When I first caddied at Hilton Head, in 1977, the place was so
far in the boondocks, I thought I was on the Disney set of Swamp
Fox. Now the place is a cracker barrel of golf with a harbor full
of yachts lined up like dominoes. A lot different from the tennis
tightwads who come in for the Family Circle Cup the week after.
The typical order from that crowd is a chef salad, four forks,
three waters and a Shirley Temple. One thing that hasn't changed,
though, are the dread no-see-ums, the invisible sand fleas. Under
a microscope they look like the creature from Alien, except with
more teeth. The only known repellent is Skin So Soft, which at
Hilton Head is referred to as SOS. Even that won't work on a
person wearing Hi Karate. The no-see-ums get a whiff of that
stuff, and they put on their bibs. They also seem to love making
a meal out of players immediately after a bad shot or a
three-putt. No-see-ums can drive an edgy player into a Tourette's
fit. While I'm reaching in the bag for more SOS, I tell my guy,
"Hey, don't look at me. You had to wear Hi Karate."
Linn Stricker, a.k.a. Growler, is a veteran Tour caddie.