On a warm summer morning, where there is not a cloud in the sky and the dewy grass makes you shiver as the tips of the tufts brush around your ankles, you revel at the sight of well-groomed lakes surrounded by trees, and rolling hills that seem to go on for miles. No, this is not about a resort. This is about caddying.
Since I was 13 years of age, I have been working hard out on the golf course. Cleaning clubs, raking sand traps, reading putts and pulling flags has been a huge part of my life for every summer since then. There is no doubt that this is hard work, carrying a 30 pound bag on your shoulder trying to keep up with your player, who is eager to find that ball he lost in the woods before you do. But caddying has been some of the most rewarding work that I have ever done.
How a person plays golf says a lot about them. Are they confident in their swing? Do they know how to problem-solve? Do they know and follow the etiquette so imperative to the sport? Do they lose their temper? Over the years, I have caddied for businessmen, truck drivers and mobsters. No matter who the player, the caddy’s job is to cordially support their game. You learn very quickly when to give advice, when to give the player their space, when to serve them, and most importantly when to shut your mouth and let them do their thing. Learning how to interact with all types is an essential part of the job, and you’re sunk if you’re behind the curve.
I have always loved nature, and so working outside has always been important to me. When that player hits his ball in the woods, I sometimes have to hide my elation. Not only do I get to step into the shade for a quick minute, but I can observe every detail on a beautiful tree, or see a colony of ants at work at its roots. I have even made friends with a squirrel from time to time.
Okay, so I don’t just caddy for the love of the job and the people I meet. There is the money. And potentially lots of it. All cash. No taxes (if you like reading my articles, don’t tell). But there is extra-monetary value to learning how to work hard for money at an early age. But, as it pains me to admit it, I am no longer at this early age. So I went looking for a job and found one.
Butte des Morts Country Club, a private course located off of Prospect Avenue in Appleton, offers 18 holes of rolling hills, willow and pine trees, and tactfully placed lakes and sand bunkers. Unique to Butte des Morts is one hole where the players must hit their first shot up a hill that they cannot see over the top of. Because of this blind tee shot, there is a bell up ahead in the fairway, so that the preceding group rings back to the group waiting to say it’s all clear to hit. The spectacle illustrates the members’ tight-knit community; they work together to make each others time enjoyable.
The course also stresses family in its events, holding a weekly junior golf day once a week throughout the summer, in addition to a ladies day once a week and a member/member tournament.
The restaurant has delicious food and some local beer on tap, including a brew from Stone Arch Brewery. The staff is very nice and enthusiastic to help golfers with anything they may need.
I dearly miss the golf course that I worked at back home, Cantigny. But this summer is the summer of new beginnings: my first apartment, my first internship. My first time paying for groceries and rent. Thanks to Butte des Morts Country Club, that had enough faith to give me a chance, I have been able to keep my passionate summer work a constant.
–By Cameron Carrus
Please feel free to leave some comments below.
If you’re a golfer, do you like taking a caddy with you?
Have you ever been a caddy?
Do you have a preferred golf course in the Fox Cities area?
Stories: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Caddying