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St. Andrews is developing the first caddie qualification school, a kind of caddie college. Im fairly certain the loopers we had when we played incomparable Turnberry two summers ago didnt matriculate at Harvard, because the kind of wit they displayed you simply dont teach behind Ivy covered walls.
 
We began in perfect Scottish conditions, with sheets of wind driven rain pelting our faces. Save the sunshine for San Diego. In Scotland, I want ambience. I need to trudge into the bitter elements, back tilted forward, jacket flapping.
 
Anyway, as we reached our tee shots off the shortish par four first, my partner faced his first decision of the day. He had stoned his tee ball dead center, and now was torn between six and seven iron. Turning to the caddie, he asked, What do you think?
 
Looks to me like the wind is blowin a bit so ya may wanta hit the six, he replied in a thick Scottish burr.
 
Im not so sure, the golfer said, feeling a bit puffed up after his perfect opening drive.
 
He wavered uncertainly for a short time, then acquiesced and went to pull the six.
 
But no sooner did he have that in his hand than a change of heart hit him like a gust of wind. He replaced the six for the seven.
 
Finally, after several moments of deliberation, he pulled the trigger.
 
And he cold topped a meek grounder back to the pitchers mound, all of 26 yards. He went to hand the ill conceived weapon back to his bag man, who stared him square in the eye and deadpanned, I guess well never know laddy, will we?
 
Later in the round, Id swallow a dose of similar medicine, which seems to grow tastier with the passing of time. After I blew a tee ball beyond the heather, out into the Firth of Forever, I turned to my own caddie, hoping as only a desperate golfer can that maybe it hit the side of a ship and caromed back into play. So I wondered, Any chance?
 
The retort was beautifully struck.
 
Are ya familiar with that ole Scottish phrase laddy? he asked.
 
Whats that? I wondered.
 
Sayonara, he said.