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08/14/2013

A needless & devastating blow to Colonial

L

UPDATE: 11:33 a.m. CT

Not even sure how to begin but other than to express pure sports apoplexia. Everyone at the PGA should be fired. Today. Now. Don't even clean out your desks just go home and be replaced by someone with a brain.

Other than the drinks and the people watching, one of the best reasons to attend the Colonial Golf Tournament at the old club in the greatness that is Fort Worth, Texas every year is the thrill of the caddie race. Since before the dawn of man, the caddie race has endured.

Now, it is no more. According to this report, the PGA is banning caddie races at Colonial, and the TPC in Scottsdale. PGA, meet our middle finger. This is horrendous. Stupid. Needless. Self important. And reeks of some pencil-pushing loser justifying their salary with a rule no one wants or needs.

The PGA's reason? Safety. No. Not kidding.

PGA exec Andy Pazder told Rex Hoggard of The Golf Channel: "We have advised the folks at Colonial and out in Phoenix to discontinue the caddie races. It was a situation where we developed a little concern about caddies' safety. Running 150 yards puts caddies at risk for injury."

Meanwhile, Mac Engel of The Big Mac Blog tells the Big Mac Blog: "We have advised Andy Pazder this decision honks and to discontinue this decision post haste."

The Star-Telegram's Jimmy Burch received a text message from Colonial Tourney director Michael Tothe, who wrote that he has “reached out to the tour” to discuss the situation and was awaiting additional feedback from them before discussing the policy.

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As anyone who has ever attended the Crowne Plaza Colonial PGA event in May, No. 13 - "the party hole" - is a highlight not only for its scores of augmented cleavage and people trying too hard to be 18 again but the caddie race on the par-3 shot. People cheer. People make noise. People post fun wagers on the "race". They have fun watching the caddies do something they never, ever get to do - be the center of attention for a few seconds to reach the green first.

TCU grad and long-time Fort Worth resident, PGA pro J.J. Henry, told me in a phone conversation: "It originated at Colonial so it's bittersweet. I know it got a litle crazy at the tournament in Phoenix with guys running up the hill and falling all over each other and clubs flying. It's the 16th hole and it's crazy with 20,000 people screaming and drinking all day. 

"Living in Fort Worth and having gone to Colonial for 20 years, the caddie race is one of the unique aspects to the 13th hole. The players liked it, too. Until caddies were scripting stuff like, 'We'll all jump on the green at the same time.' Let's be honest - golf is not a heavyweight title fight. We are entertainers and part of that is you interract with the fans. I've never seen it get out of hand, but all it takes is one situation. Personally, I'm disappointed."

None of these guys actually pulls a Usain Bolt and takes this so seriously they are going to get injured. If they do, shame on them for being so stupid.

In retrospect, it's rather sad this is how boring golf can be. The spectator is forced to create some more excitement by watching to see if the guy who carries the golf clubs can reach the green first, on foot. 

Now the PGA has stepped in, all in the name of safety, and removed this fun experience for the caddie and  spectator, which means we are all forced back to the margarita machine before we hurry to the 19th hole.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Doug Olson

Keep honing the craft my brother... You are highly amusing.

nick

um nope. There will still be yelling and wagering and smirks given by the players and the caddies that really know what's going down. That's like saying no more crowd waves at the ballpark - yah that went over pretty well huh Nolan. There's no stopping what can't be stopped.

T.A. Seiber

1. They contradict themselves. The PGA EVP & COO said that he had caddies in both places complain. Yet when a caddie was interviewed, he said they were told at Colonial on Thursday to not do them, and nearly 80-90% of all groups still participated. So which is it, the majority think they are a carnival show or do the actions on the course speak for themselves?

2. This sounds a lot like a marketing ploy. “Organizers will encourage fans to download an app…. So there will still be some fan interaction.”; Sure, fan interaction plus targeted ads and further sponsorship opportunities. Betting in the stands can’t be commoditized, the sponsors hate that, but the PGA doesn’t have to have such a weak back bone about it.

David Manhart

Get over yourselves PGA, WHAT THE HELL

I think u,should rethink the thick roughshod u have on many courses because Tiger is gonna get hurt trying to get out of them

AND THEN WHAT WILL YOU DO??

Redickulass,

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