Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Tales from the Caddy Den — Part 1



By Chase Penelli

GolfWRX Contributor

The stereo sounds that make their way through the thin pan glass of what people these days like to describe, “mid-century modern.” The cracks and pops from my feet as they meet the ground for the first time since the nights slumber. The eerie sounds of night, mornings typical pleasantries create an orchestral sound of those bumps in the night, hungry sparrows and sprinkler heads. I am ready, its time to get going.

Walking out the door I hulked down the traditional morning faire, a Nature Valley bar. I stepped off the front porch and nearly slipped on the fresh dew that coated the stone pathway, on top of that, was blinded by its reflective nature against the grass. Inhaling the crisp heavy air, I took one step forward down the street in my grass stained athletic shoes.

Turning the corner on Country Club Lane, catching a glimpse of the clubhouse, a smile came across my face. It is the day that I finally get that loop that everyone talks about for years to come. That guest of a member, full of great stories, phenomenal ball striker, just an all-around pleasure. A feeling that is so good you even forget about the tip, a round that feels like minutes.

Walking up toward the clubhouse was a chore, the pitch on the road grew exponentially to the point you could swear you were climbing the north face of Everest. I made it. Slightly breathless, I walked into the den. No one dare touch MY customary spot on one of the benches in back.

These benches had so many layers of a high lacquer forest green it made it hard to sit or lay without sliding off. This did make for quite an entertaining morning. Sitting where I did afforded me the ability to watch some of the older caddies stumble in from a restless night. A powerful thud sounded as they landed on the bench, generally the one as close as possible and within minutes… asleep. Not long after, they always seemed to find themselves woken by the carpeted concrete floor. Once they hit the floor they generally would forgo the bench, keeping them “grounded.”

I made sure to position myself where I couldn’t ever see the clock. They put a huge one in the den — it must have been some sick joke from the members. This clock was enormous, disproportional to the space. Anyone standing next to it always looked insignificant and on top of that it made a “tick” and “tock” sound. Since it was so big in such a small space sounded like a stereo that only made two sounds. There was no way around not hearing it. I have heard stories of people losing it; keep calm and “tick” “tock.”

I learned to think of it as a metronome; I mean, if I have to hear it all morning why not make it benefit my game? Closing my eyes, I would envision my putting stroke, back, forth, back, forth, back, and forth. It was the only way to survive!

They must have had some sympathy; I mean we did have a television to torment us with fuzzy pictures of places that we dreamed about… Pebble, Stadium Course, Andrews, Augusta, Augusta, AUGUSTA. Our eyes widened, hearts pumped, and emotions ran. No one dare sit in front of the TV. Most would keep it cool and watch from their respective territory. Since this was a civil establishment, they didn’t allow volume. It broke us down but our “in door” voices were like the perfect breeze on a course, not enough where it could be heard but certainly felt.

The rays from the sun are starting to creep through the windows, which told a veteran like me that it was close to 7:15 a.m. It should not be that much longer… My time was fast approaching. A rush of ides started to formulate in my head, which raised my blood pressure and energy level. I peaked out the window. My eyes dilated adjusting to the full onslaught of the sun. The early rounds well underway I saw groups of men getting ready to tackle the challenges of grass, water, and sand. This excited me — today was my day. On this day, a new chapter will be added to the impressive list of caddy lore. Praise, jealousy, and many other emotions will run throughout the inner-circle that is our caddy den.

Click here for more discussion in the “General Golf Talk” forum.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion & Analysis

More Distance Off the Tee (Part 1 of 3): Upper Body Training



If you read my previous story, Tour Pro’s Revealed: 3 Tests to See How You Stack Up, you are well aware of the fact that improving your upper body power is one of three sure ways to increase your distance off the tee. If you have not, I strongly suggest you check it out to gain some context about what is to follow and what is critical for your golf game.

Through our testing and the testing done of many of the industry leaders in golf performance, we have found that the ability of golfers to generate “push power” from their upper body is critical to maximize efficiency and speed in the swing. The way that you can test your power is simple. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Keeping your back on the chair, chest pass with both hands a 6-pound medicine ball as far as you can. When you compare this to your vertical jump as described in More Distance Off the Tee (Part 2 of 3): Lower Body Training Plan, the number in feet you threw the ball should be relatively close to your jump in inches.

If you threw the ball and it went 5 feet, you have an upper body power problem. If you threw the ball 25 feet and jumped only 14 inches, your upper body is not the problem — you probably need to focus on your lower body. It’s not rocket science once you understand what you are looking for. What can be challenging is knowing how to improve your power once you identify a problem. That is where the rest of this article comes in. What I am going to outline below are three of the most common upper body power exercises that we use with our amateur, senior and professional golfers.

