Coming Out of Retirement

By Michael CollinsMay 23, 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.
 
Two parties, a pro-am, and a question that is still haunting me:
 
At THE PLAYERS Rory Sabatini comes up to me and tells me hes having a party on the Tuesday of Colonial and would like me to attend. I tell him as long as my flight gets in on time Ill swing by. Then last week Im at home blowing bubbles with my 17-month-old, which for him is the funniest joke Ive ever told, when John Rollins calls and says hes having a party Tuesday night too. Well now what? Do I tell Rocket about Rorys party? Do I try to make both parties? I know there isnt any bad blood between these guys and theyre both my friends... Hold on Im getting another call.
 
Its George Lopez, Im putting the band back together.
 
What time? I ask.
 
6:45, we go at 8:50.
 
Ill be there.
 
Let me decode that golf/comedy conversation:
 
Its been too long, were a good team, I want my caddy back on the bag.
 
Missed you, too, bro, Im in.
 
Meet me at 6:45 am in the lobby of my hotel. Well stop and get coffee and have time to warm up for an 8:50 am tee time.
 
Ill be there.

 
Now back to Rocket. I told him that Rory was having a party, too, and because of what time my flight got in the only way I could do both is if they were neighbors. No luck. Opposite ends of town. Now I feel like a heel because I got to blow off one of my friends and I really want to go. Apparently my friendship is a first come, first serve basis, well at least thats what it feels like.
 
So I text Rory and ask what the dress is for the party and he tells me black pants and a white shirt. ???, was my response. Thats what all the servers are wearing. He responds back. I almost crashed the car I was laughing so hard.
 
Dont text and drive!
 
I got him back, though, when I got to the party. I had made a sign out of cardboard that said, Will work for beer on one side and Valet on the other. Looked like I took the sign off a panhandler.
 
Rorys house is off the hook. In his sons room theres a tube slide that goes behind the walls, and his daughter has a disco ball in her playroom. Im never going to change how some people perceive Sabo and Im not going to try. I will tell you what Brett Wright (friend and co-worker) said when we left:
 
Im going to look at Rory a little different from now on.
 
I would have appreciated that statement more if Rory didnt have a frozen Margarita machine at his pool bar, but he did so I was only trying to survive Bretts Atlanta-style driving back to the hotel.
 
Early in the a.m. I see Andy Pronger, KJ Chois caddie, and as we wait for our players he asks me, When are you going to caddie again? Dont you miss it?
 
Hell yeah I miss it, but I havent missed a cut all year. I dont have to pay for all of my travel and hotel rooms, and I dont have to worry (as much) about getting fired week to week, was my response.
 
The time comes to meet George at his place in the morning and as soon as we get in the car its like old times again. If you have a friend that regardless of how long you havent spoken or hung out together, as soon as you reunite its like you never missed a beat? Call them after your done reading this; trust me its worth it.
 
We find out were supposed to be playing with Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys QB and boyfriend of Jessica Simpson -- I think theyre still together). Get to the golf course and find out that Tony had to pull out. Maybe he found out who he was playing with and chickened out. If you thought the paparazzi was bad, play with a couple of comics who know you tried to qualify for the U.S. Open, and have seen the magazines of you and your girlfriend! Or maybe he just decided mini-camp was more important.
 
Either way, hes getting ripped all day! We played with Anthony Kim and had a great day! George hit it better than Ive ever seen him hit and the putter got hot early. I read the first three putts and he made all three -- 30-footer, 18-footer, and 15-footer, not a straight putt in the bunch. AK comes up to me on No. 4 and says, Might have to get you on my bag for a week or two the way you read putts. Whyd you stop caddying? Dont you miss it?
 
AAAAAAWWWWW, MAN! Going to have to talk to Major (my 17-month-old) about Daddy getting back on a bag. I think as long as I keep blowing bubbles for him, hell be fine with it.
 
Email your thoughts to Michael Collins
 
Related Links:
  • Michael Collins Archive
  • Getty Images

    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

    Getty Images

    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

    Getty Images

    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

    Getty Images

    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.