Dan Crosby came to the sport of golf at an early age – in seventh grade he realized that getting hit by a fast-pitch baseball was not for him anymore. His father was his high school golf coach, and the only coach that he ever had. Currently residing in New York state, with his wife as his caddy, he lives, sleeps and eats golf.
Well, in my case it is my wife of 13 years. We met on-line and she claims that I hid my passion for golf in the personal ad that brought us together, well maybe, just a little. I was about an 8 handicap when we met and with her help and patience I was down to a 3 at one point since, and I finished this year as a 6 handicap. Any way you look at it, she is the best thing that ever happened to my golf game. Since we play about 99% of our golf together, who better to assist me when I play in a tournament than my playing/life partner?
A few years ago, I after a really ugly triple bogie on the 33rd hole of regulation that cost me the outright win in our club championship, I lost in a playoff with one other person. We tied the first two playoff holes. On the third hole of the playoff, I missed the green long and my opponent was safety on the green, putting for a birdie from about ten feet. I needed to get up and down for par… at worst. My wife had not caddied for me that day but joined me for the playoff and wanted me to putt from the back of the green rather than chip. I had been solid all day around the green with my trusty wedge, so I overrode her suggestion to putt and ended up blading it 15 feet past the hole and missing my par putt, and losing the tournament. My caddy/wife never said “I told you so”, but she was probably right, and I should have putted from the back of the green.
Flash forward to the following three years: she was right there with me on the bag for every shot and I won the club championship three times in a row! Coincidence? I think not.
During the first round of the first defense of my club championship I was plugging along; nothing good nothing bad either. Oddly, when I am playing in a tournament I hum the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” as I walk between shots. That morning, my wife noticed that I was humming a song, but it was not THE song. The other issue that she recognized was wrong with my game that morning was that I was riding in the cart with her as she drove between shots. I normally let her drive the cart with my clubs as I walk to my next shot. She kicked me out of the cart and made me walk the rest of the way between shots and summon my inner-Ringo Starr.
From the 8th tee on that day, I hummed the “right” song and walked between shots, the rest of round one went along just fine. Now that I had the proper tunes in my head and the correcting the walking thing, my game fell into the proper Karma and the day turned around. Now, that is an alert caddy!!!
My wife is no golf pro. In fact, most of the time she shoots right around 100. What she is, on the other hand, is calm and cool under pressure. She sees things on the course that I sometimes miss…especially on the greens. She has an uncanny ability to read greens and will assist me in getting the right read with great success. I have to put the right stroke on it of course, but I will definitely have the proper line after she is done with the prep work.
A few years back we were playing together in a random Sunday afternoon round, and I was on fire. She was not caddying for me that day but while playing along-side me, she would ask if I had the right club or what I was thinking about.
We never discussed the score because we both knew that something special was happening (kind of like a no-hitter or a perfect game). On the 18th tee I was sitting at 1 under for the day. This particular finishing hole is 400 yards into the wind and is shaped like an elongated “S”. Water everywhere off of the tee and then for good measure a huge pond/lake on the left all the way down the last 150 yards to the green. After a very deep breath, I striped my tee-shot into the perfect spot. I failed to reach the green in regulation and my chip shot ended up about 20 feet short of the pin. I had to make the putt to break par.
We both read the putt and the only words spoken were: “do you see it?” and “yup”. As I hit the putt it broke at the perfect spot and when the ball was about 6 feet short of the hole I turned and grabbed my wife/caddie and celebrated the saving putt. I never saw it go in the hole but it fell in for a one-under 70! We rejoiced in how we subliminally communicated the read on the putt. How many amateur caddies can to that for their player….and get a hug and a kiss when the putt falls in?
I will ask again: Who’s your caddy?