Until recently, I had no idea what that phrase meant…or that it had any meaning at all. Turns out, “push the bag” is a golf term. When you’re “pushing the bag” your acting as the caddy for someone playing golf. The caddies job is to “push the bag” (which is full of clubs, balls, tees, and other paraphernalia) for the player for 18 holes, so he or she, stays fresh to swing the club. I had never acted in an official capacity as a caddy until last week.
My cousin Jay is an assistant golf pro in Calgary. He was here last week to compete in a tournament at Gorge Vale Golf Course. He asked me to push the bag and I agreed. I had no idea it would be so much work.
It has rained a lot recently in Victoria. Rain makes the ground soft, which makes pushing the bag hard. Add that to the fact that I think my cousin has half his material possessions in his golf bag, and I had a tough morning. I was excited though, because I got to watch three excellent golfers play up close and personal.
A caddie or “looper” or “jock” as they’re also called, live by the three “Up’s” I was told:
1. Show up
2. Keep Up
3. Shut up
I didn’t think the first two would be a problem; and I’m pretty sure Jay knew number three was a long shot.
There was no problem with showing up; Jay was staying at my place, and I was his “ride” to the course. Check.
Though the grass was wet, and I was doing all the “work” walking between shots, I feel I did a decent job keeping pace. Check.
I like to talk, a lot. For over four hours, I made a real effort to”speak when spoken to” and feel I was relatively quite. Check.
I really hoped that Jay would shoot a good score and I could share in the achievement. This was not the case. Jay shot a 78 (which is about 30 strokes lower than I would have shot) but spent the majority of the evening lamenting about how he played like a “shit pump.” It was his worst round of tournament golf ever. Granted, he’s only been playing tournaments for two years. That was a small consolation.
My other responsibilities included: handing Jay his clubs, and putting them back in the bag after wiping grass off of them following the swing, cleaning off the ball between shots, and handing Jay a Colt “wine and rum” cigar every 2 or 3 holes.
What I learned: A steak sandwich and pint of Blue Buck is hardly fair compensation for almost five hours of work.