No, it is not Tiger, David or Phil. It is not Davis, Ernie or Fuzzy. It is not even commissioner Tim Finchem.
You know who it is? It is Stevie and Cubby, Pixie, Bones. It is Boats, Grady, Bullet, and let's not forget about our great pal Fluff. What would we do without our caddies? These important, yet under-appreciated warriors are our heroes behind the scenes. The ones who make the pros' life and the pro's wife less stressed.
Throughout the history of the PGA Tour, the professional tour caddie has been an integral part of the scene; these pro jacks have usually seen it all and done it all, twice.
Yeah I know, their reputation has also been that of a failed golfer, or a glorified bellman who can't hold a job. So he does what comes easy. He carries something. And in this case, it is a 40-pound bag that doesn't balance. It is awkward and heavy.
The player may be the architect, but the caddie is the foundation. There isn't anything that a player won't tell his caddie. Relationships sometimes are deeper and stronger than that of matrimony. Which probably should scare everybody. A good caddie is important. But a great caddie is essential. Sometimes, it is as hard to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
How important can a bag toter be, you ask? They are a friend, a sports psychologist, secretary, manager, punching bag, and chiropractor, caterer and physical therapist all rolled into one. When things go well, it all goes well. But when that tide begins to turn, and bogeys are more plentiful than birdies, your caddie needs to step up, and step in.
I spent the first 19 years of my tour career with Mike Cowan on my bag - Fluff, as he is known to everybody. Fluff is a one of a kind. He is a celebrity in his own right, doing endorsements and commercials, and even a two-year stint with Tiger Woods, where together they won the 1997 Masters title. Tiger is good. But those early years with an experienced veteran caddie were invaluable to Tiger or any young player playing the tour.
Look who caddies for Tiger now. Steve Williams has a wealth of experience under his belt, and many titles to his name, having caddied for Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd. The value Steve has been to Tiger the past few years since Fluff is priceless. He continues to be a huge part of Tiger's success.
A caddie's shoulders have to be big, and not just to carry that bag; the caddie is there to lean on, both on and off the course. A caddie is there with you until the end. So the next time you see that ridiculously large bag being toted down the fairway, don't look at the legs beneath it as simply transportation.
Look at the soul attached. Try understanding its unheralded importance to this great game.
At least that's my take.