Er, I’m a caddie…

3 03 2010

The Golden State Tour had an 18 hole tournament at El Camino Golf and Country Club, Oceanside, Ca on Monday. On Sunday I drove to the course and walked the 18 holes, jotting down notes about each hole, not really knowing what I was doing but figuring that was what a caddie would do. I introduced myself to Mike, the gentleman who runs the tour, and explained who I was and my hopes for caddying. He seemed somewhat doubtful. ‘These guys don’t have a whole lot of money and if they have a caddie it’s usually family or a friend’, he said, ‘but good luck anyway’.

The next day I was back at 7:15 a.m, ready for the first group who were teeing off at 8:06. I introduced myself politely, offered my services and was equally politely turned down. After an hour or so of mostly polite refusals plus the occasional ‘Huh?’ I changed my plan to offering a no-fee-unless-you’re-in-the-money service. Still no luck. I hadn’t suffered so much rejection since inviting three different girls out to a party when I was 15 and getting turned down by all three.
 
Finally, at 12:09, in the second to last group of the day, a young man named Stan took pity on me and my caddying career got off to a flying start when we birdied the first hole. Unfortunately, he then hooked O.B. on #3 and made double. (Note how it’s ‘we’ when we do well and ‘he’ when he messes up. I think I’ve got the hang of this caddying lark pretty quickly.)
 
Long story short, Stan finished on one over par, just missing a birdie putt on #18 which would have put him in the money. I guess I must have done ok, and stuck reasonably well to my ‘show up, keep up, shut up’ mantra, because Stan asked me to caddie for him again in a 54 hole event starting Wednesday at Lake Elsinore, fifty miles or so up Interstate 15, which is how I come to be writing this in McDonald’s at 8:00 a.m. after sleeping in my camper van overnight in the Walmart parking lot. Hey, it’s a glamorous life being a caddie!
 
By the way, if you’re British and of a certain age you’ll like the fact that Stan’s last name is Matthews. If you don’t get the reference, you’re probably North American and you’ll need to talk to any middle aged Brit, who should be able to tell you all about the great Sir Stanley (hint: soccer).
 
Finally, the Links at Summerly – to give the Lake Elsinore course its full name – is a wonderful links style course, which cost me $29 to play yesterday, including cart. Beat that! I played with a pro named David who was practising for the 54 hole event. He hit the ball beautifully, gave generous praise to my occasional decent shot and also gave me two good quotes: ‘You gotta remember, Dave, that most guys on this tour don’t plan on being here very long’ and ‘90% of golf is mental; the other 10% is mental, too’.
 
All da best.
 
Dave B.
 
P.S. The fact that most of  today’s blog is italicised is not a literary device for dramatic effect. I just pushed a wrong key somewhere. (Note to Barry: help!)
 
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12 responses

3 03 2010
John

Don’t forget to locate a copy of “To the Links Land”. You will find it a great read as it is written by a journalist from the east coast of the states who decided to “bag it” for a year on the European Tour.

By the way congrats on getting a “bag”!!!

3 03 2010
Bagger Dave

Thanks, John – I plan on reading it as soon as I get back. I hope all is well with the house and I also hope you’ve coerced/sweet talked the band into a gig chez Brooker on June 26th. The money won’t be great, but we’ll be pretty generous with the food and beer.

All da best.

Dave

3 03 2010
peter dobbs

I notice you have yet to find the frozen package of cod that I left in your vehicle. Maybe I left it in your golf bag , that would explain why your game stinks eheheh.
Don’t forget to ask for senior prices down there.

3 03 2010
Bagger Dave

Having slept in the van for the past two nights since leaving Aurele’s and not having caught up with the laundry yet, I’m not sure the smell of fish will get much of a look in. Thanks for reminding me of that infamous episode, Peter; your outrageous behaviour on and off the course will be dealt with in a future blog, for cod’s sake…

Dave

3 03 2010
Glennie

Don’t forget to count the clubs!
I hear that 90% of the game is caddy and 10% player. Bring him home!

3 03 2010
Bagger Dave

We had the right number of clubs, Glennie, but in my opinion way too many irons. Stan seems to think that a 5 iron is for hitting the ball 200 yards with, as opposed to retrieving lost balls from creeks, which is obviously its true purpose. If things don’t improve quickly tomorrow I’m going to smuggle the 9 wood into the bag. If the game is indeed 90% caddie, that would explain why we were four over par today…

Dave

3 03 2010
Martin

Bagger Dave! What a beauty post this time! Came running downstairs in the altogether this morning, hoping and praying for another post from the Bagger. It was not a pretty sight I can tell you.
Really enjoyed your notes about the efforts made getting in on the game. Perseverance pays Dave and you are persistent. I’ve noticed that from the way you bug us all at the Red, White and Blue.
Anyway, great to read that you guided your first pro into the money and played with another. There’ll be no keeping up to you when you return to Glacier Greens.
As for Stanley Matthews, if your pro gets to play as long as Stan the Brit and as well as him, you should hang on to him, for he’ll be a gold mine to you. Check out the link.

All the best.
Martin

3 03 2010
Bagger Dave

Thanks for the praise and the youtube link, Martin, but the image of you running downstairs in your birthday suit made me somewhat queasy. Don’t forget that Ben is likely to read this. My Stan Mathews had never heard of THE Stan Mathews and I’m not sure my efforts to educate him helped much. After today’s round the gold mine is looking like it has petered out.

Cheers,

Dave

3 03 2010
Robin

Way to go Bagger. Your first gig! And almost in the money too. If you keep it up, I know that Tiger will be looking for a new caddie soon. I’ll put in a good word for you next time I see him. Also you will be happy to know that when Glennie, John and I played today the old Robin surfaced…..4 doubles! Damn. Any ways we missed you ( I could tell that when several times I heard Glenn say to John “You have Brookered it”. Good luck Bagger….p.s I can’t believe that you actually kept quiet on the course.

4 03 2010
Ben

Nice work, DB…the quest has started on the right foot. Way to persevere!

BHD

PS..you’re right – Dad in birthday suit was not the image I wanted.

4 03 2010
Bandito Juan

Hi Dave, through great perseverance I managed to track down your blog. I’m afraid that whatever improvement in Glennie’s or Robin’s game were made in Vegas were shredded by the flight back home. Our house is going great guns but it is unlikely we will be in by April. Any fans come out to see the tourney’s that you are caddying? Any web sites we can go to to see the tour? I read the EPL has “sensibly” tossed out the idea of a playoff for fourth place. Stan Mathews would have approved. Stay well. I’ll send you photos of the house.
Adios, BJ

4 03 2010
Bagger Dave

Hi John. Glad to hear the house is going well. Sorry to hear of Glenny and Robin’s lapse in form; it’s probably down to their playing partner.

Excluding caddies (who are mostly family and friends) I would say the attendance at the average Golden State Tour event is approximately nil. The GST does have its own website, which will include up to date results. Look out for Brett Bingham – I’m caddying for him tomorrow.

Cheers,

Dave

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