Have you ever wondered how to get a gig caddying for a golfer in a major championship? Well, there are several ways, including starting on smaller tours and proving yourself or being friends with a PGA Tour star from childhood. Or, you can always do what LaRue Temple did – walk around the parking lot of the course hosting the open and run into an amateur qualifier who happens to be looking for a looper.
You see, Temple is a caddie at Merion Golf Club – a course that still uses caddies and only allows those with a medical necessity to use golf carts. He also holds a few other jobs including bartending and DJing, but his caddie job at Merion is what thrust him into the national spotlight. He had tickets to the U.S. Open and was walking around the parking lot Monday morning trying to decide where to start watching the action.
Just then, a car pulled out and out popped 19 year-old amateur Michael Kim, a student at the University of California, who had qualified for the Open but didn’t have a caddie. The two started talking, and the next thing you know, Temple was on the bag for Kim in one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world. Why not? I mean, it worked for Happy Gilmore, right?
Working as a caddie at a club as prestigious as Merion has put Temple is in some pretty exciting situations before – including carrying the bag for Dr. J and Samuel L. Jackson. But this was a whole different level of excitement for both Temple and Kim. The two ended up making a great team, even if Temple received more cheers from the audience than Kim. “You’re more popular than me!” Kim said at one point as Temple’s friends were shouting his name from behind the ropes.
In the end, a chance encounter in a golf club parking lot put an amateur golfer and a part – time caddie on one of the biggest stages in the sport. And they both performed admirably. Kim, with a great deal of guidance from Temple, finished tied for 17th at 10 over par. Temple may have just landed himself a job on the big tour when Kim turns pro. Now that would be an incredible ending to the story.
As an amateur, Kim wasn’t able to accept any prize money, but I can guarantee the unlikely duo made enough memories that they’re not concerned about the cash. “I was just happy my mom got to see me on TV,” Temple said.