Tuesday, July 28

Caddie Tales

I’M ON VACATION THIS WEEK and not following golf too closely. Does anyone know if the Canadian Open finally ended? (Just kidding.)

Congratulations to Australian Nathan Green for his first PGA Tour victory. I also noticed that Loren Roberts won another Senior British Open and Ai Miyazato prevailed at the Evian Masters. The women play their British Open this week at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in Lancashire, England.

As my daughters have been splashing in the hotel pool this week, I’ve cracked open CADDIE CONFIDENTIAL: Inside Stories from the Caddies of the PGA Tour. As you might expect, this caddie book is authored by a caddie, Greg “Piddler” Martin, a 24-year PGA Tour looper, 21 of them with Dan Forsman.

Structured as a series of anecdotes and quotes from about 50 caddies, the book’s chapters explore topics such as The Art of Caddying, Landing Your First Bag…and Losing It, Nicknames on Tour and Unforgettable Moments. It’s the perfect poolside book—you can start anywhere and read a blurb or two (or an entire chapter) while you keep one eye on the kids.

On landing a bag, Rocky Hobday, a caddie for Mark James, said, “All that matters is that you’ve been hired one more time than you’ve been fired.”

Many caddies tell about the past tour practice of hanging out in the course parking lot to catch players when they arrive and try to talk a player into a job for the week. Some hooked up for one tournament, others for several seasons.

Caddies lead a vagabond and often wild lifestyle. Many travel as cheaply as possible and barely get by. “We’d go four guys to a room at the Motel 6 and the high scores got the rug,” said one looper.

The caddies featured in Martin’s book are passionate about what they do. It can be glamorous, but mostly it’s pretty intense outdoor work. There’s much more to it than meets the eye of the average golf fan.

CADDIE CONFIDENTIAL is a peek inside the ropes, parking lots and other outposts of the PGA Tour, a forthright and sometimes comical look at an unusual job.

−The Armchair Golfer

6 comments :

Lancer said...

Sounds like a great read. I'll do my best to find a copy.

Lisa Arnott said...

I love a good read-I will check it out!

Vince Spence said...

Neil, I found copies in my county library system. Thanks for letting us know about this book, I can only read Harry Potter just so many times...

The Armchair Golfer said...

Thanks all. If you pick it up, I hope you like. It's light reading, but still interesting.

Longest Drive said...

Nice blog. Lets blog roll.

Longest Drive in Golf

Andy Brown of HomeofGolf.TV said...

I have always marvelled at the lives of travelling caddies and this one sounds like just the kind of book that I would like to read. More so because caddies provide a rare insight into the game unlike any other analyst. Getting to spend time with the players, both on and off the course, they understand the dynamics involved.

From the point of view of a story, they are the perfect aids for a riveting read, simply because of their proximity to the player and more importantly the behind-the-scenes activity that takes place when they are moving from one tour stop to another.


It is hard to imagine that some of the most special bonds, between a caddy and a player who have lasted years, could actually have started in a parking lot where they may have been trying to pick up work for that week or something like that.


I would love to get hold of this book. There have been a few good books on golf coming out recently and this one I am sure must be an equally good read. Like you rightly point out, the best part about a book like this is that you can start from anywhere you want, read for a bit, put it down and then pick it up from any point without having to worry about what one might have missed out on.