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19th Hole

Caddie Corner: 15 questions with Reynolds Robinson, a veteran PGA Tour caddie

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In this new GolfWRX feature, called the “Caddie Corner,” we’ll be firing off questions to a different caddie every week on the PGA Tour.

Caddies, or “loopers,” as some call them, are the too-often-overlooked people who actually have a huge impact on players every week on the PGA Tour. They’re tasked with many objectives – everything from carrying the bag, raking bunkers and getting yardages, to playing psychologist on the golf course as their player competes for millions.

If you’re curious to learn more about the caddies, as well as their stories, lifestyle and insights, then welcome to the “Caddie Corner.”

In previous editions, we’ve talked to Shannon “Shan” Wallis (caddie for Jonas Blixt), Gerald “G.W.” Cable (caddie for Kevin Chappell) and Derrell Aton (caddie for D.A. Points).

This week, we peppered Reynolds Robinson (caddie for Joseph Bramlett) with a bunch of questions. Hopefully you enjoy this week’s Caddie Corner as much as we did!

First one is really easy. What’s your name, who do you caddie for, and who have you caddied for throughout the years?  

My name is Reynolds Robinson, and I currently caddie for Joseph Bramlett. First bag on tour was Marco Dawson back in 2008 and since then I’ve caddied for multiple guys: Skip Kendall, Paul Stankowski, Steve LeBrun, Parker McLachlin, Brett Stegmaier, Notah Begay, Will Claxton… I’m trying to remember them all…there’s going to be some that I leave out. I caddied a tournament for Ryan Blaum, but there’s a bunch more man. I can’t remember them all right now.

How did you end up being a caddie on the PGA Tour and what’s your career progression been?

I’ll try to make it as quick as possible, but, before this I was a corporate accountant, so I did financial operational audits for Price Waterhouse Coopers and Honeywell, and I hated it. So, I got an opportunity to caddie for a guy in a Monday qualifier and I knew I wanted to caddie after I did that. I moved the family from Philly to Florida and started caddying at the Grand Lakes. My first professional bag was at the Final Stage of Q-School at Orange County National back in 2007. Miguel Carballo took me and we missed Tour by 1, but he asked me to go out on the Nationwide Tour with him. And from there, it was just a matter of networking with players and getting out here.

Just working your way up.

That’s it, man.

What’s the best restaurant where you go during a PGA Tour season where you’re excited to get to that event just to go to the restaurant?

It’s the Waste Management actually. I go to Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. It’s a breakfast spot all over the Phoenix area. Snooze has great breakfast, and I’ve also found it now at the Houston Open, it’s in La Jolla, at Torrey Pines. So wherever I can find Snooze, I eat breakfast there.

What’s your go-to snack on the course?

Whatever is on the tee. But normally like granola bars or some type of orange or apple, something like that. I try to be healthy.

What’s your favorite sport aside from golf, and what are some of your favorite teams and favorite players?

Basketball is my favorite sport outside of golf. Honestly, I haven’t watched it a ton in the last decade or so. I have two kids, 20 and 18. But my favorite team, once upon a time, was the 76ers. I had season tickets during the A.I. (Allen Iverson) era, so I got to go the finals when they played the Lakers, and I got to experience all that good stuff. If I watch now, I just want to see a good game. I don’t care who wins.

Love it. What’s on your music playlist right now?

Everything. Everything from gospel to Tainted Love by Soft Cell. I like Lil Wayne a lot, so I’ll listen to a lot of Lil Wayne. And Roddy Ricch is probably one of my favorites right now. But it could be anything for me.

Roddy’s great, a hot new up-and-comer. What’s been the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way about caddying, or golf in general?

The first thing that comes to mind is to always speak your mind with your player. The biggest regrets I’ve had caddying are not the things that I’ve said, they’re the things I’ve failed to say.

That’s deep. What’s your take on the slow play issue in golf if you think that there is one?

