In the world of golf that I reside in, caddies are nonexistent. I have never had a caddy. I have never been a caddy. I would also suspect that those two statements will never change. Particularly the last one.
I am never going to be a caddy for a variety of reasons. First and foremost is the fact that I wouldn't even consider carrying my own clubs let alone someone else's. That's why they have those motorized carts at golf courses.
Secondly, the job of a caddy is to offer advice. I'm not sure that saying "hit it as hard as you can and we'll see where it goes" is very good information.
Yet caddies exist. Professional golfers all have them. The more well-to-do country club types may employ them as well. The conversations that take place between a golfer and the caddy are likely to be very interesting. Let's face it, strange things happen on the golf course.
I recently ran across a list of the best caddy responses to comments made by the golfer they were looping for. With apologies to David Letterman, here is the "Top Ten" list of caddy responses.
No. 10 - Golfer: "I think I'm going to drown myself in the lake."
Caddy: "Think you can keep your head down that long?"
No. 9 - Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course."
Caddy: "Try heaven, you've already moved most of the earth."
No. 8 - Golfer: "Do you think my game is improving?"
Caddy: "Yes You miss the ball much closer now."
No. 7 - Golfer: "Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?"
No. 6 - Golfer: "You've got to be the worst caddy in the world."
Caddy: "I don't think so That would be too much of a coincidence."
No. 5 - Golfer: "Please stop checking your watch all the time. It's too much of a distraction."
Caddy: "It's not a watch - it's a compass."
No. 4 - Golfer: "How do you like my game?"
Caddy: "It's very good - but personally, I prefer golf."
No. 3 - Golfer: "Do you think it's a sin to play on Sunday?"
Caddy: "The way you play, it's a sin on any day."
No. 2 - Golfer: "This is the worst course I've ever played on."
Caddy: "This isn't the golf course We left that an hour ago."
And the No. 1 best caddy comment:
Golfer: "That can't be my ball, it's too old."
Caddy: "It's been a long time since we teed off, sir."
As I mentioned before, I have never been a caddy myself, but No. 7 on the list reminded me of an incident that took place in Myrtle Beach on a golf trip several years ago. I don't remember the course or the hole, but my playing partner asked me a similar question as the one above.
I believe the comment was "do you think I can get there with a 4 iron?" This would have been a legitimate question to ask your caddy, but it was really silly to ask me. First of all I had no idea how far away the green actually was. In addition to that, I had no clue how far the fella hit his 4 iron. I was in no position to answer the query. Turns out I didn't have to.
Sitting in a tree near the golf ball was a pretty good sized bird. When the question was asked, the feathered creature must have thought the guy was talking to him because the bird said "uh-uh."
We both smiled and the golfer said out loud, "I wonder if I can reach the green with a 4 iron." Again the bird said, "uh-uh." Now I'm laughing as the bird seems so adamant. One last time the guy says, "I think I can get there."
On cue the bird issues a final "uh-uh." My playing partner is not about to listen to a bird who seems to have a very limited vocabulary. So he takes his 4 iron out of the bag and addresses the ball. Like any good caddy, the bird remains silent. The ball arches majestically in the air only to come up a good 20 yards short of the green.
As the ball hits the ground woefully short of the intended target, the bird lets fly with a very audible, "ohhhhhh." Now we are both laughing uncontrollably and waiting to hear if the bird has one final comment.
As we drove away we fully expected to hear the bird say, "I told ya so."
Al Stephenson is The Advertiser-Tribune's golf columnist.
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