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The palpable camaraderie is one of the things that prevents caddies from drift- ing into other work. The work is competitive, good caddies can have more than 10 years of experience and still not rank in the top 15 of the group. “We have a lot of lifers,” says Rich Dooda, a manager at Caddie Mas- ter, which runs the caddie programs at a number of resorts nationwide. “Most are pretty well educated. Most were in the workforce but realized that sitting be- hind a desk wasn’t for them. They come to Pebble and they get hooked.” Caddying is a profession


that has always smiled upon free spirits. There are plenty of stereotypes about bag- men, and some are grounded in the truth. “If it was up to me I’d make drug-testing





breath is not uncommon.) The corporatization of the caddies mirrors the demo- graphic changes of Pebble’s golfers. “In the old days we had better players for sure,” says Casey Boyns, who is number two in seniority at Pebble. “There were more guys’ trips, more fathers and sons, more serious golfers who loved the game and loved the course. A lot of them have been priced out. Now it’s corporate Amer- ica entertaining clients— they’re hacks.” Boyns is Pebble’s most


celebrated caddie largely due to his exploits as a player, notably winning the California State Amateur Championship in 1989 and 1993, joining Ken Venturi, Mark O’Meara and Gene Littler among the past champs. Boyns’s schedule


We have a lot of lifers,” says Rich Dooda, a manager at Caddie Master, which runs the caddie programs at a number of resorts nationwide. “Most are pretty well educated. Most were in the workforce but realized that sitting behind a desk wasn’t for them.”


mandatory, but that would probably weed out 50% of the caddies since so many of them use marijuana,” says one well-travelled caddie. He stresses that such use never, ever happens on the job. Pebble caddies used to


be an exceedingly colorful bunch but since Caddie Master took control around the turn of the century they have, as a group, become more professional in man- ner and appearance. (In the United Kingdom the cad- dies tend to be an older and scruffier lot, and 100-proof


is often booked weeks in advance by loyal repeat customers. (Another couple dozen of the most senior caddies are regularly re- quested, too.) Boyns prefers to work Monday through Friday; if he doesn’t have a job lined up he simply shows up at Pebble around sunrise knowing he’ll usually be on the course in a matter of minutes. “I like to get up, go do it, eat lunch, go play golf,” he says. Boyns’s idyllic life is helped by the fact his wife Sara is a lawyer. For the caddies who


are their family’s breadwin- ner a second job can be a necessity. Pat McEldowney, 54 years old with a wife and 2 1/2 year-old son and an ongoing kitchen remodel, spends his afternoons sell- ing real estate. Bart Keagey is a photographer whose course portraits are sold in one of the swank shops


near Pebble’s first tee. Rick Persons and Bill Robertson are restaurant proprietors. Michael Moore breeds Lab- rador retrievers and says that his dogs are sniffing bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan carrying out search-and- rescue missions domestically. “I love the flexibility that caddying gives me,” says


Eddie Claessen holds the unofficial record for loops in one year at Pebble Beach (430).


54 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2011


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