Friday, February 12, 2016
Ron Santo , Peter Jacobsen, The Sandlot and The Golf Course
As a caddie we had Mondays off if you asked most people. Where I caddied two of the Mondays each month were usually the best days to caddie all summer. The club would have outings that took caddies. The pay rate was higher and the food and drink was free and plentiful. Some of my most memorable days at the course were these events. Here is one such story.
I must have been in college during this summer because one of my younger brothers was caddying at that time. The tournament featured a shot-gun start, which means that each foursome starts on a different hole. The foursomes play the hole in order until they return to where they began the round.
A special feature was added to the event for the first time. Two professional golfers were going to play. The ensure that everyone got to play with a pro, the professionals were assigned to play the same hole for the entire round.
An LPGA player was stationed on the 10th hole and I was assigned to caddie for Peter Jacobsen on the 6th hole. All I needed to do was go back and forth from the tee to the green on a par-3 hole. Jacobsen hit the ball within 15 feet of the hole all but one or two times if I remember correctly.
Jacobsen's job was simple - talk to the players, take pictures and give them a few golf tips. My job was to hang out with him between groups and listen to his stories. Quite a good job for me.
Two groups were memorable on that day. Ron Santo came up in one foursome. Since Jacobsen was from Oregon I gave him some details on one of my favorite Cubs before they arrived. I also let Jacobsen know that I was a big Cub/Santo fan. After each group took an official picture with Peter Jacobsen, the pro surprised me by telling the photographer to get a picture of me with Santo and Jacobsen. I have no pictures of my nine years as a caddie and I never got a copy of this one either even though it was taken by a Chicago Tribune photographer.
Jacobsen, now a great announcer, comedian and singer, was always clowning around. My brother and one of his 7th-grade friends were heading toward the 5th green when I starting telling Jacobsen about these two caddies. When they got to us Jacobsen spent all of this time clowning with the 7th graders instead of talking to the players. My brother's friend was a cross between The Great Hambino (Hamilton Porter in The Sandlot) and Vern from Stand By Me.
I wish I knew what Jacobsen said to them. All I remember is that there were 10 people laughing on the tee for about 10 minutes instead of golfing. Maybe one of them can fill me in?