And now for something completely different…

5 02 2010

Hi. My name is Dave Brooker. I retired last June after over thirty years of teaching high school French, Spanish and German. “And now,” I said to myself as I walked out of school for the final time, “for something completely different”. I know I was guilty of  plagiarising Monty Python but, hey, I’m 56, I’m British and I’m allowed.

In my case, the “completely different” was to take up a career I’d been thinking about for ages: to be a golf caddie. I’m fit and sociable and I love playing golf, although my 10 handicap is based more on dogged determination (and creative accountancy) than skill. I read somewhere once that the caddie’s mantra is “show up, keep up, shut up” but, when I shared this information – and my career aspirations – with my golfing buddies, Glen, Robin and John, immediate concensus was reached: there was every possibility that I could achieve the first two on the list – and no chance whatsoever that I could manage the third. It is true that I like to talk – often during John’s backswing (more of El Bandito Juan and his 4 handicap later) –  but in my defence it’s usually something positive and/or constructive. Just slightly mistimed, maybe…

As it happens, my first foray into caddying was somewhat embarrassing for all concerned and might make you wonder why I’m determined to choose this particular profession. Let me describe what happened: there’s a local event in the Comox Valley here in Beautiful British Columbia (as the provincial government insists it be named) called the Tillicum that takes place every August . It’s a tournament known for a prize table that is generous to low and high handicappers alike. I failed to win a prize one year when I putted out of bounds, but that’s another story. The following year my friend George, who belongs to the high handicapper category (more stratospheric, really), was playing (for him) pretty decent golf. We figured that, with a handicap of 32, three rounds of 100 or so would be sure to see him in the prizes and so he paid his entry fee. All he had to do was employ me as a caddie, listen to my sage advice and success was assured! After nine holes of the first round George was 19 over par, having resolutely ignored every single club selection and every piece of course management that I had offered, along with my suggestion that while a beer on the first tee wasn’t a bad idea “to calm his nerves”, another one on tees 2 through 9 was possibly overdoing it. I resigned on the ninth green, after his second successive four putt,  a split second before I was fired “for being a spoilsport”. Two and a half days later, George had the last laugh when he won a $300 patio heater in the draw prizes.

(By the way, George, if you don’t want me to reveal the true story of your alter ego Cap’n Dave in a future blog, you might want to mail me my share of the winnings – say, 10% ?).

Funnily enough, this didn’t deter me from the idea of caddying at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’d heard of a Scottish caddie running away down the fairway with a selection of woods in his hands when his player didn’t want to lay up on a tricky par 5. I wanted to be that caddie! Now all I had to do was find the right player…

(To be continued)




2 responses

8 02 2010

So…the journey begins! I look forward to the updates!

8 02 2010
Bagger Dave

Cheers, Ben. No apology needed for your birdie on #8 – I think you actually made it first. I’m looking forward to a blow by blow account tomorrow of how you played #3!


I’ve grasped the tag thing, but failed to find ‘What’s in the bag?’ Talk to you tomorrow…

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