From the 'Dashboard':
of 'CaddyBytes Bob':


Veteran tour caddy Bob Whitbread - 20 years as a caddy in professional golf. Since I don't necessarily like to 'blow my own horn' or make CaddyBytes about me so much - as I created CaddyBytes.com in 2002 for an emphasis on professional golf caddies and what caddying out on tour might be all about. I also wanted it to be a tribute to a special breed of people who've dedicated their time in a game that they feel passionate about. I've been around the game out on tour in the past two decades after a couple of brief stints in the late '70's and early '80's. Then full time from 1990 - 2007. Needless to say we've seen a lot of changes today which pretty much reflect the market place - such as the inception of the FedExCup and the loss of tournaments here in the USA and the great expansion of golf internationally. This column will be from my own 'Dashboard' and will be my take on things that I choose to 'Take On' - let's call it the world of golf 'According to Bob' - hehehe!!! I Hope it's somewhat informative and at least occasionally enjoyable. If not - why bother to visit CaddyBytes at all - right?!.

Dashboard 'Kaddy Korner' stories from Mark Huber
also featured on CaddyBytes.com:
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
*Also Read these Caddies Dashboard stories by
Randall Watts:
 
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The Caddies Dashboard continues here in 2011  
- This Week's featured caddy story is - 'from the Dashboard' of:


                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                                       'CaddyBytes 'Bob' 02/21/11
                                                           
               'West Coast Swing: Bob Hope through Northern Trust L.A. Open'
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At the Bob Hope Classic  veteran caddy Luis Sira caddied for tour rookie, fellow Venezuelan, and 2011 Bob Hope Classic winner Jhonattan Vegas after working for him the previous season on the Nationwide Tour.  The next week in San Diego at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, Vegas was faced with a second shot into the final hole and needing an eagle to catch eventual winner Bubba Watson who had already completed his round.  Luis told Vegas that he liked a 4 iron second shot into the par five Torrey Pines South finishing  hole there on Sunday. 

Sira said Vegas told him he could draw a 5 iron off the lie and felt it was the best club to hit it close to have a chance to win again which would be two in a row. Looks like Vegas should have listened to Sira as the 5 iron came up short in the water fronting the green taking him out of the chance to win and a solo third place finish.

At the Bob Hope Classic I caddied for Dr. Gerald Bell, a psychiatrist, professor at the University of North Carolina, motivational guru, and who coauthored the best selling book ‘The Carolina Way’ with coach Dean Smith and John Kilgo.  Mr. Bell had come West to play the Bob Hope like his father had done while he was a resident of La Quinta – and he and his wife stayed in that family home there all week.  Due to a demanding schedule and ice and snow in his native Carolina Mr. Bell wasn’t able to get in much practice prior to playing in the Bob Hope. 

He was rusty and searching for a swing all week but showed great determination and mental focus.  And oh yeah. What a really genuinely positive and nice guy he is!  I can see how people could be so drawn to a person like this.  Indeed he does practice what he preaches and showed a unique ability to absorb a lot of well meaning advice to sort out a golf swing that was rusty on such short notice. Eventually he put it all together with a natural three birdie run on the back nine at the Arnold Palmer Private PGA West course the last day and with the exception of one bad hole would have shot under par there on the back nine the last day!

On Day three at the Hope at the Nicklaus PGA West Private course we were paired with Arnold Palmer’s grandson Sam Saunders.  Sam’s mom followed along outside the ropes with The King himself inside most of the day in a golf cart with Arnold driving the cart with his bride alongside in the passenger seat.  Mr. Palmer did a pretty good job of playing spectator and yet not letting his affection intrude on Sam’s play there. 

Word got out ahead of us and many times to the cheers of ‘Go Arnie’ and ‘We love you Arnie’ along the way.  Sam played well but couldn’t make anything on the greens that week and was missing the cut.  We all then heard later that the flight back to Orlando was Arnold’s last as a pilot and how the air traffic controllers all saluted him along the way where he made record time back home to Orlando from Palm Springs. 