Sometimes I think there is a slow play issue. I think, from what I’ve seen, is that college kids are becoming a lot more deliberate and they’re being taught to take their time by coaches to go through their routines and even in situations where they might need to pick it up, they’re sticking to a certain routine and they’re going through it regardless of the circumstances.

What caddie is the most fun to be with on tour, whether it’s on the course or off the course?

Wow. Kip Henley. That’s an easy answer.

What’s the hardest course to walk on the tour?

It was Montreux, in my opinion. I’ve not yet been to Kapalua, although I hear Kapalua is the hardest one the walk. I’d like ot learn that one day, but Montreux for me in Reno was the hardest because of the thin air and the elevation and some of the holes were uphill all the way from the tee to the green so it was hard to breath and catch your breath on a lot of holes.

Caddies are known for having the best stories. Without incriminating yourself too much, what’s the funniest story you have about caddie life?

You gotta gimmie a second for this one. It might not be really that funny, but I don’t know (laughs). Nothing jumps out at me that might be funny for somebody reading. That’s a tough one on the spot…OK, I got one.

When I was caddying for Steve LeBrun, it was kind of funny, but not. I was caddying for him for 3 years, and we had a tournament once where he was striping the ball. He was hitting the ball inside of 12 feet all day long but he was making nothing. Like, it was one of those frustrating rounds where we could have been 8 or 9 under, but we were even par. We got to a hole and he was in between 6 and 7 iron, and we were talking, and he was like, “What do you like?”

I was starting to explain, and he was like, “Ah, it doesn’t matter. If I don’t hit it to a foot it won’t matter.”

So he just pulls a club and hits it. Then 3 holes later he calms down and asks me again what club I like. I was like, “Well, whichever one you can hit to a foot.”

He said, “I knew that was gonna come back to bite me.”

In terms of player-caddie banter, that’s one of my favorite stories.

That’s pretty strong right there. What’s your biggest “Uh oh, I messed up” moment of your career?

Ohh. Um, for me that’s a hard one because I don’t think in terms of “I messed up,” I think in terms of “I need to get that better for next time.” If that means anything.

Positivity…

Positivity. But I think the one – it was Steve LeBrun again – I was like “Sorry, dude.”

I was walking and talking with the caddies in the other group and players got to the ball, I walked and went to the sprinkler head and walked back to the ball, and instead of adding I subtracted. And so, we had the number and he hits this club and we were like, “Man, that is all over the flag…nope, that’s not all over the flag, that’s 20 yards long.”

OK, and I just turned and look at him and I’m like, “****, sorry man. I actually just subtracted that instead of added it.”

He was like, “Whatever dude. I’ve been with you for 3 years and you’ve never done that. So let’s go get it up and down.”

I’m surprised that doesn’t happen more often, honestly. If your player is a bit nervous going into a first tee shot or on the 72nd hole of a tournament, what’s something you might say to him to calm him down?

I say it before the round. Like with Joseph when we were trying to get his card in 2019. I told him we were going to go with the three P’s. Every shot was going to have a purpose, we were going to be patient, and that we were going to be persistent. So if we start getting to a point where he was tight, I would just recite one of those. “Alright, what’s our purpose here? Or OK, be patient.”

So I’ll usually do that before the round, just something so that he knows it beforehand so when I start saying it, he already knows what I’m trying to do. There’s no quirky things during the round, like I’ll say it before. This is what we want to do, so if we get into a tight situation, let’s remember the three P’s.

What’s your favorite tour stop to caddie at, whether it’s the perks or the clubhouse, or something like that?

My favorite course to caddie at is Pebble Beach. And Torrey is a really close second. They’re both right there. I love water and water views. Both of those places are just heaven on earth as far as I’m concerned. And plus, the coastal feel when you go to eat, or just when you go to hang out. Off the course is as much fun as on the course.

Yeah, it’s a great vibe out there. Last question. Based on working so closely with tour players, what advice would you have for amateur golfers trying to improve their games?

