Who I Caddied For Today: A Family From St. Louis

I wanted to give you a closer look into what it's like looping at a world class golf course. I decided the best way to do so was to go through my day today, and I'll try to post more of these going forward. To start, I'll discuss my pre-loop job. At the Ocean Course, caddies have a little busy work before their loop each day. This may consist of driving a shuttle to the first hole for an hour or so, driving a shuttle from 9 to 10, filling in divots, fixing ball marks, filling up coolers, or standing at the bag drop. Golf course busy work. Someone's gotta do it! After we talk about that, we'll discuss meeting my players, and the loop with those players. 

Today was a hot day at the Ocean Course. Low 90's with a million percent humidity. The kind of day where you really need to focus on drinking water.

My report time today was 8am, for a 10am tee time. My busy work job before my loop was filling up the coolers on the back 9. On a day this hot, this is actually a pretty important job. I stocked our carry all vehicle with 10 cases of 24 water bottles, and two massive coolers of ice. I drove out to the 10th hole, then the 12th, 14th, and 16th and filled up each and every cooler on those tee boxes. It's nice to have drinking waters available on every hole or two, especially when it's as hot as it was today. Sometimes I wonder why we don't have water bottle filling stations instead of going through thousands of plastic bottles each week, sometimes in one day. But that's above my pay grade. After all, i'm just a caddy.

Once I got done filling to coolers, I went to the staging area by the driving range. This is where the caddy master is located, and where caddies hang out until they meet their players and head down to the first tee. 

My players showed up around 9 am. It was a group of four. Two parents, and their two sons. I introduced myself, and they informed me they would be needing two sets of rental clubs. So I ran down to grab some rental clubs, and we headed out to the range to get warmed up.

Originally, they were on the tee sheet to walk, which requires two caddies. They decided they wanted to ride, so I was the only caddy necessary. Caddies at the Ocean Course typically carry two bags when players walk, but a caddy can "forecaddy" for all four players if they decide to ride the golf course instead of walking it. Forecaddying is easier on the body than carrying two bags, but it requires great timing throughout the round. Timing on things like who's putt should I read first? Who's ball should I walk to first? Should I pull their cart up to the green or just let them do it? The Ocean Course is cart path only if golfers decide to ride, so the caddy needs to time each and every part of the round perfectly to keep their group moving at a decent pace. This was certainly a challenge today. 

On the range, I asked where they were from, they said St. Louis. We talked about Bellerive for a little. They seemed really nice, and I left them to get warmed up. We headed down to the tee at 950.

They decided to play 3 different tee boxes, which is never ideal, but it's ok. Just gotta focus on timing! One son played the 6700 yard box, the other son and dad played 6200, and the mom played 5600. This is tougher than caddying for a group who are all playing the same tee box because it required me to give 3 different lines off the tee on par 4s and 5s, and 3 different yardages on each par 3. That's Ok, I know what I'm doing. I start with the longest tee box. I get that player the information they need, and start walking to the next box as they prepare to hit. (TIMING)

Once we got the tee box situation figured out, they decided to play a 2 v 2 scramble. Scrambles are ideal for caddies because it means giving less yardages, and reading less putts.

The teams were Mom and Dad vs the two sons. None of them were very good at golf, but they were still competitive with each other. They all had great attitudes, and nobody argued about score or rules or anything. It was a cordial match. I'm not really even sure who won, but it was competitive and fun. The winners of the match won two shirts each from the pro shop. I wanted to tell them they could have gotten 6 shirts each from me for the same price, but I thought better of that. Probably not a great thing to say to your golfers.

It was so hot, it was obvious that all four of them were running out of gas towards the end. But we eventually made it to the 18th green. Everyone tapped in and we headed back to the staging area where the day began. I cleaned up their sticks, they paid me, and everyone was happy. The mom even said a prayer for me. Kinda odd, but I’ll take it.

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