This week's story put a lump in my throat but also had me laughing hysterically. The most compelling stuff wasn't about the golf courses. Come to think of it, when Bing Crosby started this clambake, it wasn't about them then, either.
Enjoy this week's Caddie Confidential.
Collins: How important is it in tournaments like this for the pros to play with friends or business associates?
Caddie: I actually think it's important. Pairings are so important on the weekend, you know, after you've made a cut. Or in the Pro-Am tournament, if you don't know your guy, or if you don't have a decent rapport with your amateur, it's tough for the amateur to really know if you're in a good flow or bad flow... but if you've played with the same guy for three or four years, he already knows all of that. So it's not like you're playing with a complete stranger. It's like you're playing with a buddy. It makes it a little bit easier to tolerate when things are going well or even when things are going really well.
Collins: What's the atmosphere like this week for the caddie?
Caddie: Personally, I feel like it is a little bit more laid back than the high stress of a (regular) tournament. Especially if your boss is playing with someone he knows and that kinda knows him. I feel like it's a little more laid back. But the bottom line is, somebody's coming outta here with $1.2 million.
Collins: Of the three golf courses this week, which is your favorite?
Caddie: For me, they all kinda run together. That was until my father passed away. Pebble Beach is one of the only places he actually paid to play golf. The first time I came back after he died, it was a real weird feeling for me.
Collins: Were you with him when he played?
Caddie: I was not. I was off playing the mini-tours or something. Him and some buddies just came out here one week and gave it a crack. So it has a special place in my heart now. I have never told anyone that.
This was years ago. He says, "[Son] you just wouldn't believe ... it's $350 to play this golf course out here!" And I said, "Well listen buddy, you're only out there a couple more days, so if you want to play it, play it. This is your chance, cause you're never going out there again."
My father was a complete workaholic and he just never wanted to leave home because he always wanted to be working. So he did, got it off his bucket list, and I think he whipped it around there at about 82.
I think about him when I'm walking around ... so it's pretty cool.
Collins: Is there anything that can be annoying about this tournament?
Caddie: I think the most problematic annoyance is that it falls right after the week of the 16th hole (at the Waste Management Phoenix Open). Some spectators that see that on TV think that it's OK to do that all the time. But because there isn't the same amount of people, when one person's screaming, it's so much more distracting than when a thousand people are screaming. Because you hear every little thing, so I feel like the random fan that maybe has one too many Budweisers in him just can't let it go and wants to get in the game.
Collins: I call it...
Caddie: Jack Daniel's flu!
Collins: Is it easier to caddie in a group with a celebrity or a couple of high handicap CEOs?
Caddie: It depends on who the celebrity is. Because I'll tell you, it's going to be tough on the caddie in the Mark Wahlberg group with Bubba Watson this week because there's going to be so many people. Mark's going to kinda have to be "on" and Bubba's got rabbit ears man. So he's gonna hear everything, be backing off. It's going to be interesting ... If you get someone like Peyton Manning, he wants to play golf. He wants to play to (the) game and he wants to do it well because he so competitive. So that would not be difficult at all.
Collins: Greatest story you get to tell from this tournament?
Caddie: About 10 years ago, me and another caddie we're sitting at a bar in Carmel owned by Clint Eastwood. Me and the other caddie (had been drinking). Now I ain't ever shied away from saying hi to anyone. Damned if old Clint didn't roll in there ... so I says, "Hey Clint! C'mon over here Clint!" (Sounds like a slow drawl -- Cleeent.)
But we ended up having a drink with him! The best part was, the next day we're hungover driving to Los Angeles and about halfway there, (the other caddie's) wife calls and she's burst into labor! So I take him straight to the golf course, take the players clubs, stuff, and all my stuff out the car so the caddie can drive (the rental car) straight to LAX! So (in 24 hours) it went from completely unreal to like holy crap this is real!
I was laughing so much I forgot to ask if the other caddie made it home in time. Maybe when I have that guy do Caddie Confidential, I'll ask him!