Recently I received a new golf bag from Spike McRoy, whom I have represented for six months. Embroidered on the front is SHOW ME THE MONEY. It could just as easily have read SHOW ME THE NINE-IRON, because I'm also Spike's caddie.
As far as I know, I'm the only caddie-agent on Tour, but that fact went unnoticed by most golf fans until two weeks ago, when rain forced the Memorial to go an extra day. With many players still at Muirfield Village, there wasn't a lot of news being generated at Avenel, the site of that week's Kemper Open, when we went there for the Monday pro-am. I'm not ashamed to admit it—the press was starved for a story, so it found me and Spike.
Spike had been struggling for much of this year, his rookie season on Tour, and asked me to carry his bag at last month's BellSouth Classic outside Atlanta. When he finished 28th, his best finish of the year, he wanted me to stick around, which I agreed to do at no additional charge. At the Kemper he finished 31st. His improvement, though, has little to do with my golf expertise—I never choose his clubs or read his putts. I think he simply feels more relaxed with me out there. I wouldn't call Jerry Maguire my role model, but he had it right when he talked about the importance of establishing strong personal relationships with clients.
I thought my arrangement with Spike made for a good story, but, frankly, we weren't prepared for the attention we received. Before the Kemper, Spike might have received 10 autograph requests for an entire tournament, and only because the path from the 18th green to the clubhouse is usually lined with kids who will ask anyone to sign. (None of them ever recognized Spike's name, although some of them thought it sounded pretty cool.) During last week's practice rounds at Congressional, though, Spike received 20 autograph requests per hole. Spike missed the cut, but we had a ball.
My main goal this season is to help Spike finish among the top 125 on the money list and avoid having to qualify for his Tour card again. By next year I would like to increase my stable of clients from six (only Spike has his Tour card, the other five will attend Q school in the fall) to 10 or 12 Tour players.
If I achieve that, I'll probably quit caddying. I'll miss it, though. After all, where else will I be able to walk down a fairway, as I did during a practice round two days before the start of the Open, and spy a woman in the gallery flashing us a sign that read SHOW ME YOUR PHONE NUMBER.