ of chips and two Gatorades? Where does he think I’m going to put all that stuff?

But it all got done, and I was blown away by the tip. Incredible for one bag. I really hope I get that guy again soon. The money is nice, but I’m starting to feel that unless I can be challenged once in a while as a caddie, I will lose interest in it entirely. I can remember how excited I was learning how to caddie and finally graduate to carrying two bags. But once you get used to caddying, much of it becomes second nature to you. So nothing really surprises you anymore. I needed that last loop to get me focused and excited about caddying again. Take care everyone.

7 comments:

rellimcire said...

You wanted the word "masochist" -- someone who likes hurting himself. Not "sadist" -- someone who likes to hurt others.

I'm really enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work.

Jam Boy said...

Thanks man. Crap. Hope that guy doesn't think I'm an idiot. But I mean come on...how often can you really use one of those words in daily conversation? Almost never. Ahh well. Hope to hear from you again man.

Jeff said...

Good piece today and take care of your eyes... you only have two. :-)

dave said...

I worry about the eye thing. Sometimes you don't seem to worry enough about the eyes.

Enjoyed it and especially the part you call WHINING.

It is nice when it seems everything clicks into place. Doesn't happen too often……..

Matt said...

Allow me to reiterate what's been said here. You've got a very entertaining style of writing and I look forward to following along in the future.

your other mother said...

just a bit too long winded, my friend. can you make it more of a novel instead of a long long narrative? how about bringing the reader into it instead of just relating your day. Make the reader feel your thirst, and feel your shoulders ripping apart from the weight. Can you do that???

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