The Caddie Blog: Tales from the players’ dinner

Paul Richards is caddying for George Zahringer at the USGA Senior Amateur at The Beverly Country Club in Chicago. Richards will file daily reports for Golfweek.com detailing his experience on the bag and inside the ropes.

CHICAGO – Last night I was fortunate enough to be invited to the USGA players’ dinner, hosted by Beverly, in my role as Club Historian. The Club put on an excellent dinner and the USGA offered a very interesting program. After the normal introductions of all of the staff and officials that put on the event, all of the past winners of USGA events who were present were announced and were asked to stand up. It was amazing the number of tournament winners who are represented in this weekend’s field of 156 players.

Interestingly enough, a major topic of concern this week as far as the Rules of Golf is acorns. Beverly has hundreds, maybe thousands of old oak trees and it seems this week is when they have all decided to drop their acorns. Greens such as Nos. 1, 7, 10 and 15 seem to be particularly vulnerable to these acorn droppings. All contestants were advised to know the rules as far as when it is OK to remove them or move them, and when it is not.

Last to speak was Golfweek’s own Jeff Rude. He regaled us with some tales from his years covering the PGA Tour and gave us all a few laughs.

Not surprisingly, the contestants have been very impressed with the course and conditions at Beverly. The only area of concern from the membership has been the length at which the course is set up - roughly 6600 yards - which is about 50 yards beyond the members’ white tees. The USGA also wants the greens to stimp at 10.5, whereas we played the club championship a few weeks ago at about 12.5. The USGA has said pace of play was a concern with such a large field and the days getting shorter now.

What has most impressed me personally so far has been the quality of play. These players are long, very skilled, and their short games are just amazing. I look forward to a great day of golf at Beverly as the weather forecast is perfect - a high of 80 degrees and mostly sunny, with winds at 5 to 10 mph.

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