I played a resort course recently and came away convinced that
golf needs caddies more than ever. From the moment my clubs were
loaded onto a cart, I felt as if I had entered a Jack in the Box
drive-through: Move 'em in and move 'em out. There was no flow
to the round, just hit a shot, rush to the ball, wait.
Meanwhile, all the brown pelts scattered along the fairway and
the bad rake jobs in the traps told me that most cart riders
have never taken Caddie 101: green side up and teeth down. It's
sad. When I'm home, I'll occasionally work at Old Memorial in
Tampa. I always encourage the young caddies there, but deep down
I wonder if they have a future. More and more, the sound of a
cart being driven in reverse feels like a shrimp fork being
driven into the small of my back.
Linn Strickler has caddied on the PGA Tour for 27 years.
COLOR PHOTO: DAVID WALBERG