Caddy for a Caddie

By Michael CollinsApril 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
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.
This week while you are watching the Byron Nelson, it'll be OK to root for someone OTHER than the guys playing. This week the winning caddie will win an $85,000 Cadillac, no strings attached!
Yep, a few weeks ago there were a couple strange flyers hanging up in the caddie trailer just above the door where we'd walk in. Picture of a REALLY nice car and in bold print, 'Caddy for a Caddie.' No one took much notice of it until Donna (the mother hen of the caddie trailer) started telling us she was gonna take the week off so she could caddie and try to win the car. Well now EVERY caddie and his cousin are up looking at this flyer hanging in the trailer to see what the deal is.
Now if you know caddies, and many of you do, you know they are an extremely suspicious bunch. Anytime an offer of free anything is made... alcohol, a party, clothes, hell even when the PGA TOUR finally stepped up and offered health insurance reimbursement three years ago (yeah it took 'em that long), caddies look like cats in a dog pound, nervous and very 'jumpy.'
That's because for so many years the caddies were looked upon as second class citizens. The TOURs dirty little secret is like the former governor of NY's 'friend: they love having us around... just dont want anyone to know. All my caddie brothers reading this will agree that back in the day that was probably the right thing because many caddies were just like you think. Hence the three S saying by players was always in effect.
No. 1: Show up. A lot easier said than done in years past. There were many missed tee times by caddies who went a little too 'full out' the previous night. In days past some caddies had been know to sleep in their cars, at the course, for a couple of hours after a good night so as not to miss a tee time. One guy 'slept' (passed out) next to the first tee and still missed his time. He looked so peaceful drooling there in a bush.
No. 2: Stand up. Yes to you it seems like, 'Well that's stupid. If you can show up...?' But not so fast my friends. Many stories run through caddie lore of men who showed up, and went down. Caddies who only made it a few holes before succumbing to the call of the bushes or the port-o'-potty never to be seen again. OK, maybe just never to be seen till the next week. Even recently (within the last 10 years) caddies have been known to leave a club lying helplessly by a sand trap as the fog that encased his brain didn't allow him to see where his player had tossed the wedge next to the bag after hitting the bunker shot and taking the putter. Only to be three holes away and need said golf club and have it not be in the bag. What the hell are you all looking at me for?!
No. 3: Shut up. Probably the most important rule of them all back then. Because if you could get your boy to show up AND stand up, the residuals of last nights binge could possibly raise the blood alcohol level of the player just from the caddies breath! Of course, back then, at $25 a day, you get what you paid for.
But then the money started rolling in... THANKS TIGER!!!
No more six caddies to a room at Motel 6 (isn't that how the name came about?). Caddies started flying to tournaments instead of piling into a car like a bunch of clowns. Tournaments actually started providing food and shelter (don't laugh, this just came about in the last five years). And then, like in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, something wonderful happened. A few weeks before the Wachovia Championship the tournament director, Kym Hougham (get this man a cape and put an S on his chest!) came around and asked the caddies if there was anything they needed. What? Seriously?! We thought it was a joke, so we told him. And like magic... POOF, valet parking... POW, catered food... BING, cable TV and sofas in the caddies air conditioned tent. And the end all, be all for caddies... USE OF A REAL BATHROOM!!! (Doesn't seem like much, but when you gotta go, you'd sell family members not to have to go in that port-a-john).
So we've come now to the 'can you top this' times on TOUR because now caddies will actively lobby their players on tournaments to play and this week the caddie carrying the winning bag gets a brand new Cadillac. Time for my pre-round warm up massage. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH, life is good!
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