Score one for the people that think that the PGA Tour – and people who enjoy golf in general – are in desperate need of emergency surgery to have the stick removed from their respective posteriors. The Tour announced that is has made the decision to eliminate caddie races from the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Crowne Plaza Invitational in the interest of safety.
For those of you not familiar with this quirky tradition, it is essentially self-explanatory. At certain holes during each of the aforementioned events, the caddies will race from tee to green while receiving raucous cheers and applause. The tradition is something that gets the crowd going and adds a bit of levity to what can, at times, be perceived as a stuffy, elitist sport.
“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. I had caddies come to me in Phoenix and at Colonial saying, ‘This is ridiculous, it’s like we are a carnival show.’”
I really don’t get this decision. It’s not as if running 150 yards with a golf bag strapped to their backs puts these caddies in some imminent danger. Besides, they don’t have to participate if they feel they could get injured in the process of having a little fun – it’s not a requirement that the caddies participate in these races. As far as the carnival show comment – people come and watch a golf tournament to be entertained. Therefore, in essence, everyone participating in the event is, in fact, putting on a show.
I just can’t wait to see the reaction of the notoriously rowdy crowd at the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale next year when they don’t get to watch the caddies let loose race to the green.