SI Vault
George Plimpton
October 28, 1968
Just about the liveliest place to listen to golf conversation, though of a slightly different nature from what you hear in the clubhouse, is along the rail fence or out back by the shed where the touring caddies perch between the big golf bags they tend. Their rialto is here, and they rock back and forth and compare notes and swap yarns and gossip and talk of their rounds, and particularly about money and how their pros let them down: "Oh my, we're doin' jes' fine and then my man he goes an' dies on me," etc., etc.
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October 28, 1968

'man, I'm Dropping Your Bag Right Here'

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"I'm telling you Frank Beard! Nobody's alive like him. I mean, I don't expect a man to be careless with money, you know, but...."

It seemed most of their assessment was on a financial basis.

"You know Deane Beman?" somebody said. "When he han' the money ovah, he look at you like you done stab him in the knee!"

"How about the caddie's friends?" I asked hastily.

The mood grew respectful.

" Dan Sikes, he's sure one, I'll tell you."

"Nicklaus. You know what he did for this caddie, this guy called Pappy?"

"What was that?" I asked.

"Pappy took his earnings at this Las Vegas tournament and he got hot on the crap tables and he had a pile—$22,000—sitting in front of him. He thought his luck was never going to stop. He was going to take that entire town and stuff it in his back pocket. Well, someone run and got Nicklaus and he come on the double and there's Pappy, the big crowd around him, with this wild gleam in his eye and rolling the dice like crazy. Nicklaus says, 'O.K., hand it over, Pappy, 'fore it's gone.' He leaves Pappy $2,000 and he takes that 20 grand and invests it for him in Arnold Palmer's equipment company. I tell you that fellow Pappy's sitting pretty these days."

"My man Doug Sanders is a caddie's friend," Cricket said. There was general agreement.

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