This is Sarge,He is
a no nonsense kind of guy with a big heart
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Carrying the Bag
Trust Your Bag to the Best!
Marvin, aka Looper, is another one of my college buddies, who earned extra money during the summers as a caddy at the local golf course. I started calling him Looper for carrying the bag 'a loop', or 18 holes. The more loops he made, the more money he had in his pocket.
He was a great golfer, the captain of our golf team, and everyone thought he was 'the most likely to succeed' at becoming a PGA pro. We could all visualize his name in bold letters on a big leather golf bag, as he and his caddy strolled past the cameras toward the 18th green at Augusta National. He would sink his 10 foot putt and become the first amateur to win the Masters!
But things didn't work out exactly that way. To meet financial obligations for his education, Looper joined the Navy and served six years sailing around the world. After his discharge he hit the road, chasing his dream of becoming a pro, only to learn it was a hard life. Being a little older, and maybe wiser than most of the hopefuls, Looper changed the direction of his career to carrying the bag.
Only a Caddy?
Most folks think that Looper settled for less when he decided to become a caddy. But he has taught us the importance of a "bag man" in the success of a professional golfer. It is a little like being a parent, coach, confidant, analyst, maitre 'd and psychologist-all in one. He must understand the rules of play; observe the course layout, design, distances, pin placements; anticipate any obstacles or hazzards that might effect the stroke, flight and landing of the ball; and be prepared for whatever situation that can go wrong and will go wrong. He does all this while carring a 1,000 pound bag up and down terrain that would challenge Hercules. The greatest challenge, however, after managing the course and equipment, is knowing when to talk, when to listen and when to keep his mouth shut!
Life as a caddy has brought Looper little notoriety, but he has earned a comfortable living and wouldn't trade his career for anything. It has given him the opportunity to travel and play golf at the most famous courses all over the world and converse with celebrities and professional golfers who were his idols growing up.
Looper has agreed to share some of his experiences and course management tips. Click on his bag below to read them.
Which Club in the Bag?
Being on the bag for so many years has taught me a lot about people and how they choose their club and approach the game of golf. There is a reason for having fourteen clubs in your bag. It is so you can choose the proper club to make the best stroke on the ball for the lie and yardage that you have, plus give you the landing that you desire. But so many golfers will pick the club that gives them the most distance, even though they are in deep rough, sand or the woods. They think that somehow they are going to win the golf lottery and make a miraculous shot. Too bad they haven't practiced using all those clubs. Then they would be able to choose the right club as outlined in an important rule for the amateur golfer: "use the club that you can hit with the most accuracy, most of the time."
You Are Not as Good as You Think You Are!
One thing I have noticed about golfers, other than the pros, is they are not as good as they think they are. They may take their driver and use it on every tee shot, when sometimes a three wood or a long iron might be better. Or they'll try to hit a sand wedge 130 yards and stick it like the pros. Chunk! The most creative part of their game is the growing list of excuses they make for not executing the shot.
Take Knothead, for example, who spends more money than I make in a month trying to find "something" that is going to make him as good as he thinks he is. A good place for him to start might be to aim at all the sunflower plants with a shot of "weed-be-gone"! My best tip for the rest of you is this: "play to your skill level, not to your ego level." Do this, and you will learn to be as good as you think you are.
Don't Listen to that Little Golf Devil's Voice!
I know you have stood over your ball and realized that you had the wrong club in your hand to make the shot you were facing. What did you do? Instead of going back to the bag and pulling the right club, you listened to the little golf devil's voice in your head saying, "just choke down a little bit and take a little off it and you will be just fine!" Then you stroke the ball, make a rotten shot and go cursing down the fairway.
Here is the way to cure this with another favorite tip of mine: "treat the golf devil's voice like you would your spouse's. You never listen to them, do you?" Seriously, you have to learn to eliminate all doubt and trust your instincts. No one will criticize you for going back to your bag and switching clubs, but you can be sure they will have something to say about the lousy golf shot you just made.
I hope some of these things will help you get the most out of your bag in your next round. Check back again for some more of my advice on how to manage your game and the course.
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