Recently I received a new golf bag from Spike McRoy, whom I have
represented for six months. Embroidered on the front is SHOW ME
THE MONEY. It could just as easily have read SHOW ME THE
NINE-IRON, because I'm also Spike's caddie.
As far as I know, I'm the only caddie-agent on Tour, but that
fact went unnoticed by most golf fans until two weeks ago, when
rain forced the Memorial to go an extra day. With many players
still at Muirfield Village, there wasn't a lot of news being
generated at Avenel, the site of that week's Kemper Open, when
we went there for the Monday pro-am. I'm not ashamed to admit
it--the press was starved for a story, so it found me and Spike.
Spike had been struggling for much of this year, his rookie
season on Tour, and asked me to carry his bag at last month's
BellSouth Classic outside Atlanta. When he finished 28th, his
best finish of the year, he wanted me to stick around, which I
agreed to do at no additional charge. At the Kemper he finished
31st. His improvement, though, has little to do with my golf
expertise--I never choose his clubs or read his putts. I think
he simply feels more relaxed with me out there. I wouldn't call
Jerry Maguire my role model, but he had it right when he talked
about the importance of establishing strong personal
relationships with clients.
I thought my arrangement with Spike made for a good story, but,
frankly, we weren't prepared for the attention we received.
Before the Kemper, Spike might have received 10 autograph
requests for an entire tournament, and only because the path
from the 18th green to the clubhouse is usually lined with kids
who will ask anyone to sign. (None of them ever recognized
Spike's name, although some of them thought it sounded pretty
cool.) During last week's practice rounds at Congressional,
though, Spike received 20 autograph requests per hole. Spike
missed the cut, but we had a ball.
My main goal this season is to help Spike finish among the top
125 on the money list and avoid having to qualify for his Tour
card again. By next year I would like to increase my stable of
clients from six (only Spike has his Tour card, the other five
will attend Q school in the fall) to 10 or 12 Tour players.
If I achieve that, I'll probably quit caddying. I'll miss it,
though. After all, where else will I be able to walk down a
fairway, as I did during a practice round two days before the
start of the Open, and spy a woman in the gallery flashing us a
sign that read SHOW ME YOUR PHONE NUMBER.
Lenkin, 29, was a corporate lawyer before becoming an agent.