The 4th of July to Me

By Michael CollinsJuly 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
I caddied for George (Lopez) on Tuesday. David Feherty had a golf tournament at the Chevy Chase Country Club called Fehertys IED of Golf: An Improvised Explosive Day presented by Troops First Foundation.
Jason Gore, Rod Pampling, Tom Watson and Frank Lickliter II were the PGA TOUR pros. Feherty, Lopez, Leeann Tweeden (guys, seriously, Google her if you dont know), and Tubby Smith (who I found out used to recruit in my hometown when he was an assistant coach at VCU) were the celebs.
George Lopez, David Feherty and company
George, David and company.
The day began with a chipping demonstration by Watson, but believe me when I tell you, do NOT let Tom ever become a teacher, great concepts for amateurs but BAD habits. The honest truth is a great short game is not teachable. You either have the touch of a skilled massage therapist or you have the touch of a lumberjack trying to do needle point. To prove this point, earlier in the morning when we were having breakfast chatting with Leeann, she mentioned to George and I how terrified she was hitting in front of people and how at one event she walked down the fairway after they announced her name to avoid throwing up. Oooops! George and I may not be the best people to tell that to before a chipping demo.
So while Watson is doing his thing, George sneaks over and tells Feherty to announce Leeann will chip next to demonstrate what Watson was just teaching. Of course, Watson chips in and the small crowd finishes clapping. And then: And now Leeann will come up and demonstrate. Now when I say she shrunk six inches right there it seriously looked like she turn into a dwarf. Too bad there was no where to hide and now the crowd is urging her on.
Sometimes its fun to get a really hot girl to give you the stink eye cause she realized you burned her. Its even funnier when she shanks a chip and makes a sound man jump a foot off the ground to avoid the screaming meemie golf orb traveling at an angle and speed my high school geometry teacher said wasnt possible! Two more shanks and Watson steps in to help. Three more shanks... Thats Tom Watson Golf School, only $8 dollars for a full day of short game lessons and you too are guaranteed to get the ball four inches off the ground while it travels Mach 5 at a 70-degree angle towards the cart you just parked on the other side of the green! Man my cheeks were hurting and we hadnt even teed off.
We were playing with armed service men and women who have combat wounds. Now losing an arm or a leg is not a wound; its a life change. And these heroes are telling George and I how they want to go back to Afghanistan to fight some more. David said these guys dont want sympathy, they want comedy, so on the first tee one of our guys who lost his left arm is putting on a specially designed prosthetic to hold the club and I say, I guess the one with the stiff shaft is for those quiet, alone times. It was the longest two seconds of silence I have ever experienced, then he turns and belly laughs along with everyone else in our group and says, Yeah but that one is ALOT longer!
And thats how the day went. The other kid (and he was a kid) who was playing had his right leg shot off from the knee down. He was told he should only wear his new leg at physical therapy. He said, Its my leg! You cant give a chick fake boobs and ask her only to wear them in the office. Thats not what was actually said but its the cleanest version I am allowed to tell yall. Two guys were driving carts for the group. One had half of his left leg missing; the other had been shot twice while tending to his buddy. All of them were in the same battalion and all of them would do it again in a second for our country AND each other.
Feherty got a special promotion to Private First Class, which is funny cause every time we see each other on the course thats exactly where we try and hit each other, and he cried something terrible trying to tell the guys what it meant to him. Sometimes it takes a citizen who wasnt born in this country to help us appreciate what we have here. David said something that put a lump in my throat, too: We hear so much in the news in this country about everyone hating America, but believe me, Ive been all around the world, if everyone hated America so much why are they all trying to get here?
Wow.... Have a great 4th of July weekend everyone, God Bless America.
p.s.: I took the picture thats why Im not in it ya knuckleheads!
Editor's note: Michael Collins has been a stand-up comedian for 15 years and has more than seven years experience as a professional caddie. He currently covers the PGA TOUR as a correspondent with XM Satellite Radio and takes his turn on The Turn Mondays on GOLF CHANNEL.
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