September 14, 2000

Golf 101

Print More

Yesterday was the last day for the general public to get a peek at the Career Fair, and for the second straight year, I missed the entire thing. I really wanted some Ernst and Young lip balm, or even a career, but I just couldn’t make it over to the Field House — my neighbor got RBI Baseball for original Nintendo, and some things just take priority.

But as I led the California Angels to victory in all their 8-bit glory, I thought about the Career Fair, and my future. Some day, I’ll have to leave the Cornell Bubble, and get one of those careers they were handing out.

Unfortunately, I’m an English major. Most of my friends, who are ABEN majors, CS majors, engineers and the like will have six-figure contracts dropped in their laps before they leave campus. I, on the other hand, will be able to snicker at improper pronoun usage in the phrase, “your rejected.”

So I’m going to have to scramble a little harder than my peers when I graduate. I’m fine with that. But I have a trump card up my sleeve.

For the past eight years, I’ve had the best, most comprehensive summer internship available.

I am a caddy.

Since I was eleven years old, I have worked at Westwood Country Club in Rocky River, Ohio, carrying golf bags for the rich and powerful of Northeastern Ohio (yes, there are such people outside of the Tri-State area). I’ve carried for stockbrokers, lawyers, judges, construction magnates, politicians, even the owner of the Cleveland Indians.

Walking side by side with a man for four hours, you learn a lot about his line of work. Something about a golf course brings out conversation in the most taciturn person. But more importantly, you can get training in every conceivable professional field.

Psychology — During the course of a round, a golfer is bound to make a few mistakes. Hence, caddies are masters of spin control. I could make a clinical psychologist jealous with the disarming retorts I have for “what the hell is wrong with me?” and “I suck.”

Nutritional Science — The modern athlete is fueled by Powerbars and Gatorade. If only they knew that peak performance can be achieved through Marlboro Reds and a couple of Miller Lites at the turn. Let us pray that Tiger Woods never discovers this, or pro golf will never be the same.

Physics – You physics majors may think you are learning your science in the classroom, but you are dead wrong. Physics is learned on the golf course. For instance, the excuses of golfers shed light on the nature of the universe. According to a golfer at Westwood, putts lip out because, “the holes are too round.” Interesting theory.

Natural resources and labor relations – Westwood had an infestation of Canadian geese this summer, and their droppings covered the greens. A woman I caddied for suggested that the club should hire a dog to scare away the birds. I swear to God. Hire a dog. The rest of the round, I had an image of a German Shepard with a lunch bucket punching a time clock on the 17th green.

Math and economics – McNulty’s First Law of Golf: the crappiness of a player is directly proportional to how expensive his clubs are. If a man has Titleist irons, an Odyssey putter, and titanium woods, he won’t break 100.

As you can see, I’m prepared for anything. But if you happen to be from Ernst and Young, I really could use some work for next summer.

Archived article by Tom McNulty