"Uh-oh," says the publishing honcho.
"Wait," says Big Rich. Pause. "That sounded like a pine. Much softer sound."
"Uh-oh," says the arbitrage expert. "What did that sound like, Big Rich?"
"Cedar siding. You just hit a house."
At Pinehurst, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, caddies do not lose balls. It's not unusual for a caddie to show up at one of the guest cottages well after dark to return a ball he had been searching for since the round ended.
There is a vague royalty to caddies. They arc usually neither well schooled nor well dressed, neither well-bred nor well-off; they may need a shave and two showers and three visits to the dentist; but when they are on the golf course, millionaires hang on their every word.
Over the tops of golf bags, all over the world, kings and cobblers mingle every day. In few other sports is the athlete permitted to bring along an on-course teacher, psychologist, assistant, mule, friend, whipping boy and moral conscience. One day, as legend has it, a man drove his ball into the rough. While pretending to look for it, he stomped down the grass all around the ball. When he was finished, he asked his caddie if he would be able to reach the green with a four-wood. "No, sir," said the caddie. "It'll take about three more stomps for a four-wood."