So You Wanna Be a Rockstar


2007 FBR Open 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.
OK, wanna be rockstars heres your chance.
Heres what the sign said in the tunnel between the 15th green and 16th tee: Rockstars all want to be golfers. Golfers all want to be rockstars. The stage is yours, welcome to the 16th Hole at TPC Scottsdale.
Some guys touch the sign everyday like a football player coming out of the tunnel and onto the field. Other players saw it and tried to ignore it (mistake). But Im getting ahead of myself here just a little bit; first, lets introduce the wildest tournament on the PGA TOUR.
The FBR Open has become to the PGA TOUR what the Florida/Georgia game is to the SEC: a HUGE party where people go because it is the place to be seen, not necessarily for the sporting event. There are places around the golf course where 15,000 people will spend 6 hours socializing and not even recognizing theres a golf tournament going on. And thats fine with the host, the players, the caddies, and the TOUR, because if you tried to get 260,000 drunk people quiet so you could hit a golf shot you might as well just jump out the window.
Last year the FBR had over half a million people show up to party ' and the Super Bowl wasnt here! This year may be the first year they have to limit the number of tickets available. Thats right, if you wanna come, you can get in. EVERYONE is invited to this party. And that doesnt even count The Birds Nest, which is a spot that got so big they had to move it across the street. Thats a giant tent party where there are bands, three VIP areas, and different music all over ' only 60,000 people go party there after the last putt drops.
And the women This tournament, relating to the talent walking around the golf course, is always in the top three, no question. Golf wear? Not. Heels, full make up, push-up bra, and an outfit that can go straight to the dance club. Somewhere in the greater Phoenix area there is a shortage of silicon and a WEALTHY plastic surgeon. And for the ladies, I am comfortable enough with my manhood to say even the guys walking around this tournament look like they just fell out of a GQ magazine. Too bad the summers here get to 400 degrees; if not, I could live here. And if one of you write me and say, Yeah but its a dry heat, I will hunt you down and slap you in front of yo mamma!
Last year, my first time at this tournament, I went to a Phoenix Coyotes game with Fred Couples, his caddie Joe, and Bones (Mickelsons caddie). I caddied for George Lopez in the pro-am, went to the tent party at the Birds Nest (dont remember the end of that night!), and sat on the 16th hole for all four days of the tournament. Last night Carney (Mark Carnevale, the 92 rookie of the year) and I went to the Phoenix Suns game.
Tonight its a party at the Birds Nest, and then back to my spot ' the 16th hole, which to me is like getting on an elevator alone on the top floor of a skyscraper and two floors down Halle Berry, Jessica Alba, and Natalie Portman all get on with you. Now you have a choice to make. You can stand in the back and pretend like theyre not there all the while holding that gas in because of the butterflies that have suddenly taken up residence in your belly. Or, you can rip the wings off those butterflies and admit to these women that you have GOT to be on the wrong elevator, but the ugly elevator wasnt marked so you want to apologize. Now you have the beginning of a story to tell even your wife! Thats the 16th.
I asked a golfer when he starts thinking about the hole and he said, Walking off the first tee, because you can hear boos and cheers from the fairway. Yep, just a little par 3 playing anywhere between 140 and 165 with no water and no out-of-bounds that terrifies the best players in the world because if you miss the green 30,000 people will boo you! They even pass out a paper with a little note on every player coming through. Hell, last year they found out the name of Badds childhood dogs name! Yes, from Thursday through Saturday, there are anywhere between 25,000 and 40,000 people on just this hole. The stage is yours, boys!
A quick note on fellow caddie and friend Steve Duplantis: I promised you all the truth when I started this column and Steve would kick my butt if I didnt tell you what everyone else wont. Steve was a great caddie. And he was an even better partier! He lived the caddie life that many of you incorrectly think all of us caddies live: rock concerts, strippers, passing out in bushes and hotel rooms with wild beautiful women yep that was Steve. A lot of people couldnt handle Steve when he was out on one of his party benders (there was often a lot of apologies from Steve the morning after), but it wont take away from the fact the he was a good guy, with a big heart. And now our ranks are down one, and a daughter is going to grow up without a father. Godspeed my friend, parties wont be the same without you.
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