Veteran LPGA looper, (and now PGA Tour) caddy, Bob Kendall is working for Sam who was playing on a sponsors exemption at the Hope.  Our pro that last day was Kevin Stadler with veteran caddy Eddie ‘Heimer’ Fletcher on the bag.  Our other two amateur playing partners for four days were eight time Grammy winning guitarist and songwriter Steve Cropper, (Dock of the Bay among other songs he’s written), and country singing sensation Pat Green – who were both great guys and fun to be around.

The Phoenix Open:  Monday qualifier looked like a one day ‘B’ PGA Tour event with such a strong field of past champions, former exempt players, and current Champions Tour players pining for just 3 spots to get to play in the 2011 WM Phoenix Open.

The weather in Phoenix was alright until a severe cold front came in overnight Tuesday thoughout the rest of the week.  It was 35 degrees on Wednesday afternoon in Phoenix with the wind blowing 25 to 35 mph.  They cancelled the entire Pro Am and never opened the practice range that day at all. 

The next week in Pebble Beach it was 65 to 75 degrees all week long and sunny!  Go figure?!

At Pebble I gophered for CBS on the alternate golf courses – Monterey Peninsula, and Spyglass Hill running highlight tapes to hand off to the driver who then ran them back to the CBS production truck at Pebble to insert as highlights in each days show.  We had the celebrities those two days and I caught a lot of Bill Murray playing with D.A. Points. 

In days past the traditional pro who played with Murray was always Scott Simpson.  In his early days playing at this tournament things got pretty wild out there with Bill Murray able to play off of the loose personality of Scott to counterbalance a golfing & playing comedic duo.  This year at the AT & T Points played a similar role.  Whenever there was a good sized gallery around a green, Points would get over the ball to putt Murray would pan; “Folks watch this guy, pay attention, this guy is Really Good!” 

D.A. remained unflappable about it all and he later credited Murray with keeping him loose all week long.  Winning the tournament outright on Sunday and better even double dipping with he and Murray winning the Pro-am portion of the event was truly the ‘Feel Good Win’ of the West Coast Swing and topping any winning combo’s at Pebble in recent times. 

 West Coast Swing Caddy Bits:

*Best caddy pick up of the West Coast Swing - Mitch Knox – Trevor Immelman, “On Tuesday morning I asked him waiting in the caddy area: “How long have you had this bag?  And he told me, “About 10 minutes ago!”

‘The Brit’ Alan Bond doing well with Martin Laird – former caddy for David Edwards, Fulton Allem, and David Frost, among others.

Brennan Little caddy for Mike Weir for all those good years now caddying for Sean O’Hair.

Veteran caddy Pete Bender now caddying for Mike Weir. 

Veteran caddy Scotty Steel – Tim Herron, Larry Mize Masters win, Payne Stewart, began working for Scott Gordon beginning Pebble Week.

Veteran caddy Jerry Higgenbothem, (O'Meara Masters & British Open), working for Jason Gore last year on the Nationwide and regular tour when he gets in and on the bag at Riviera as well.
   
Matt Hall winning with D.A. Points back and forth between the Nationwide and regular tour with Points and for hanging there finally got that big payday after about 10 years or so caddying out on the tour(s).

‘Bullet’ Bob Burns back with Steve Elkington with Elk headed to Champions Tour soon

‘Disco’ Dennis Turning working for Mark Brooks with Brooks going to the Champions Tour at the end of March.

Bobby Brown (Dustin Johnson) with the missed tee time at Northern Trust L.A. Open add that to the ruling at the PGA last summer.  Now earning the nickname ‘Asbestos’ which the caddies like to use for someone who appears at least for now ‘Fire-Proof’ ( As in can't be fired).

                                                                                 My next story:  ‘What’s wrong with Tiger?’

                                                                                          Thanks for visiting CaddyBytes.com,

                                                                                                                            Bob
                                                                                              

 

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