Being a caddie was a great way for a kid to earn some money after school, or especially during the summer. You'd go out to the local Country Club and start at the bottom rung (initiate caddie) with the caddie master. The caddie master was some older teenager who'd worked his way up to ladder to the top. However, since these are basically kids we're talking about, this didn't mean he had acquired the skills of a corporate CEO when handling his staff.

The best way to suck up to the caddie master and get the good bags was either to beat the living crap out of some bigger kid whom he disliked, thus showing spunk and loyalty at the same time, or to bribe him. The good bags were the ones you'd carry for wealthy heavy drinkers who enjoyed the game no matter how they played, and would always tip heavily.

Thus, four purposes were served.

  • It kept the kids off the streets who were caddies.
  • It gave them a source of income.
  • It taught them how to work for a living.
  • It taught them something about how to play golf.

You'd be hard pressed to find a place that has caddies these days, outside of the PGA. Why? Because no one walks any more (for the most part) when they play golf. They get in these goddamned little golf carts and whiz around the course drinking beer out of a cooler. In the more genteel days, the drunken golfer kept a flask of real liquor in his bag.

So, now there are more overweight people and drunken kids playing golf, and it has ruined the game for me. I've been golfing for all my life, but I refuse to get in one of those little cars and ride around. I put my golf clubs on my back and carry them around, regardless of the heat or cold or rain.

When you're one of the few who is still willing to do this, you wind up playing either with or at least in front of these cart golfers. If you play with them, they always rush to their ball and sit there watching you walk as if you're holding them up. If you play in front of them, they're always hitting into you to show you that they want to play faster. The irony is that they will usually finish a round no more than 10 to 15 minutes quicker than walkers.

I hope like hell that 10 to 15 minutes is spent doing something worthwhile, because it cost me a game that I did dearly love at one time.