There are advantages and disadvantages of having two caddies in my house. The disadvantages include 6 a.m. rides to the golf course every Saturday and Sunday; followed by the occasional 9 a.m. text, “I didn’t get out. Come get me.” It makes it virtually impossible to plan a weekend morning. The advantages include the money. My older son is planning to make $5,000 this summer and he is already one-fifth of the way there in mid-June. There are also all the life lessons, which I won’t get into because even I don’t quite believe them.
The greatest advantage to having caddies in the house, however, is the endless supply of golf balls. Every round that the boys caddy is followed by the emptying of the pockets into the big silver ice bucket, which was won by their mother (me) in the annual four-ball tournament. It now serves as the de facto found golf ball vessel. On good days, each boy can contribute five or six balls to the bucket. On REALLY good days, the numbers can be double that. Even with each golfer grabbing a couple as he or she heads out of the house to play a round, by the end of the summer, the bucket runneth over.
Since starting the bucket, the boys and I have become connoisseurs of golf balls. This has led to some lively discussion on which is the best golf ball out there, or at least in the bucket. If sheer percentages prevail, we would have to go with the Titleist Pro-v1, which is my older son’s favorite. His claim that every good golfer he caddies for plays a Pro-v1 might be a bit overblown; however, the fact that Bruins great Ray Bourque plays a Pro-v1 stamped with the number 77 goes a long way in this hockey-crazy household.
Personally, I find the Pro-v1 a little too hard for my game. Despite hours in the gym, I can’t generate the club head speed that is needed to make those balls do their magic. I am partial to a slightly softer ball, like the Callaway Solaire. It just feels good when I hit it, particularly with my short irons. I would like to say I get good spin on it, but that would imply that I can intentionally spin the ball. Any spin I get is purely luck, and often bad luck.
So as the bucket fills, and occasionally empties when one of us heads out to play, the Pro-v1s and Solaires go first. Chances are they eventually end up in the golf ball bucket of the next caddy to come along.