The Caddie Blog: Praising technology

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 – Just as I had suspected, with the fog clearing and the course drying out, golfers shot lower scores during the afternoon session of the first round. However, considering that the tees were up and the greens were slower than members play them at, Beverly showed itself as the fine championship course that it is, with only five scores all day under par.

In the afternoon, two more gentlemen shot 69, and there were two 70s and three 71s. My player, George Zahringer, moved from T-6 to T-16. After yesterday’s round, George and I agreed that we could go low in Round 2 with our late tee time.

Interestingly, one of the players at T-6, Tom Studer of Joliet, Ill., was someone I personally had an epic match-play battle with one year in the Club Championship at Joliet CC. Tom has won the Joliet CC Club Championship many times, and that year we met in the quarterfinals. If I remember correctly, I went down in flames, losing, 7 and 6.

Technology has certainly changed the way the game is played. The same holds true for the caddie uniform.

In the 1981 Western Open, we were given three T-shirts - one red, one white and one blue - with the Western logo on it and we were told which color to wear each day. This would allow spectators with a pairing sheet to be able to identify the PGA Tour player by which color shirt his caddie was wearing.

The technology that the USGA has employed here is that each caddie now wears a bib over his shirt. On the back is the player’s number, which is again identified in the pairing sheet. George is player No. 52.

The cool technology part of the bib is the pair of large pockets in the front of it, below the USGA moniker, which can hold our extra golf balls and most importantly, our pin sheets, pencils and yardage books. The other caddie in my group, Brian, and I both agreed that it is so much easier to access these bibs instead of trying to drag things out of all the pockets of our shorts, as we had done in the practice rounds.

Today’s weather forecast is much the same as yesterday’s – morning fog and afternoon sun, with high of 80 degrees and winds from the northeast at 5 to 10 mph. It should be a great day of golf at Beverly.

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