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Play Golf, Don't Work It

The perfect prescription for a good finish to the year

Posted Jun 21, 2011 by Mark's Kaddy Korner

Two weeks off to savor a victory is enough. You can only buy so many drinks and rehash the round way too much. You have to get back to work, re-evaluate your goals for the year and head for the range, pounding balls till dusk. I haven’t talked with Bob since Monday morning after the victory but I’m sure he’s been rethinking the rest of the year.

When we left Birmingham two weeks before Des Moines he told me to look for another bag. His exact words were, “If you can find something better go right ahead, it won’t bother me a bit. I’m not sure I can play this game anymore.” A couple of caddies over heard the conversation and thought we were splitting up. The thought had crossed my mind but there were no other jobs available.

I don’t think Bob Dylan was referring to golf when he sang “the times they are a changing” but they sure have. Attitudes, perspectives, schedules, tee times, pro-am days, everything changes after a win, especially when the win comes so unexpectedly. Bob hadn’t won since 2006ish and my last win was 2004 with Doug Tewell. With a win comes a lot of perks.

Our first thought after the win was, “we’re going to Hawaii in January”. Every tournament winner starts off the year at Hualalai and a guaranteed purse. We move into a better tee time category every Friday playing with other past champions and don’t have to be first or last out according to the draw. I wasn’t sure if I was going to the Senior British Open because of financial concerns but I don’t have to worry about that for a while.

And finally, only one Thursday pro-am for the next year or so, two a week gets to be a grind. Now we can relax, maybe show up late Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning for a tournament and be fully rested for the weekend. A schedule like that can be habit forming. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind having one more week off. The rain kept me from fixing up the cabin but I needed to get back to work so I could rest. Hanging out in Mellen is relaxing and dangerous at the same time. Bob’s bag and clubs got a workout at Mellen CC; I don’t think his clubs have hit so many bad shots in their life. It’s a good thing I work on the other side of the bag, the golf was pretty ugly but a lot of fun. There were still two beers in the bottom of Bob’s bag when I packed up Sunday.

The Open really didn’t interest me last week; it was all about the cabin and getting away for a while. Zach kept me company, Jamie and the old tractor kept me busy, and the cabin needs so much work I didn’t have time for golf, it was wonderful. I did watch the kid finish up Sunday before I headed across the Michigan UP for Endicott, NY. Somebody better warn Tiger there might be a new sheriff in town.     

Forget that first line about pounding balls till dusk. I think we’ve both learned this game is all about relaxing, having fun, and definitely not thinking or over analyzing too much. They call it playing golf not working golf; we’ll remember that the rest of the year. The pro goes to Europe, the caddy off to the Penokee Hills; I wouldn’t have it any other way. The perfect prescription for a good finish to the year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

- Mark Huber


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