Ed. be aware: Welcome to Noonan’s Pocket book! Over the following three days on this house, Michael O’Keefe — aka, the actor who performed Danny Noonan in Caddyshack — will share his experiences from Winged Foot Golf Membership, the place he caddied within the early 1970s and now, this week, is caddying on the 120th U.S. Open. (Effectively, for 2 apply days, anyway.) Preserve it tuned right here for a novel look behind the rope line at golf’s final take a look at.
Folks have been asking me how I’m going to organize to caddie at Winged Foot throughout the U.S. Open this coming week. I’ve additionally acquired a lot unsolicited recommendation like “Do squats,” as if squatting for just a few days may improve my bag-carrying capability.
To be trustworthy, I’ve not been doing a lot of something besides learning the yardages on the daunting West Course, and marveling at the truth that somebody took me up on my supply.
Ten days in the past, I wrote a chunk for GOLF.com during which I volunteered my looping companies to any participant within the U.S. Open discipline. A Hail Mary? Most assuredly. However my prayer was answered.
For the Monday and Tuesday apply rounds, I can be caddying for Danny Balin, a membership professional who works at Recent Meadow CC on Lengthy Island. When the match rounds begin, he’ll neatly transition to a non-fictional caddie.
Danny — now isn’t that becoming? — has performed Winged Foot dozens of instances. So he gained’t be needing a lot assist from me, besides to maintain issues unfastened and have some enjoyable on the market. That, I assure will occur.
This complete factor began once I was approached to put in writing one thing concerning the 40th anniversary of the discharge of Caddyshack coinciding with the Open being performed at Winged Foot. That obtained me eager about how cool it will be to really carry a bag within the championship, on the course the place I caddied as a young person.
However to observe the story go viral, as the youngsters say at this time, has blown my thoughts — and, no, I didn’t want any medication to assist me get there!
Upon reflection, I believe a part of the explanation why my caddying pitch gathered steam is as a result of it evoked reminiscences of different nice caddie tales, like Francis Ouimet successful the 1913 Open on a course at which he caddied — and with 10-year-old Eddie Lowery on his bag.
Within the movie adaptation of Mark Frost’s guide The Biggest Recreation Ever Performed, Brookline CC members method Lowery, who was barely as tall because the bag he was carrying, and inform him he’s going to get replaced. Outraged, Ouimet responds, “Don’t ever speak to my caddie once more.”
The duo went on to win, perpetually altering the panorama of American golf. Inspiring stuff, proper?
I additionally consider Greg Puga, a Mexican-American caddie from East Los Angeles, who gained the U.S. Mid-Newbie Championship in 2000. The next April, Puga discovered himself enjoying within the first two rounds of the Masters alongside the good Seve Ballesteros. What a trip.
These tales share one thing in frequent with Danny Noonan’s ascent from the caddie yard. They’re about surmounting obstacles, working exhausting and triumphing towards all odds — in different phrases, precisely the sorts of tales we have to be reminded of in these troublesome days of quarantining and uncertainty.
I’m thrilled that Danny is letting me carry his bag for a few days at Winged Foot, and I sit up for telling you the way it goes.
Now, in the event you’ll excuse me, I’ve to run. Time for some extra squats.