Reno 911


In an attempt to be facetious here, let me say that this week you dont want to caddie for a guy good enough to get into the WGC-Bridgestone and play for $8,000,000. You-know-who is out, so its anybodys tournament. Why go there?
Instead, you want to go to Reno and caddie at the Legends.
Here is why:
First, the town. Its Nevada ' there are casinos. And casinos and caddies normally mean you leave with less than you came with and lots of times less than you made for the week. Yes, the towns cheap to stay in, the rooms are really nice, the food is good, and of course who doesnt love Reno 911? If you havent seen the TV show, start with the movie Super Troopers. Trust me.
Anyway, the town itself is nice, even has a sense of humor. One place on the main strip that has been there for over 30 years has a poker room and liquor store in the same building and the sign out front says, Liquor in front...Poker in back. How can you not love a town like that?
Then theres the course. The event is played at a course with a French name that means Bigfoot lives here. Not really, but the views around the golf course are stunning. The mornings are very crisp. How, you ask could mornings in Nevada be crisp on the first weekend in August? Reno is on top of a mountain and Montreux (thats the courses name) is even higher, about 1,000 feet above the town.
Now as a guy who caddied at this place twice (hint, hint, hint), I can tell you the first hole is the only one where a caddie feels great. Even the second hole, which is a par 3 that can be stretched to 200 yards, has a walk to the green that leaves guys carrying 35-pound golf bags struggling to catch their breath. By the time you get to your ball in the fairway (hopefully) at the third hole, when your player asks for the yardage the only reason he doesnt get hit by a 6-iron is because you cant actually get it out off the bag for fear of passing out.
The course doesnt let up on the front nine until No. 9. (I seriously dont remember too much of the back nine and Willie Wood and I made the cut the first time I was here.) Then to go along with the altitude, which gives you a nice headache for two days while your body adjusts, is the humidity... there is none! So every morning or evening, sometimes both, bloody things come out of your nose that scare the heck out of you. All this for what?
Aaaaah, my final point. This weeks winner in Reno will make $540,000. Now that sounds like a lot of money until you consider that if you won this tournament and it was the only cut you made all year, youd be over $200,000 short of 125th on last years money list! Thank goodness for that two-year exemption. And, theres no trip to Augusta. So the winning caddie will make about $56,000 (10% of the win and weekly pay). Lets say you have a good week and tied for 20th with four other guys. Youre gonna get a paycheck of about $7,500.
There it is: No WGC, casino town, low payday, high altitude, headaches and blood boogies?
Major, get your clubs! You and daddy are going back to Pennsylvania to visit your grandma!!!
A note to my Canadian friends and readers on last weeks column:
When I mess up, I fess up and I owe you all an apology. I said that coming back from Canada that Canadian Customs gave me a hard time. I got a lot of letters correcting me and telling me when going back to the U.S., its U.S. Customs you have to go through. As many of you got personal letters from me I wanted to let you all know, this time coming back home through U.S. Customs, I got to spend time in the special area. I had a grapefruit I hadnt eaten and was holding in my hand. But I didnt check yes for bringing Canadian agriculture into the US. The grapefruit was from California (I kept the sticker); they didnt think it nearly as funny as you do!
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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