On Sunday I got paired up at my course with Joe and Pat, a couple of professional caddies. What made this such a fun afternoon was watching their antics, swapping stories, and taking a jog down memory lane. They were in their mid to late twenties, were good players, and were clearly living the life. It sounded like they had very few commitments or responsibilities other than to make enough money to support their eating, drinking, and golfing habits. When you think of golf bums, Joe and Pat personified.
Turns out they caddied at McArthur Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida for the winter and were making their way up north for the summer season. Pat had a job at the TPC of Boston and Joe at a country club on Long Island. Each day they drove a leg and played golf at some nice public course. I was happy they ended up at Blue Mash with me.
As we worked our way through the round, they reminded me of my time in the business and how I was totally consumed by the game. Work-play-work-play-work-play. I ultimately exited the industry because of burn out and these guys were crushing my level of addiction. They were rippin’ it from the tips, had some kind of money match going with automatic two down presses that got expensive on the back nine and may have run over several days. They were drinking who knows what all day but seemed to be in control and proved to be excellent company. I was a most interested spectator but was also trying to focus on my game. I was playing the blue tees, which was a stern test for me because of the heat and wind. Even playing from the tips, they were not phased, and I could tell had played a lot of golf. I asked Pat if he had playing privileges at the TPC and he said he teed it up every day at 3:30 p.m. Caddy in the morning, play in the afternoon, get up and do it again every day. I recounted a story I learned from Julia Galac, the Story Teller I met at TPC of Sawgrass, and how she volunteered three days per month and received playing privileges at the Stadium Course. Pat said that if he had that kind of deal, he’d work his three shifts and play the other 27 days of the month – whew!
We shook hands on the 18th green and they invited me into the clubhouse to watch the end of the PGA Championship and have a few drinks. I could see myself pounding enough drinks with these guys to inebriate myself into an undrivable condition and politely declined. This was a fun day on the golf course, but I left wondering if that lifestyle was too much of a good thing. Do you think it is?