Saturday, August 10, 2019

Life Lessons from Loopers

I love golf for a variety of reasons.It gets me out of doors, to some of the most beautiful
places on the planet. It allows me to compete on an equal playing field against men and women, boys and girls of all ages. Because of golf, I now speak another language. Ask any golfer the meaning of terms like birdie, bogey and eagle, par, and putt and we will translate. History, aesthetics and the attributes of golf account for a lot to love but one component I value, is the simple fact that golf is the only sport in the world where an assistant, a coach, an ally, a therapist and maybe even a family member—definitely a friend—is allowed on the field of play with the athlete: that person is the caddie.

It might seem strange to love golf because of the caddie. After all, fans aren't watching a person carry a bag, they want to see how far and how accurately their favorite player can hit the ball. However, as shared in the documentary Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk a professional caddie noted, "we live in a world that’s all about “what’s someone doing for me.” It’s humbling to be in a profession that is the complete opposite of that. It’s what can I do for YOU." I can't help but see that when I watch golf. I love the perspective this game offers—it's one I need to remember—and I think it spawns questions to consider.

How easy is it for us to recognize, value and appreciate those people who stand in the service of others? in service to me? Who are the men and women who do their job with humility, day in and day out.... Who are the people that find success in another person's success and "take satisfaction in seeing someone do something very very hard." A caddie does this—the nature of the job won't allow otherwise. When a player wins, a caddie wins. A caddie has the silent hand at play in every players' success.

Loopers, the documentary demonstrates this truth through the up close and personal profiles of several golfing "teams." 
Centuries old and enjoyed by tens of millions of people worldwide, golf is seen by many as more than a sport. Yet what do we know about the other person on the course? The man or woman behind the player carrying the bag. In a narrative never before covered in any feature length documentary, Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk explores the incredible personal bond that a golfer and a caddie develop through hours of time together. 
It is often said that a good caddie does three things: show up, keep up and shut up. But a great caddie wears many hats. They’re the player’s psychologist, mother/father figure, technical advisor and confidante. The film unveils the working dynamic between famous partnerships like the heartfelt story of Tom Watson’s and caddie Bruce Edwards. Conversely, it delves into the making of a caddie’s career with stories like Greg Puga — a young Bel Air Caddie from East Los Angeles who fought his way to Augusta to play in the Masters as a Mid-Amateur Champ. Whether familiar or new, these are stories that will make you re-think the way you look at Golf, and especially the job of the Caddie. 
Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk is a visual tour de force shot on the iconic courses of Pebble Beach, Augusta National, St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Prestwick, Ballybunion, and Lahinch. Crafted in the spirit of documentaries like “20 feet from Stardom”, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” and “Step into Liquid”, the film is a must-watch documentary of the game of golf as you’ve never seen it before.
I had a chance to watch this movie on United airlines. I would like to thank the friendly skies for this video treat. Films, like this made the 12 hour direct flight home from Munich less taxing. I hope more folks than just frequent flyers will check this out—the beauty of golf, its history and its characters is included.

And so is the theme. The role of the caddie, used at the highest level of golf, is a reminder the team is never just you. Even in an individual sport, a golfer never takes a long walk alone. Our lives are no different.

Photo Credits
Nick and Fanny

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