BMW Charity Pro Am May 17- 20
By Director of Fitness, Ted Bonham
I thought it would be interesting to share with you the “behind the scenes” of the Nationwide Tour BMW Charity Pro Am from the caddies perspective. I have caddied before on the PGA, Nationwide, and Champions Tour before, so this isn’t my “first rodeo”; however this event is a little bit different because I am caddying for my good friend, Robert Linville. When you are working for a close friend there is a bit more pressure because you want to do your very best for them and you do not want to screw it up.
Caddying the tour is a bit more than raking a sand trap, replacing a fairway divot, cleaning the golf ball on the green or saying, “ great shot” when it is truly a great shot to your player. Never say “great shot” when it isn’t. You have to know when to be serious, kid around and think ahead so your pro only has to think about the shot ahead. You have to keep distractions to a minimum. But it all starts with the week’s preparation prior to the first tournament round. Pre-tournament days are filled with long hours, equipment testing and adjustments, practice rounds, and a lot of range time. By the time the tournament starts, it’s almost a relief.
The BMW Charity Pro Am is being contested on three different venues,
Greenville Country Club Chanticleer, Carolina Golf Club, and Thornblade Club.
Day One – Monday
It is raining so hard I’m thinking of building an ark. Moses parts the clouds and we have an opportunity to practice. We arrive in Greenville, SC on Monday with the plan on playing Thornblade Club. Change of plans, we are going to Greenville Country Club, Chanticleer. You have to be flexible to be on tour because change is inevitable. If you cannot adapt, you are lost. We arrive at Greenville Country Club, hit a few (very few) range balls and we are on our way to the first tee to dissect the animal we are about to face. Again, I digress. As a PGA golfer, there is no tee time and no check in with the starter, when you are ready, you go. Arriving at the first tee we are greeted by an amateur playing in the event. He asks to join us for a few holes. This event is a Pro-Am tournament; it was in our best interest to oblique the request. Robert graciously welcomed the guest and we began our quest. This is so cool.
As we navigated our way through each tee box and green, it was hard not to notice the beauty of this golf course. The condition, design, and challenge were, as we found, second to none. As a caddy, I was thinking, “how am I ever going to survive this course with all of these elevation changes carrying a small mini cooper on my back? Again, I need to digress. Practice rounds, a player and
caddy may use a golf cart for practice rounds… we accepted. Tournament days are ahead and I am really thinking about my stamina. I am nervous. We get around all eighteen holes, hit some great shots, review and replay the others and are ready for a late dinner, then bed. It has been a very long day. I am exhausted.