From the 'Dashboard':
of Mark Huber:


Mark Huber is a professional caddy currently working on the PGA Tour's Champions golf tour for Bob Gilder.   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. 

More Dashboard 'Kaddy Korner' stories from Mark Huber:
     
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
*Also Read these Caddies Dashboard stories by
Randall Watts:
 
Week of 00/00/00
 
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Week of 00/00/00
 


The Caddies Dashboard continues here in 2012  
- This Week's featured caddy story is - 'from the Dashboard' of:


                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                                          Mark Huber 04/15/12
                                                           
                                     'Kaddy Korner Encompass Tampa, FL:
  

(Around Thanksgiving 2011 , Devon Quigley, “Ironman” Dana Quigley’s son had a serious car accident, he’s still in a coma with massive brain injuries but thoughts, prayers and the Quigley family strength is keeping him going.

For updates on Dana Quigley's son Devon's slow progress from massive brain trauma:    Please Go to CaringBridge.org/visit/DevonQuigley for updates on his condition. Our thoughts and prayers go with the entire Quigley Family in their time of need.)

'Kaddy Korner Encompass Tampa:

It is 2012 already. My first Champions (Senior) Tour event was 1993 at TPC of Cheval with a little round Irishman, Bob Murphy, who turned 50 on Valentine’s Day that year and was so nervous on the first tee he said he almost topped it. We were both a bit anxious, it was a new tour without my old drinking buddies and neither of us knew what to expect. Today this tournament is the only one left from the 1993 schedule played at the same venue.

The course was brand new, the pro shop was a double wide skirted trailer and the player’s locker room, family dining area and tournament office was a humongous white canvas circus tent. There were a few townhouses lining the ninth fairway, some old growth Florida Spanish moss strewn oaks but the course and surrounding area was quite barren. Times have changed, things have changed but they’ve also remained the same in many ways.

The layout was tough back then and it’s still the most difficult course we play all year. Let us shoot under par every round is my mantra, maybe a 67 one day and we’ll always be in good shape come Sunday. Single digit winners are the norm here not the birdie fests you see other weeks. The nice thing about Lutz, FL it is still relaxing even though a Super Target and Walmart have moved within a half mile of my precious cabin.

Whiskey Willie’s still serves cold beer in a dark, dingy atmosphere, Ukulele Brand’s has some great seafood chowder, great burgers and salads along a tiny lake but the service suffers a bit and the Moose Lodge still throws open their back door even if I don’t bring Tom Wargo along. Wargo called Wednesday, said he wasn’t in the tournament and wanted me to drop off tickets. The tickets were greatly appreciated, the free drinks even more so, and I left Wargo’s cell phone number at the bar for everyone to call and thank him. We’d been stopping in there for years after our afternoon Harley rides, he and his caddy “Whiz” are almost cult heroes, not many folks remembered me.

In the late 80’s I caddied for Curt Byrum and we played with Bill Fennel, Jim Courier’s dad and Randy Hundley in the Quad Cities Open Pro-am. Long story short, after a day on the course, a few beverages later and a jam session with Duck Soup, Bill said “I have this little cabin north of Tampa; you’re welcome to use it any time you’re in the area.”

He and his buddy, Colonel Chuck Beaver, one of the original Top Gun fighter pilots and next door neighbor, still put up with me. They charge me a few golf balls, gloves, yard work, a shirt or two and some tickets but it is well worth a little slice of heaven. The back porch overlooking the lake is in my top five tour spots just after the cliff behind number 5 at Pebble Beach, it’s really that special. Never tell a caddy you have a free spot, they’ll keep coming back forever.

I may be caddying for one of the nicest guys on tour and that’s a difficult statement because ol’ Murph, his wife Gail plus Doug and Pam Tewell are hard to beat. We weren’t in either pro-am, he’d already given me Monday off and I asked him what the schedule was after our Tuesday practice round. “What works best for you?” he surprised me with. No pro has ever uttered those words; we’re usually at their beckoned call and can never be late. We played two nine hole practice rounds Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, this may have been my easiest week in a long time.

Tuesday, the 18 hole practice round with Curtis Strange, Leonard Thompson, and Bob Tway, was actually fun. Usually, drudgery and practice round coincide but I never lifted a pencil, didn’t chart a green, and never checked a number only listened to the old guys tell stories all afternoon while raking a few traps, shagging a few chips and enjoying nature. They were in rare form, I was the least experienced caddy in the group and everyone had stories to share. Sorry they can’t be told outside the ropes, it’s that old locker room mentality.

On the tenth green someone spotted the large gator who roams the pond. I mean big gator, 12+ feet or so. He was drifting about 50 feet off shore when he spotted a coot next to the bank. His tail started wagging, he silently snuck up on the coot, and when the coot spotted him it was too late. The coot ran across the water, dove quickly, so did “Big Boy”, Curtis nicknamed him during the commotion. We didn’t see the demise but the coot never surfaced and swear we heard “Big Boy” belch as we walked to the 11th tee. It was gracefully violent, something you’d only see on a nature show, we were lucky, I guess.

Encompass Insurance Company based in Chicago took over sponsorship of the tournament from Outback Steakhouse; we were all a bit leery of the change because Chris Sullivan and his crew had taken such good care of everyone over the years. No worries, mate all was just fine except for the much tighter security this year. Caddies were interrogated before entering their designated parking lot and weren’t allowed to use the cart barn bathroom; I guess there is some sort of caddy contagion floating around these days. But, the pro-am format was still a hit and we played with the eventual champion Michael Allen the first two days.

He made it look easy despite throwing in a double bogey Friday and a layup shot in the water Saturday. Michael and his miscreant caddy, “Marone”, cruised around the track giving us all a course management lesson. When I grow up I want to be like “Marone”. Not really, last year he spent the weekend at the “Crossbar Motel” after a mishap in the Outback’s Billabong tent, a police escort to his car and a warning not to drive. Too many double rum and cokes make you invincible, look it up on Dan Jenkins’ ten stages of drunk, and he fired up his car a half hour later. The cops were gentle and I think there was only a few weeks suspension from the tour.

This year he was hoisting the 18th hole flag, enjoying the trophy presentation and staying out of the corporate tents. I took his place in the Encompass corporate box with our amateur partner, Paul Mattes, and his caddy “Bubba”.

Normally, I’m the first to slip on my flip-flops and get the hell away from the course but these were good old boys from Michigan, the golf wasn’t pretty but the deer hunting stories were classic so I had to sip a few brews with them after each round. I even stuck around Sunday and watched the closing ceremonies; never done that before unless we won the tournament. It was worth the stay, paratroopers floated from the blue skies waving Old Glory with red, white and blue smoke wafting around them.

I didn’t get the chance to congratulate Michael and “Marone” but their partner Mark Adams was all smiles, a bit jittery and preparing for a long Sunday night party. I snuck out of there and headed back to the cabin where I was safe. By the way, we shot even par on the weekend and went from 58th to 27th after our poor first round. There have been a lot of great memories at this tournament, a few more were added and some new friends were joined, it was a great week.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Take Care,

                                                                                                        Mark

 

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