From the Dashboard:

of Mark Huber:


Mark Huber is a professional caddy currently working on the PGA Tour's Champions golf tour for Jim Roy.   He's been caddying on the PGA Tour since 1988 and worked for over 70 different players on every tour over the years.   His main bags were Bob Murphy, Doug Tewell, Raymond Floyd, Larry Rinker, Greg Twiggs, and Robert Gamez.  He's also 'looped' for Tom Watson, Curtis Strange, and Larry Nelson to name a notable few, plus countless other players on the PGA, Nationwide, LPGA, and Champions golf tours.   Mark has accumulated twenty wins and countless experiences during his tour caddy career and you can read more from Mark by clicking here at -  Mark's Kaddy Korner. 

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This 'Caddies Dashboard' story was written  
- 'From the Dashboard' of tour caddy Mark Huber!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                               Mark Huber 06/01/10


                                                           
                                       'Senior PGA Championship: Colorado Golf Club'
:

I’ve been attending majors for 22 years and all of them have been great experiences. This week was a bit of an exception. When I arrived Sunday afternoon, walked the front nine that evening, I thought Ben Crenshaw had created a masterpiece. He has but it was a little too early for a major to be played here. I talked with Ben mid-week and complimented him on the design but even he admitted it needed some tweaking.

The layout wasn’t fan friendly and the clubhouse wasn’t even finished. The Colorado Golf Club opened in 2007 with a beautiful view of Pike’s Peak from the practice tee. The strong winds made practice impossible blowing the sand and gravel from the barren land surrounding the clubhouse. The sandy clubhouse lawn was recently sodded but bills weren’t paid and the landscaping company reclaimed their grass just before tournament week. Apparently the bank is arriving soon to take possession of the property. Players, caddies, volunteers, and some tournament officials didn’t have a lot of nice things to say about the set up.

I met Jim and his son Kevin early Monday morning for a practice nine. The wind was only blowing about 20-30 but when we tried to practice around noon the gusts were pushing 60 to 70. We retreated to the sheltered par three course and I had a little fun watching the two razzing each other while enjoying nature. The hawks were having trouble in the swirling winds but I did notice a couple of nice bucks hunkered down in the brush. We knocked off early and I came back out in the evening to walk the back nine. The howling wind created a sandblaster effect around the clubhouse, walking outside was dangerous.

We spread out our practice sessions playing nine holes each day and gradually got accustomed to the altitude. The hip was barking but I persevered and survived the week. Luckily Jim’s a long hitter and we were the last to hit most times in the fairway. I could waddle along arriving at the ball in time for yardages and shot discussions. I’d of had trouble caddying for a short knocker.

We had late/early tee times Thursday and Friday and Jim received a nice call on the range Thursday. He was all smiles. His daughter Lauren just turned sixteen and passed her driver’s license exam. It’s a very close knit family and you could tell it meant a lot to him. He was still bragging to our playing partners walking down the first fairway even though we’d driven into the rough. Sometimes there are just more important things than golf.

We got a lucky break, managed a free drop from a sprinkler control box and knocked an eight iron just short of the green. The long, twisting, downhill putt dropped in for birdie and we were off in the red. A bogie on the next hole cooled us off but we knew it would be a long challenging week. If the birdie putt on sixteen would have dropped, taking us to two under, the momentum would have been ours. 69 or 70 would have been the score instead of 74 but we were still in good shape heading to Friday.

After a late round we were back at it early Friday and ready to go. Well, Jim was, and I was mentally ready but the hip was balking. Luckily we had Kevin in the bullpen but didn’t have to use him. It was struggle all day. Jim was playing well but we weren’t scoring, frustrating both of us. Coming down the stretch we were four over on the day, six over for the tournament and right on the cut line. He made a miraculous save on the difficult par three seventeenth and laced a drive down the middle on the narrow eighteenth and slid under the cut line by one.

The weekend wasn’t good to us especially the fourth hole. If we could by-passed the fourth our score would have been respectable. We went 5-5-8-5 for a smooth seven over during the week. It was long par four into the wind which didn’t yield a lot of birdies, and I’m sure others struggled also, but we didn’t hear any better horror stories. What do you say after an eight? Nothing, you move on and battle. Jim played the last fourteen even par and salvaged a decent round.

The difficult tract and high altitude didn’t leave much energy for a social life this week. I did find a couple of little stops on the way home and hooked up with a 1970’s Cub pitcher who told me stories about my heroes. He wanted to talk golf and I wanted to hear about Billy, Ernie, Fergie, and Santo. We compromised and both were satisfied. Other than that I was tucked in by nine bells every evening.

It was a major without the major atmosphere. The PGA of America won’t be adding any brand new course to their rotation soon. We’re off to Des Moines, IA with a pit stop in Omaha, NE for a caddy pro-am benefitting a three year old girl with lymphoma. A bunch of caddies are playing with some local golfers to raise a little money, it should be fun.


                                                                                                                                                    Mark

                                                                           

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