The key with any power training exercise is to make sure you are as rested as possible between sets so that you can be as explosive as possible for the repetitions. Try not to do more than 6 repetitions in a set to assure that each one is as fast and explosive as possible.

Med Ball Chest Pass on Wall

This is one of the most basic exercises there is for developing upper body push power. Make sure your feet are about shoulder-width apart and don’t be afraid to use your legs to help maximize the punishment you deliver to against the wall!

Med Ball Wall Ball

Watching the video, you may be scratching you head and wondering why this is in the upper body power article when clearly the athlete is using his legs. The reason is that in the golf swing, power starts with the legs.

Med Ball Sky Chest Throws

This one is simple. Laying on your back, all you need to do is push the ball up as high as you can, catch it on the way down and the explode it back up into the air as high as you can. If you incorporate this exercise into your routine even once a week, you will see huge gains in your ability to swing faster if this was a problem area for you.

That being said, power creation requires not only speed but also strength development. It is also important that you have a solid strength program to increase your ability to generate more force. While this is beyond the scope of this article, finding yourself a solid golf fitness expert will help you create your ideal program.

Your Reaction?
  • 26
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL3
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP2
  • OB2
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading


GolfWRX Forum Member dpb5031 talks about the TaylorMade Twist Face Experience



Forum member dpb5031 (aka Dewey) joins TG2 to talk about his Twist Face Experience at The Kingdom. Recently, him and 6 other GolfWRX Members went to TaylorMade HQ to get fit for new M3 and M4 drivers. Does Twist Face work? Dewey provides his answer.

Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 21
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL9
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP17
  • OB13
  • SHANK78

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

Inside the Ropes: 5 things you didn’t know about playing on the PGA Tour



Golf finds a way to take a hold on you… whether you become entranced by the skill of the world’s best professionals, fall in love with the feeling and beauty of a well-executed shot, or simply enjoy getting outside and having fun — the game is addictive.

I started playing at the age of 4 and began watching the pros on TV dreaming what it would be like to play golf on the PGA Tour. When I earned my PGA Tour status for the 2014 season, that dream became a reality. And like anything, it’s not until I actually experienced that life did I have any idea what it entailed.

For those of you who are curious what it’s like to be on the PGA Tour, here are 5 things to describe it.

1) The Culture

Traveling the world to various cities can be fun, and it’s an underrated part of the Tour lifestyle; you get to see new landscapes and taste the cuisines that define different regions across the country and the world. Unlike some other professional sports, where players stay in one place for maybe a night or two, we get to stay in places for a week or more, which allows for plenty of time away from the course to see the sights and get a feel for what the cities and their cultures offer.

2) The Show

The setup and time that goes into planning an event — the grandstands, concession stands, volunteers, and the whole network that makes these tournaments run — is beyond impressive. We see the finished product at the event in the epicenter of it all, but the planning goes on behind the scenes all year. When it’s game time and the golf ball gets teed up, it’s time for us players to block all of that out, but we certainly appreciate all of the hard work that goes into putting on an event. It may feel like being in a circus at times, but performing in the show is a thrill.

3) The People

The game of golf in general brings people together, but especially so on the Tour. Thousands and thousands of fans come to watch the golf action and enjoy the festivities. The Pro-Ams are a great way for the fans to get an up-close look at what goes on at a Tour event, and they’re also a great way for us pros to interact with fans and maybe provide some helpful swing tips, too. In my opinion, one of the best events of the year is the Pebble Beach Pro-Am — a gathering of pro golfers, athletes, musicians, actors and other celebrities. It’s a testament to how the game can bring people together from different walks of life.

4) Inside the Ropes

The Tour is almost like a private school of sorts. It’s a select group of a couple hundred guys traveling around playing these events. The jocks, the nerds, the geeks, the loners; you see a little of everything. As much as there’s a sociable aspect to traveling on Tour and getting to know these people, it’s a dog-eat-dog world where everyone is playing for their livelihood and playing privileges.

5) The “Pressure”

A season-long race can come down to a single shot making the difference — for some it’s between winning and losing a tournament, and others it’s between keeping and losing your card. The cameras, the grandstands, the noise… it can all be quite distracting. The idea is to block all of that out and pretend you’re playing like a kid, focusing with pure imagination for the shot. All the extra attention can help heighten the focus further, adding inspiration to “give the people what they want” and hit even better golf shots.

Your Reaction?
  • 57
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW5
  • LOL4
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP20
  • OB12
  • SHANK216

Continue Reading

19th Hole