Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Importance of Caddies

A signature view from Grandview Golf Course - North Braddock,PA. Believe it or not, it was much clearer the day we went. The pictures on the site don't do the place justice.

The boyfriend and I spent a long weekend in Pittsburgh visiting friends. Saturday, we played at Grandview Golf Course. This place strikes me as the epitome of "Pittsburgh golf." Very hilly, very tight. Beautiful view of the river valley and the industry surrounding the area. For the cost (about 50 bucks) the course was beautifully maintained.

The starter paired us with 2 brothers in law - Greg and Jeffy. This is their home course. These two had a great time serving as caddies - those invaluable folks who tell you the ins and outs of the course as you play it.

Grandview has a lot of "hidden" holes where you can't see the flag and where you can't see where you should shoot the ball. Throughout the round, Greg and Jeffy gave fantastic advice. Of course, applying the advice was a different story.... Nevertheless, they seemed to have a blast showing the tourists around. The 5.5 hours went by quickly.

My experience with them got me thinking about the value of caddies. People who are familiar with the terrain, who can tell you how to stay out of trouble or, if you get in trouble, how to get out of it. They may not be the best at what they do (I think all of us shot well over 100), but they are intelligent, observant and willing to help. They have also been there many times before....

If Greg and Jeffy were hyper-competitive golfers we wouldn't have learned as much about the course and the history of the area as we did on Sunday. More importantly, the experience would not have been nearly as much fun.

I sense we don't listen to those who can serve as caddies. We look for "experts." But the experts generally spend more time working on their expertise. Think of the big-name professors you sat through. How much did you actually gain from sitting through their lectures vs. the time you spent with their teaching assistant? In the States, it's a rare professor who enjoys teaching as much as they enjoy research - and it shows.

The caddies have a unique perspective on their environment. They've seen people hit the trouble zones. Chances are, they have been there themselves. They've observed what works and what doesn't. Most importantly, they enjoy sharing that knowledge with others.

Greg, Jeffy - if for whatever reason you read edublogs...thanks for a fantastic round.

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