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Mon, Oct. 21

Graham: Who’s your caddie? I could use some help

Kevin Na reacts as he revs the engine of a fully restored 1973 Dodge Challenger that he was presented with after winning the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament Sunday, May 26, 2019, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/ Richard W. Rodriguez)

Kevin Na reacts as he revs the engine of a fully restored 1973 Dodge Challenger that he was presented with after winning the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament Sunday, May 26, 2019, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/ Richard W. Rodriguez)

When golfer Kevin Na made a birdie putt on the 18th hole Sunday to finish off a four-shot win in the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, the first thing he did was point to a restored 1973 Dodge Challenger parked near the green and tell his caddie, “That’s your car!”

Na said that Kenny Harms first broached the subject of getting the classic muscle car during practice rounds for the tournament. The PGA Tour veteran, who has worked with his caddie for more than a decade, was more than happy to deliver the wheels, which was one of the prizes awarded to the tourney winner.

“I don’t know how my caddie convinced me to give him the car, but he’s a good salesman I guess. He sold me into it,” Na told Golf World. “But I’m more than happy to give it to him. He deserves it.”

Not that Na didn’t get a reward for the win: The winner’s check for the event is $1.314 million. (In addition to the car, I assume Harms also will get the usual 10% of his golfer’s pay for winning the event; not a bad week.)

Professional golfers and their caddies have unique relationships. It not just about carrying the bag and charting the course. PGA Tour caddies usually travel the world in their work for the golfer. They don’t have to be best buddies, but they spend so much time together that they must have a strong working relationship as well as a friendship.

I think I need a caddie in my life, someone to help guide me through my day-to-day existence with a steady hand and a personal knowledge of my goals and desires.

Instead of consulting about club selection, he or she could help me with everyday decisions I sometimes struggle with. These are situations where I know what the correct choice is; I just need sage reminders about which direction is best for my health and mental state.

Just think: At mealtime they could advise me on what to eat. That double cheeseburger and large fries? How about a grilled chicken sandwich or a healthy smoothie instead? Obviously my long-term health would be better served by turning down the delicious, greasy selection for a more nutritious choice. They could even add a salad to the mix so they could say “go for the green.”

With my finances, when I am trying to choose between taking a spring cruise and setting aside the money for a possible emergency down the road, my caddie would be there to step in and remind me that saving will ease my money worries -- and that is important for my future happiness and effectiveness. Plus cruise ship passengers seem to be having an unusual number of health crises these days, between disease outbreaks and the occasional trip overboard. Caddie advice, “keep it safe and avoid the water.”

Then there is the end of the day when I am a little tired and perhaps not thinking clearly. Another episode of “Riverdale” or bedtime? An easy choice when my caddie reminds me I have an early work deadline the next day, even if I would rather see what’s next for Archie, Jughead and their friends. Probably more strange deaths and family surprises, but that will have to wait for another time. Caddie: “Know when to walk away.”

But how much do you pay a life caddie? They surely would need more than 10% of my earnings. In a third-world country that might be a lot of money; in Prescott, I don’t think a first-grader could get by on that amount. Maybe a nonprofit in town could help me find someone who will work for cookies.

I know one thing: If my caddie ever helps me win $1.314 million, they can have any car they want, whether it’s a restored 1973 Challenger or even a nuclear-reactor powered DeLorean time machine.

Doug Graham is Community Editor for the Courier. He can be reached at dgraham@prescottaz.com.

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