End of the Year Madness


It's been difficult to focus these past couple weeks. Golf Channel gave me a pilot for a TV show about caddies and we filmed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
If it ever makes it on air (fingers crossed everyone please), I'm going to take you inside the caddie trailer, talk about caddie nicknames and sit down with three caddies and tell stories that no one has ever heard. I was absolutely terrified in the weeks leading up to it. Thinking of ideas, stressing over the possibility of having my own show, or even worse... bombing (every comedians secret nightmare).
It brought back memories of the stress of caddying coming down the stretch, needing a couple of top 10s for my player to keep his Tour card. Nothing is worse than trying to pretend the last tournament of the year is just another event when your job is at stake. And I don't just mean as a caddie.
Starting a caddie job for a player is a business decision at first but as the tournaments and time go by a friendship is almost always created and usually strengthened. This is a man you feel everything with ' the highs, the lows and everything in between ' so when you get to the final event of the year and you're short on the money list, things can get stressed.
Sometimes you're so far off from getting your card only a win will do, and if you both know he's not on top of his game, the week is actually fun because it's just a preparation for the dreaded Q-School. Knowing that your going to Q-School isn't fun but it puts a lot less stress on the final event of the year, so you get to be loose and joking around, probably going to Disney to hit all the parks and rides.
And the fishing this week ' if you like bass ' is some of the best all year. It still cracks me up seeing professionals in golf carts (yes, this week during practice rounds pro's get carts because it's a pro-am format) with those big Tour bags barely strapped in and a big fishing rod strapped in on the other side.
This year Robert Garrigus caught a 9 pounder on Tuesday! I saw the picture he took on his cell.
Now for the caddies and players within striking distance of getting their card or just conditional status (126-150), there are no trips to the Disney parks, no fishing rods on the back of golf carts. Only extra Aleve in the golf bag because of the stress headaches that are going to happen this week.
Where'd we eat last night? Which wine did I drink with dinner? A restaurant can lose a players business for years if he eats there on a Wednesday night and then goes out and shoots a 75, putting him out of a chance to keep his card.
Yes, we're that crazy out here ' now you know. And it gets worse! If you eat somewhere and shoot a 67... guess where you're eating every night that week? And let me tell you, if you are sitting with your player at the table and order something different... there a good chance a fork is going to be sticking out of your rear end if your boy shoots anything worse than 70 the next day.
Now, not all guys out here are like that. OK, yes they are, but some try to hide it. I'm a fan of the guys who let it all hang out, emotions on the sleeve, I think they recover from bad breaks quicker than the guys who try and keep it all inside.
Either type, it's all the same for the guys carrying the bag this week. When your player looks at you for club advice or just a quick talk while youre walking down the fairway, you better be the calming force in this time of extreme stress.
Hats off to my boys out there this week, I know you won't all help your players keep their Tour cards, but just to be out there popping those Aleves, Tylenols, and Advils makes us all root for you.

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. He also has his own Web site, www.funnycaddy.com
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