One of the nuttiest things that happened during the year and a
half I caddied for Arnold Palmer occurred during my first week on
the job. We were playing the final round of the 1980 Bay Hill
Classic and it was freezing, with 45 mph gusts. Arnold and Dave
Hill, one of his playing partners, were a zillion over par. (Hill
would shoot an 80 and Palmer an 85.)
While waiting on the tee at the formidable 17th hole--one of the
toughest par-3s on Tour--Dave pulled out a flask, took a swig and
passed it to Arnold. Arnold then took a healthy snort. "Hmmm,
that's not water, is it?" he said, passing the flask to me.
I didn't want to jeopardize my new gig, so I mumbled, "I dutifully
decline. I'm working." Arnold gave me a wry smile.
Smiles, though, are rare at 17. You have to shape a towering fade
with a three- or a four-iron into the supershallow green, but with
that trajectory you'll likely bury the ball in the front bunker or
the back bunker if your distance isn't perfect.
March 23, 2004
* For 28 years--the last eight with his dog, Squeaky--Gorjus
George has crisscrossed the U.S. drawing the yardage books used by
the pros at Tour events.