first rule of caddying explained

It was Sunday morning and I was enjoying my second cup of coffee and the phone went and it was Matt, my Caddiemaster, asking if I could make it to the Jubilee for a 1010 tee off.Problem was though that I don’t drive and live in Crail and the first bus is at 10am! So I end up blowing twenty quid on a taxi.However I think this is showing real commitment to the cause. I don’t want to be turning down jobs and I need the money.I think Matt is quite impressed by this or feels sorry for me and says that he has got another bag for me in the afternoon.
It is an interesting dynamic when you meet up with the players and your fellow caddies on the first tee. At this point an experienced caddie is summing up a huge number factors including each individual’s likely character, playing ability and tipping potential.But I also learned another thing. I had my hand on one of the bags which was owned by this genial looking psychiatrist chap when Colin, an old hand caddie next to me, said ‘ dinnae take that one! first rule of caddying! – don’t take the heaviest bag.’And he was completely right for this bag had to be one of the heaviest ever to have been carted round the fabled links. Heaven knows what was in it.Poor young Angus a student trainee lugged it round the 18 long holes of the Jubilee and I hope was justly rewarded.
In the afternoon we had a group from Aspen who were great golfers and obviously had a bit of cash.I met Neil who was the biggest looper last year which means he had done the most rounds out of all the caddies (300!). This week he had done three days on the trot doing three loops a day! Except today he was slightly fragile as he had done 18 tequilas in Golf Place on Saturday night. This is the mecca for caddies who like a swally as they get a discount and it’s about fifty yards from the 18th on the Old.
I also meet Dave Hutchison whose another stalwart of the caddie world here in St Andrews.He explains that there are about thirty caddies who basically get the early slots on the Old which enables them to clock two or three rounds a day.
I think the feeling in our group is that we could be in for a big tip here.Coming off the 18th one of guys says ‘now what is the pay?’ at which point Neil indicates that it’s forty five plus gratuity.He then adds ‘ sixty if we’re bad and seventy upwards if your happy’ which I thought was rather brazen if not a good shout. We were given sixty and Neil walked away in disgust muttering ‘muck’ to himself.

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