As a follow-up story to Cormac Kelly’s blog post on caddying as a summer job, I wanted to share about my experiences as a caddy this summer and what I learned about the similarities between different types of college golfers.
I had the unique privilege of caddying in the 2014 Curtis Cup for Mariah Stackhouse and Team USA. The Curtis Cup, hosted by the USGA and LGU, pits the best women amateur golfers from United States against the best from Great Britain and Ireland. Similar to the Ryder Cup, the competition is held every two years with alternating locations. This year’s event was held at St. Louis Country Club on June 6-8.
Sixteen of the approximately 50 STLCC caddies were chosen for the Curtis Cup. One week before the event, the USGA hosted caddy draw, where players and caddies were matched up at random. Luckily, I ended up paired with Mariah Stackhouse and Team USA. I was ecstatic to caddy for my country and helped bring the Curtis Cup back to the states.
The Curtis Cup is a truly a Millennial golf event. All 16 competitors were between the ages of 17-22. All 8 of the United States amateurs are college golfers. Mariah, a college golfer at Stanford, earned All-American honors during her sophomore year prior to being selected for the Cup.
I had an amazing experience during the 2014 Curtis Cup. It was an honor to caddy for Mariah and Team USA. Our girls played lights out and beat the GB&I team 13-7. My relationship with Mariah was one-of-a-kind, from reading greens to our signature handshake after every birdie (the Golf Channel was lucky enough to catch this a few times). Her game was sharp and focused, yet she enjoyed every minute of the event.
Sure, they can hit it straighter, make more putts, and stay calm under pressure. These girls will undoubtedly make money playing golf in years to come. However, they are simply college golfers who love the game, just like club golfers. Mariah took a FINAL the night before the Curtis Cup. She was forced to balance her academics at Stanford with her athletic passion, a struggle all collegiate golfers face. The Curtis Cup reassured me that all Millennial golfers—recreational, club, or All-American—play because they love this uniquely awesome game. This gives me hope for the future of golf and our generation of players.
**Matt Brugner is the Vice President of the NCCGA and leading member of the National Championship winning Baylor Club Golf Team (@BUClubGolf).