| Banished to the Castle
The Kilted Caddie explains why he was sent back to The Castle Course from his newly gained position down at The Old Course…
The Kilted Caddie explains why he was sent back to The Castle Course from his newly gained position down at The Old Course.
Ok I’ll admit it. I have two massive and rather lofty golfing ambitions. One is to become a member of The Royal and Ancient in St Andrews and the other to be sent as a journalist to Augusta to cover the Masters. The first is virtually a no-hoper. In fact, I would say that there is about as much chance of me being ‘put up’ for the R&A as me going up to Oxbridge or my hair growing back. For the kilted caddie is not in the Royal and Ancient’s good books at the moment, after I wrote an article for this publication, which resulted in my very nearly having my license withdrawn from the Links Trust and hence my livelihood.
At the start of last season, I was ushered into see a very serious and matter of fact looking Caddie Master who held a copy of the said article, alongside another piece of paper which transpired to be my final letter of warning from the Links Trust. Yes, I had been in trouble before when I painted a tongue in cheek picture of the typical St Andrews caddie drinking many pints of lager and smoking rather a lot. Apart from these literary infringements, I have a pretty unblemished history as a caddie on the Links, even a rather positive one if I may say so myself.
Anyway, with my latest article I was now, by all accounts, touching the boundaries of bringing the ‘reputation of caddies into disrepute’. Slightly shocked and aggrieved I shared this with some friends who quite rightly pointed out if this was in fact possible?
But further and seriously, my article had seemingly caused a bit of a ‘rumpus’ in the upper echelons of the Royal and Ancient, and I presume the Links Trust, and by all accounts I am treading on very thin ice. Moreover, I was ‘punished’ as such by being sent back to The Castle Course from my newly gained position down at The Old which I had been looking forward to. This is a bit like being sent to Coventry I suppose or being put in the corner to stand and face the wall as happened back in primary school.
My article did state that the R&A was in some manner ‘elitist’ but what’s wrong with that? I mean Oxford and Cambridge are elitist and it’s a very good thing. We need elite institutions like we need to aspire to the elite in ourselves and try our best. It’s all well and fine. Don’t take this the wrong way chaps.
However, I think the major issue was in poking a bit of fun at two elderly gentlemen who had become rather semiconscious and in a blissful state of repose, together on a chaise longue. But for heaven’s sake, old gentlemen and young for that matter, are probably doing this in all sorts of golf clubs, and chaise lounges, up and down the country, indeed across the wide world. It’s not a shameful or poor state to get into. It’s rather good for you actually. Churchill swore by it. Daily. It doesn’t matter. Have a thick skin about that sort of thing. It’s not particular or a slight to the club that is the Home of Golf and its governing body.
'I mean it's all going swimmingly for you guys at the moment, the coffers have never been fuller and ladies are now in the ranks. And good talented lassies I’m sure. Yes. I have no problem with that. It’s right and proper. Good 21st century stuff. However, let’s get everything in perspective here and not act unreasonably to caddies with delicate and sensitive dispositions (and wayward pens!)
You are the pinnacle and example to the world of golf and govern a very noble and treasured game. It’s the R&A not FIFA. We are not in the game of the ‘professional foul’ and other accepted, crass and outlandish behaviour. We are clean, upright and advocate fair play. Indeed, selfregulated fair play. Let’s get ourselves well away from that fine line that demarcates elitism from snobbery.
So, I’m very much of the opinion that a couple of fine caddies in your ranks may be a very good thing altogether. I’m sure Old Tom would have been well up for it? Indeed, as I am.
Now, as for working at Augusta next spring I’m very settled on the idea and waiting patiently for the call. Just like I’m waiting for an invite to Meghan Sparkle’s wedding bash. I’m really looking forward to mix with fellow writers in the new Press mansion, enjoy the pimento cheese, crayfish etouffee, some braised brisket of beef and of course, a wee drop of Crozes-Hermitage!
In fact, I dare say after that I will be able to pen a very nice article. And I swear I won’t even mention the Royal and Ancient. Well unless I’ve been put up by that stage and in which case the report will be outstanding and most complimentary indeed.
The R&A is the pinnacle and example to the world of golf
Going to Augusta to cover the Masters is every golf journalist’s dream