If you have ever longed to caddie for a professional golfer, you’re in luck. The Symetra Tour — formerly the LPGA Futures Tour — is coming to New England and organizers want a few good women and men to tote the luggage for many of golf’s future stars who’ll tee it up at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord, N.H., from July 20-July 22.
“Caddying in the Symetra Tour event here in Concord gives you a rare opportunity to watch, as up-close and personal as you can get, one of the best young women professional golfers in the world,” Dave Andrews, caddie master for the upcoming Northeast Delta Dental International event, told us Sunday via e-mail. “You never know — your player might even become one of the biggest stars on the LPGA in the years to come.”
Andrews, who recently looped for LPGA Tour rookie Hannah Yun, recalled with fondness his initial foray into lugging players’ luggage and wanted to assure potential recruits that it was an enjoyable, stress-free adventure.
“I remember how nervous I was the first time I caddied for a player on the tour (seven years ago),” he said. “I was afraid I was going to make a mistake and cost my player a penalty shot or something. However, it was so much fun that I have caddied more than 20 times since then and I really enjoy every minute out on the course with the great young women I have gotten to know over the years.”
As for your duties, they’re pretty simple. Here are a few tips from Andrews:
Wear flat-soled sneakers of running shoes since caddies may not wear spiked golf shoes
Bring an old towel, wet on one end, to clean clubs
Arrive at least an hour before your player’s tee time
Set the bag down on the driving range, stand back, watch quietly, and clean each club after use
After practice — and this is a biggie (just ask the European Tour’s Jose Manuel Lara, who was disqualified from a recent event after his caddie tried to hide an extra club in the bushes) — count your player’s clubs and be sure she has no more than 14 in her bag
Do not off any advice unless asked; even then, you are not obliged to provide help if you are uncomfortable doing so
Andrews will fill you in on additional details, and there will be a non-mandatory caddie meeting at the course on Sunday, July 15 at 6 p.m., to discuss any questions you may have. Other than that, Andrews will contact you next Monday or Tuesday with your player’s name and contact info.
And not to worry, Andrews affirmed; you need not perform any duties that make you uneasy.
“Remember, you’re essentially out there to carry the bag, keep the clubs clean, and to be a friend and supporter for your player,” he said. “You do not have to do any more than that if you are not comfortable in getting more involved in her game.”
As a reporter and long-time booster of the LPGA and the tour’s future stars, Andrews wrote a book about the young women trying to make it on the professional golf circuit. The would-be stars who tee it up annually at Beaver Meadow were the inspiration for his self-published novel, “Pops and Sunshine,” which Hollywood producer and actor Gary Hudson recently optioned. And who knows? Your stint on the bag in New Hampshire may one day become the stuff of legend on the silver screen.
You may also recall Andrews as the notorious arm-chair ref who instigated a worldwide debate last year about what role — if any — TV viewers should play in rules issues involving tour players. While watching the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Golf Channel from his winter home in Daytona Beach, Fla., Andrews noticed that Camilo Villegas flicked away a loose impediment with his golf club while his ball rolled down a slope toward him.
Recognizing the breach of Rule 23-1, which states, “When a ball is in motion, a loose impediment that might influence the movement of the ball must not be removed,” Andrews told us back then that he tweeted the TV network and the tour about Villegas’ violation. In the end, officials disqualified Villegas for signing an incorrect scorecard since he did not account for the penalty, and Andrews gained a measure of infamy for his eagle-eyed vigilance.
For more information about caddying at Beaver Meadow, you may contact Andrews [email protected]