There's a disturbing junior golf trend out there and I'm only now finding out about it. It was probably hidden in the frantic flurry of golf growth initiatives, so us curmudgeons wouldn't post it on Turfy-Leaks.
Yesterday, the growing tragedy of the "Daddy Caddie" was related to me by my brother Mike, an actual eyewitness of this weirdness. Mike's background is important to this story, so I'll give you the short version: Long time veteran golf course superintendent, US Army Ranger, skilled golfer, (carried a +2 in his competitive days) All Army Golf Team, 5 Time Golf Champ of GA Supt Assoc. and won the original AJGA Championship (Atlanta) at age 16.
The story you are about to hear is more meaningful when you are armed with that information, so you understand that Mike is aware of how tournament golf works, especially at the junior level.
On to the story: A junior event of some kind descended upon Mike's local club and he took a few minutes to pause and observe the next generation of golfers, pleased that there was new blood to carry on the great game.
Mike immediately noticed a strange anomaly: Daddies toting the sticks for juniors. How, you say, did Mike know this was a Daddy? The phrase, "Hurry up, Dad" was kind of a giveaway. These DCs toted sticks, wiped grips, held flagsticks and even raked bunkers.
. . . a display of Dufnerian etiquette
It got worse. Mike watched in horror as one junior sank a putt and made no effort to retrieve the ball from the cup, but calmly strutted off, tossed his putter at his bag in a display of Dufnerian etiquette and headed for the next tee.
Then the arrogant little darlin' stood impatiently on the tee, studying his yardage book while donning a new glove, oblivious to Daddy racing around raking and collecting junior golf paraphernalia carelessly strewn about the green.
As Mike told the story, vivid memories of long ago junior golf popped into my head. In those days, parents were kept out of range of the junior player, banned from venturing inside the path and not allowed to even speak to their kids. We even toted our own bags.
After a long pause, Mike said "Can you imagine Dad as my caddie when I played AJGA, especially if I left him to get the ball, replace the stick, rake the bunker and run fetch my putter I tossed off the green?"
Run, Mike, run!"
This triggered an outburst of hysterical laughter. When we recovered, I pointed out what I, or any other witness to that would have said: "Run, Mike! Run! For the love of God, Run!"
More hysterical laughter followed, because we both remembered very well what happened that time Mike fired off his teenage wit at Dad. (It was like Animal Planet--you know, the lion, the zebra, the takedown.)
Later that day, sitting on his deck alongside the fairway, Mike saw a junior golfer spraying filtered uric acid upon his lawn. Mike instructed the young golfer to "do that in the woods, not on my lawn."
The junior confidently replied "I don't see any white stakes," and continued killing Mike's zoysia. Within seconds, the junior's Daddy Caddie could be heard yelling "Run, Farnsworth, run! For the love of God, run!"