# Blogs

I'm not so sure about caddying. To me, it is modern day slavery.

You know, kid. I don't feel like carrying my own bag. You carry it for me. Sorry that I broke the 14-club limit by having 25 clubs. It should still be well under 50 pounds. I know you're only 11, and weigh about 90 pounds, but you should have no problem with a 50-pound bag. It's only half your weight.

While you're at it. Never lose my ball, even if I hit it 60 yards into the woods. And be sure to rake all my sand traps. And be sure you know all my yardages to the hole within three yards - even though I studied college math, and you're in the fifth grade.

By the way, we'll be on the course for over three hours, so you are sure to get at least 12 bucks.

If you lose a ball of mine, I'm taking it out of your tip. Okay, little Joey.

The worse thing about caddying is that in order to make more money you have to carry two bags. Oh yeah, that always works out great. Mr. Smith hit into the woods on the far right; Mrs. Smith hit into the woods on the far left. Now what in the heck do I do? "Where are you Joey? I've been waiting for you for over three minutes!!"

My funniest experience while caddying was when I caddied for a retired couple in their 60s. The wife hit her ball into a sand trip. She tried her best to hit out of the trap, but failed about five or six times in a row, and got really frustrated. The husband says, "Just toss her ball onto the green." So I did. I underhanded it onto the green. And then it started rolling, and rolling and rolling. Both of them got really excited. "Get in the hole, get in the hole, get in the hole!" And I'm thinking, "You do realize this is based upon my tossing it about 12 feet? Calm down." That was a memory I will never forget. Being rich does not make you totally normal.

The best moment I had was when a member hit his drive way right, onto a parallel fairway. It was a par five. He clobbered two fairway woods well over 200 yards down the wrong fairway, on purpose, then wound up with a clear shot to the green for his fourth shot. And he hit it onto the green. He was so ecstatic, and I was so ecstatic that I had witnessed this awesome display of golf, that he ran over to me and shook my hand vigorously for two whole minutes. Then, you can tell, he was thinking, "Why am I shaking hands with my slave boy? Wait. He must love golf as much as I do. Good job, slave boy."

It's also fun to run with the carts. I loved jogging alongside a fast cart. Jogging on soft fairways - softer than a carpet, perfectly flat - is one of the best feelings on the planet. No pain, no aches, no shin splints, no knee issues, no pounding. Just jogging on a half-inch cloud of manicured grass. The guys in the cart would look at me and exclaim, "Wow. He is a wonderful runner. Check out that form." And I'm thinking, "You do realize that you can be walking this course and getting some exercise, too? You are only 33. You can still walk. Get rid of the cigars, get rid of the beers and walk with me. You can even play the entire course with just a six iron and jog the entire course yourself. Try it. You might like it."

How lazy are golfers when they need to be driven to their ball. "Yeah, I had a nice drive though the woods, honey. It was wonderful. The roof blocked out most of the sun, but I did get some fresh air. And I did have to walk at least 20 feet to my ball at times."

One last memory - caddying at the Gaventon Country Club, which was known for being antisemitic. Good thing they never found out that I'm Jewish. I was caddying for a very successful looking gentleman. He looked at me in my shorts and T-shirt, sweating up a storm while running with his cart, and said, "What is your name?" I replied, "Joey." "So Joey, are you actually considering going to college? Is college in your plans at all?" "Yes it is," I replied. "In fact, I'm already accepted to a college, and I accepted the offer." "Oh really, tell me. Which college will you be going to?" "Northwestern University in Evanston." "Oh bloody hell, that's where my daughter will be going." "Sorry sir. I'll be sure to never speak to her. Just let me know who to avoid like the plague."

That's country club golf in a nutshell.

- Peter Braun

Peter Braun, a web content analyst and desktop publisher, lives in the greater Chicago area. He's a graduate of Northwestern University's Writers' Workshop program.

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