TCO: the epilogue

4 06 2010

Well, it was a tough couple of days at the office for Team Benedictson and, to keep it short, Brian didn’t make the cut at the Times Colonist Open. Yesterday his putter was not so much cold as deep frozen and if you throw in some horrible lies and some downright evil luck (hitting the flag stick with his approach shot on the penultimate hole of the day and the ball ricocheting forty feet away would be a good example), his score of 76 was about as good as he could have got. Pretty much the only bright light was finishing with a birdie 2 on the 203 yard 9th hole, his 18th.

My own performance couldn’t have done much to help Brian either. This was definitely more nerve wracking than anything I’d experienced on the Golden State Tour or in the practice round on Wednesday. Players’ names being announced on the first tee and a gallery following our group was just the start. I had to learn the etiquette of caddying through on the job training. I’m sure it looks easy on TV, but those caddies on the PGA Tour are really working hard. Divots to replace, bunkers to rake, balls to clean, bags to move out of player’s line of sight, yardages to work out and confirm, wind direction to verify – phew, I feel tired just thinking about it. Thank goodness Brian (wisely) left me out of green reading operations. I felt as if I was running around like a one-armed paper hanger and would be surprised if my anxiety didn’t transmit itself to Brian. He never once complained, though – even when I discovered half way down the 12th fairway that I’d lost the club quietener (towel). Luckily, one of the other caddies had a spare which he lent me for the remainder of the round. (Even more luckily, last night I found a replacement white towel – they have to be white, apparently – on the back of the bathroom door at my son’s apartment. Sorry, Joe – I’ll get you a new one for your birthday). What with dropping Brian’s favourite Chico State headcover about four times as well, I’m surprised I wasn’t given the pink slip at the end of the round – if not before.

Anyway, today went much better. I still had trouble with the Chico head cover (I finished up stuffing the bloody thing in the bottom of Brian’s bag) but otherwise I was much more employable. Brian obviously knew that his chances of making the cut were remote and perhaps as a result he was able to relax and play some decent golf. The putter still didn’t co-operate fully, but he hit some delightful chips and monster drives (including just about driving the par 4 10th). A one over par 71 left him T109 (out of a full field of 156) but he’d certainly salvaged some pride as well as confidence. We went to the clubhouse for lunch and a drink with his family after the round, and it was obvious his mum and dad were proud of him. To show composure and generosity to other players when you’ve had a tough two days shows real class, in my opinion, so hats off to Mr and Mrs B – you’ve raised a fine son!

It only remained for Brian to tell me that I’d (somehow) passed the audition and that my services would indeed be required in Edmonton at the end of this month and Saskatoon the following week (yippee!). In the meantime he’s heading down to the States to try to prequalify for a Nationwide event in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He’s also signed a contract to sell his Swinkey training aid through a large chain of golf stores in Canada and the U.S. and, judging by the number of players using it on the range at Uplands this week, it’s a pretty handy device.

I did have one more embarrassing caddie mishap to recount but I realise that I can’t, just can’t, commit it to paper just yet. It was that bad…

Maybe all will be revealed in a future post but, until then, this is Bagger Dave saying “keep it out of the love grass!”

Dave B.

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8 responses

5 06 2010
Glen Livet

Just a minute Bugger, sorry Bagger, you may have forgotten you borrowed my putter before you left and obviously put it in Brian’s bag. Better there than in my bag anyway.
Sad to hear about not making the cut and glad to hear you made the caddying cut, well done. Love to hear these stories, better than the News of the World!!
When you return we will have to go on a road trip to some real courses, Gold River and Port Alice where men are men and women think they are too. We’ll take the rv and a couple of other idiots. Should fit in well up there.
By the way, I hear that Julie has installed a phone in your doghouse at home now.

5 06 2010
Bagger Dave

Sounds like a plan, Peter. I obviously didn’t put your driver in Brian’s bag – you and I could add our best drives together and he’d still outdrive us!

Talk to you soon (I got the phone message).

D.

5 06 2010
Martin

Hi Dave. Enjoyed the post. Sorry to read that Brian didn’t make the cut. He’s an amazing young man. I remember when he first started and went SO many tournaments without playing the final days. It takes a lot of fortitude to keep going in those circumstances. Your performance on the bag couldn’t have been that bad or he’d not have asked you to return. Maybe he just likes company though. Keep up the good work and the posts coming. Enjoying them immensely.
Martin

5 06 2010
Bagger Dave

The only reason I can think of for Brian keeping me on the bag is that he has a well developed sense of humour, Martin…

D.

5 06 2010
the great robinsky

Good job Bagger! Despite your own vision of your ineptitude, it is obvious that Brian doesn’t see it that way as he has invited you back. I don’t really understand why his putter wasn’t working though when his caddy could have helped him in that regard. Why didn’t you show him the patented Brooker method of jabbing furiously at the ball in hopes that it might drop in? I know you have helped me on the course and so I’m sure Brian would be open to the Brooker school of jabbing. If he refuses to model his putting after yours tell him to drink a fifth of scotch just before the game. I know that method works for me. I may not be a better putter but after the drink sinks in I really don’t give a damn. Anyways that’s my 2 cents worth. Good work, Bagger…see you back at the Glacier.

5 06 2010
Bagger Dave

Great to hear from you, Robin! I trust your trip to Urquhart Castle went well and that Sandy is delighted with her kilt. BTW, the only reason you like my putting is because it makes yours look pretty good! Brian would be looking for a new career if he took putting advice from me…

D.

17 06 2010
Mike Brooker

I ain’t never done this modern blogging stuff before. Is it blogging?
Anyways, I played golf at our works golf day today. I played last year, too, and the regular application is beginning to pay off.
My chairman was in the three with me. He seemed to be amused by my wit for the front nine, but he didn’t reply much towards the end.
What prompted me to contribute was the Brooker jab, referred to above: I suspect it’s hereditary.
I’m told that a consistent approach is important for successful golf, so I use this technique for driving and approach work, too.

17 06 2010
Bagger Dave

Glad to hear you’re practising, Mike. Glen is particularly keen to take some of your English pounds off you when you visit, although he’d probably take any currency that can be converted into beer.

As far as consistency in golf is concerned, I’m afraid you’re talking to the wrong feller. My new motto is “embrace the unexpected”. It has led to a few potentially embarrassing situations off the golf course, but has helped me deal with the humiliation that seems to be part and parcel of my game these days.

(Brotherly) Love,

Dave

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