When the other caddies start catching on to your habits, it's
time to shake things up. Last week in a practice round one of
the caddies in my group repeatedly described the club he was
pulling as stock, as in "stock six-iron" or "stock eight-iron."
We were all tired of hearing it, so I finally said to him, "If
you don't get some new material, your next job is going to be as
a stockboy at Publix." Of course, when a player gets tired of
your act, you've got to defend yourself. Payne Stewart once
complained that all my yardages ended in a zero or a five.
"Linn," he said, "how come you never say it's 153 or 178?" I
said, "Because you're not that good."

Linn Strickler, 50, has been a Tour caddie since 1973.

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID WALBERG