Publisher’s Comment: Putting the amateur in Pro-Am
September 1, 2006
After watching Tiger Woods strut his stuff the past few weeks, it occurred to me that we, as a generation, should consider ourselves lucky to have the pleasure of witnessing such dominance. Even when ...
After watching Tiger Woods strut his stuff the past few weeks, it occurred to me that we, as a generation, should consider ourselves lucky to have the pleasure of witnessing such dominance. Even when he’s off, he’s amazing. Then again, in my mind every professional golfer is amazing. With the Canadian Open on the horizon, I’m reminded of my one and only PGA appearance. Yes indeed, I participated in the “show.” For one glorious day, people were watching me, Rob Wilkins, walk the fairways of Glen Abby.
Before I continue, I should clarify. I was indeed there; in fact Brent Geiberger was in my foursome. He had just won the Hartford Open and I was in awe. As cool as it all sounds, I have to admit, I wasn’t the one swinging the clubs, I was the one carrying them.
I was a caddie. A friend of mine was playing in the Canadian Open’s Pro-Am and he needed someone to carry his clubs. At first I laughed him off. After all, why would I want to be his caddie? He explained to me that I’d be part of the whole event. I’d see the players close up and maybe get a few autographs. He must know me because when he mentioned that I’d be paid by the PGA, the contract was signed.
He assured me he’d only pack the clubs that “worked for him.” He also was going to remove the three dozen pond balls from the bottom pocket in order to make his golf bag as light as possible.
That fine day, I picked him up and off we went. I should have clued in the minute I lifted his clubs out of the trunk. Maybe it was just me but the bag didn’t seem light at all.
On the first tee, he was presented with a sweater as a souvenir. Problem was, it, along with his three dozen pond balls and every club he’s ever owned wouldn’t fit into this spiffy new carry bag.
He hadn’t done a thing to lighten the load and half his clubs stuck out of the bag. Not only could I not get them in, I also couldn’t get them out. Each shot my friend took (and he took plenty) he’d hand me the club and I’d jam it back in. By the time I had things in order, I was consistently 20 or 30 yards behind the main group. That went on for the first 11 or so holes. That’s when it got worse. Mr. Geiberger had just hit a postage size green from 240 yards out when it happened. All of a sudden, without warning, my bag’s strap broke. As the group turned and stared in disbelief, I looked down, sweat balls rolling off my nose and wondered what in God’s name could happen next? After the spectators finished their belly laughs, I gathered what little composure I had left, quickly tied the straps, and caught up to the group.
I can’t remember when my bags handy flip-out stand broke. But it did. I sported bruises up and down my legs a good week after the game to prove it. This year’s open is being held September 7-10. If you need me, I’ll be in my basement.
– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck West and he can be reached at 416-510-5123.