Play within your means. Don’t try to hit the hero shot, just focus more on course management than you do on spectacular shots. If I had the swing to go with the knowledge I had now, I’d be a hell of a player. I just don’t have the swing these guys do. The one thing I learn from these guys is that even though they have the shots, they’ve learned how to manage their way around the golf course when it’s not looking good. They won’t take the hero shot. They’ll make the smart play. So for amateurs, play within yourself and don’t make the hero play, just manage the course and you’ll probably save a lot of strokes over the course of a round.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

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19th Hole

‘That’s what everybody wants me to do’ – Is Anthony Kim about to make a sensational return to pro golf?

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Despite having not played in over a decade, the golf world has an obsession with former PGA Tour star, Anthony Kim.

Kim shined at the 2008 Ryder Cup, earning 2.5 points in the event which was tied for the second-best performance on the U.S. side. “AK” played with Phil Mickelson in fourball and was the first man out in Sunday singles matches where he defeated Sergio Garcia 5&4. At the time of the Ryder Cup, Kim was the number 10 ranked player in the world as a Tour rookie. He went on to win three times on Tour from 2008-2010.

After a New York Times piece on the fascinating story of Anthony Kim, he’s found himself back in the headlines.

According to Kim’s former caddie Eric Larson, the now 37-year-old hasn’t ruled out a return to the game. Larson had a recent phone call with Kim and asked if he’d be open to a deal with LIV Golf.

Larson told the New York Times, “He goes, ‘I don’t know. I really don’t know.’” Larson said. “I said, ‘Come on, man, get the old clubs out. Go out there and have some fun.’ And he starts laughing at me. He goes, ‘That’s what everybody wants me to do!’”

Also in the piece was a quote from AK’s longtime swing coach Adam Schriber who said Kim still has “the same swing you remember”, after playing with him twice over the past two years.

The article has caused social media to explode with Anthony Kim rumors once again.

The account “Pro Golf Stuff” tweeted that Kim was rumored to join LIV on a 4 year $110 million deal. However, the account is a “parody account” and there are no legitimate sources who’ve shared the information. But, as we’d expect from the internet, that didn’t stop people from running with the story.

A return to golf by Anthony Kim would set the golf world ablaze. While there’s still a very slim chance of it happening, there’s no denying that outside of Tiger Woods, no one moves the needle more than Anthony Kim.

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Rory Mcilroy delivered a ruthless verdict when asked if he could rekindle friendship with Sergio Garcia

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Rory McIlroy has played exceptionally well over the past year and has risen to the number one spot in the world once again. However, he’s found himself in the headlines for what he’s said to the media more often than for his stellar play.

At this week’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic, Rory was once again asked about his former friend, Sergio Garcia.

At the beginning of the week, DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley stated that if Luke Donald chose a LIV golfer for his captains pick at the Ryder Cup, they’d be able to participate. Sergio Garcia, who’s the European team’s all-time leading scorer in the Ryder Cup would typically be a player who’s worthy of consideration for one of those six available spots.

McIlroy, who was an usher at Garcia’s 2017 wedding, has emphatically stated that he doesn’t want Garcia at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

During the media session in Dubai, Rory was asked if his relationship with former good friend Garcia could be rekindled.

McIlroy responded by just saying: “No.”

When asked to elaborate, McIlroy shook his head and said: “No way”.

There have been some dissenting opinions among European golfers on whether member of LIV Golf should be allowed to play in the Ryder Cup.

Jon Rahm said back in July that he wants his friend and fellow Spaniard Garcia on the Ryder Cup team.

“Sergio knows very well that he has dedicated his life to the European Tour in his 25 years as a pro,’’ Rahm said. “That they turn their backs on him that way doesn’t seem right to me. And it is what it is. It is not my decision and that he has to make this decision, it hurts me.

“It’s a shame also because I know that he wanted to play in Spain. And he won’t be able to play either the Spanish Open or at Valderrama. And it bothers me even more that he can’t play the Ryder Cup.’’

Rahm echoes those sentiments once again in October.

“The Ryder Cup is not the PGA Tour and European Tour against LIV – it’s Europe versus the US, period,” Rahm told The Telegraph. “The best of each against the other, and for me the Ryder Cup is above all. I wish they could play, but it doesn’t look good.”

Reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick believes the best players should play, regardless of which Tour they play on.

“I think there definitely are a few personal relationships that have been dented by this,” Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports. “I’m not bothered, I just want to win, and I’m sure those boys do too.”

“Sergio would be the one that would stand out for me, particularly,” Fitzpatrick said. “I don’t know the details of [his relationship with Rory McIlroy]. I’m happy to share a room with him, if that’s going to be the case, I can corner him off for everyone else.”

It will be fascinating to see what European Captain Luke Donald ultimately decides to do with his captains picks with so many differing opinions amongst the European stars.

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Sir Nick Faldo has some interesting thoughts on LIV golfers in the Ryder Cup and Greg Norman

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While LIV players look forward to their first event of the year at Mayakoba in just four weeks’ time, the ex-European Tour players have been told by Sir Nick Faldo that as far as this year’s Ryder Cup is concerned, “they’re done.”

My favourite game: Nick Faldo v Greg Norman, 1996 Masters | The Masters | The Guardian

There is very little love lost between the 1996 Masters 1-2 these days.

In a week that has seen reports of reduced offers for new signings, the ‘unofficial’ tour has also witnessed increased momentum behind the TGL tour, with Collin Morikawa joining fellow major champions Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas in the technology-led midweek league in 2024.

Led by the fiercely anti-LIV Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, the two-time major champion may have been having a side-swipe at the Saudi-backed league when stating in his press release that:

“I think the design of TGL to provide sports fans the world’s best in a weekly, primetime golf competition, from start-to-end in only two hours, will appeal to a broader spectrum of casual golf fans and introduce our sport to younger fans.”

Barring injury, McIlroy, Morikawa, JT and Rahm are certain to be facing each other at the Marco Simone club later this year, but whilst Faldo may be uncertain about who will be in the team, he is very clear about who should be missing.

Players that have made a huge impression in recent Ryder Cups — Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell — have all made the decision to join LIV over the past year, something Faldo says makes the result easy:

“They shouldn’t be there because they’ve gone off and you’ve got to move on,” Faldo said when interviewed on Sky Sports News.

The 11-time Ryder Cup player and retired broadcaster admitted that age is certainly against them, but with no official ranking or Ryder Cup points awarded to LIV results, it is also going to be virtually impossible for any of the previous stalwarts to re-appear in Italy.

That is, of course, all subject to the result of an upcoming hearing, challenging any ban by the PGA Tour and restrictions by the DP World Tour.

With LIV player Henrik Stenson — the original European team captain — sacked within three months of being appointed, Luke Donald knows that he needs to choose wisely when it comes to his six free picks, and Faldo suggests this is the time to bank of the rookies:

“They’re [European LIV players] all at the age where Europe needs to find a new breed of 25-year-olds that can play half a dozen or more Ryder Cups, and I think we’re going to have that.”

“They’re done,” he said confidently, before continuing: “It’s a rival tour. If you work for a company for 20 years and you then leave to go to a rival company, I can promise you your picture won’t still be on the wall. You’ve moved on. Fine, off you go.”

“They made that decision and I’m sure they knew it was going to cost them,” Faldo said. “They were playing the maths game. They were getting a huge chunk of money up front, and they knew it was going to lose them sponsors, but they thought ‘I still win’.”

Faldo also commented on the LIV tour in general, offering his thoughts on the organization fronted by Greg Norman, his great rival on the course throughout his career, and against whom he overcame a six-shot deficit to win the 1996 Masters.

“It’s [LIV] a closed shop: 48 guys given loads of money,” Faldo said. “What gripes me is it’s not growing the game of golf. That really gets me when they fly across the world to a country that’s been playing golf for 100 plus years and say, ‘we’re growing the game of golf’.”

Of his great rival, with whom he split eight major titles in a 10 year period from 1986, the 65-year-old said:

“He was a great golfer. He really was a charismatic, exciting golfer and he’s absolutely wrecked all of that.”

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