8 02 2010

I could never caddy for my mate John. His nickname of El Bandito Juan is as well earned as the money he takes off Glen, Robin and me every Saturday morning. It’s not, of course, that he actually cheats. It’s just that he nearly always plays to his handicap (4) and we, er, don’t. So standing on the tee murmuring ‘shot’ as he booms yet another drive down the fairway can get rather tedious. In fact, the only time I can ever detect a weakness in his game is when he’s my partner…

John’s younger brother Barry (aka Bazza) is a horse of a different colour. It’s not entirely fair to call him a hacker (he, like me, is an honest – i.e. not very good – 10 hcp) but let’s just say neither of us are likely to make the PGA Tour anytime soon. He also suffers from the same sad delusion as his brother – that Liverpool will actually win the Premier League in their lifetime. Obviously a genetic defect. However, Bazza does have the advantage of a well paid job with  perks such as playing in the occasional Pro-Am golf event. In a moment of weakness, not long after my ignominious caddying debut with Hacker George, Barry invited me to caddy for him at a Pro-Am LPGA event at Point Grey in Vancouver. (More likely, I begged, whined and offered bribes, but the exact details of my hiring escape me now, although I’m pretty sure alcohol was involved).

Anyway, long story short, we got to stay in a fancy hotel and went to a banquet where amateurs were paired with the pros. Annika Sorenstam was in the field, so were Karrie Webb,  Lorena Ochoa, Laura Davies and a host of others. I was mildly disappointed that we were paired with a lady called Deb Richard, about whom I knew absolutely nothing. She turned out to be brilliant, both as a golfer and a person. She expressed genuine interest in Barry’s job (an impressive feat, as Bazza works for a firm of extortionists, er financiers, who specialise in pay day loans). She and her caddie Tom chatted quite happily to me, even when I talked in her backswing, trod on her line of putt or picked up Tom’s bag by mistake. It was interesting to see that her drives weren’t much longer than Barry’s – maybe 230-240 yards – but her approach shots invariably found the putting surface whereas Barry’s went where mid to high handicappers’ are supposed to go –  bushes and bunkers, mostly.

The low point of my round was when I was talking to a couple of people behind the ropes on the 15th fairway, when they told me my player wanted something. ‘Yeah, OK Bazza, I’ll be with you in a  minute.’ There were gales of laughter as I realised that he, Deb and Tom were on the green, 100 yards ahead, and I still had Barry’s bag with me. Oops! Barry’s low point came on the 18th green, when he actually had a putt for birdie, albeit a tricky, downhill 15 footer. He took a practice putt and Tom shouted ‘No! Way too much! Just give it the shadow!’ Bazza obviously didn’t quite get the gist – sure enough, the putt went past the hole, off the green and nearly into the pond. ‘That’s good, Barry. Pick it up!’, said Deb, classy to the end.

I can’t say it was a stellar caddying performance on my part, but I did at least manage to last 18 holes this time and didn’t actually get fired. Progress is being made!

(To be continued).

Dave B.




6 responses

8 02 2010

Hi Dave,
Thoroughly enjoyed the post and look forward to the next. Loved the paragraphs regarding John. It’s wonderful to watch the two of you interacting even though my experiences have usually been limited to the Red, White and Blue.
Keep up the good work re the caddying. I will be watching for your entries on the blog.

8 02 2010
Bagger Dave

Thanks, Martin. Let’s make sure we play sometime soon (I need more ammunition for when you appear in a future blog!)


8 02 2010

Could John’s athletic physique have anything to do with his low handicap? Perhaps now that you are retired you could work on developing a six pack (of abs, not beer). Even as a caddie, some core strength could aid your ‘work’ carrying a real golfer’s bag around.

8 02 2010
Bagger Dave

Thanks for subscribing, Smuds. To answer your question: No. It’s just pure luck on John’s part. Anyway, I’ve been building up my core strength by carrying a big bag of cookies around…in my stomach.



10 02 2010
Barry Ringstead

As the individual whose character, golfing ability and football team are being much maligned in this article I have to say that it is outrageously and blatantly accurate. However, Dave did fail to mention that all the greens were as fast as a snooker table and that the final putt on the 18th was a frightening downhiller. I hardly touched the damn thing!

We did indeed have a really great two days and we can both boast that as we were walking up the 18th fairway the worlds best woman golfer, Annika Sorenstam, was walking down the 1st. Very cool.

As to Dave’s blossoming caddying career, all I can say is if you’re not playing too well at least you’ll have a great companion carrying your clubs, even if it does mean it will take twice as long to complete the round!

11 02 2010
Bagger Dave

Tee Hee. Thanks, Bazza. “Outrageously and blatantly accurate”! I have to steal that phrase – it’s killer.
Your comments should be worth an extra stroke on your ‘cap in this year’s R,W and B.

All da best.


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