My Wife The Golf Caddy

The professional golfer Adam Scott is looking for a new caddy, and I’d like to recommend my wife Paulette.

Adam Scott.jpg

Adam Scott is a superb golfer, ranked Number 2 in the world, winner of multiple events on the PGA tour including the Master’s.  His most recent caddy, Steve Williams, has gone into semi-retirement, and as expected, Adam has been deluged with folks who want to carry his bag.  Several hundred, in fact, including one fellow from Florida who wrote to say he lives with his Mom, but thought caddying for Adam would be lots of fun.   So Adam can have his pick of good caddies, but as he’s going through the candidates, I hope he’ll give careful consideration to Paulette.

Here are some things I think recommend Paulette:

  1.  Paulette is very good at giving directions, even about things that don’t fall into her areas of expertise.  I well remember a trip we took to England a few years ago.  I’m behind the wheel of an unfamiliar car, driving on the left-hand side of the road, trying to keep from having a terrible accident.  Our daughter Lee is sitting white-knuckled in the passenger seat, being mostly quiet, and Paulette is in the back, giving directions without benefit of map.  English drivers appear to be giving us a wide berth, as if there is a neon sign on the hood of the car that says, Dumb American With Directional Wife.  Avoid At All Costs.  I have a rather severe headache.  Paulette is undeterred.  Now, is this a strike against Paulette as Adam Scott’s caddy?  I think not.  Adam Scott is from Australia, he knows how to drive on the left-hand side of the road, and a golf bag is not an automobile.  Paulette can bring some decisiveness to Adam’s golf game.  “Should I hit a 7-iron or a 6-iron, Paulette?”  Without hesitation: “The 6, Adam.  And don’t mess up.


  1. Paulette is a veteran traveler.  She has been to Russia, China, Italy, Poland, Israel, England, and France, and most recently, the Czech Republic and Germany.  There are golf tournaments in all of those countries, and Adam Scott plays in many of them.  Paulette knows how to pack for overseas trips, can count money in foreign currencies, and enjoys sampling local cuisine.  She would be a great help to Adam Scott the world traveler.  She is good at giving directions in unfamiliar places (see above).  She doesn’t speak foreign languages, but she says that the only words you need to know in another country are “Visa” and “Master Card.”


  2. Paulette can ride a Segway – you know, those motorized contraptions that look like a pogo stick with wheels.  She learned to ride a Segway on a trip to Israel awhile back, and I think there is the potential here to revolutionize the golf game.  I can’t see Paulette toting a heavy golf bag for 18 holes 4 days in a row, but I can easily see her carting Adam’s bag around on a Segway.  With her powers of persuasion, I think she could convince the PGA tour to equip caddies with Segways.  It would be much easier on the caddies physically and would extend their careers.  Plus, it would make great TV.

I hope Adam Scott will hold off making this important decision in his professional life until he has time to consider Paulette’s many fine qualities, including the three mentioned above.  I believe he’s ready to take his career to the next level.  All he needs is a firm hand, an experienced traveler, and a good Segway driver.  Ah, you say, does Paulette know anything about golf?  Well, she is fond of saying, “Golf is my friend.”  Okay, she means it gets me out of the house.  But it’s a start.


Robert Inman's novels -- Home Fires Burning, Old Dogs and Children, Dairy Queen Days, Captain Saturday, and The Governor's Lady, are available on Amazon Kindle e-reader.


Erik Compton and the Importance of Failure

I was listening to a sports psychologist talking on the radio the other day about failure.  It came shortly after the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Pinehurst, where a golfer named Erik Compton tied for second.  This psychologist wasn’t talking about Compton failing to win the tournament, he was using him as an example of how failure can prepare us for success.


You see, Erik Compton is on his third heart.  When he was nine years old he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy.  His heart muscle was inflamed and unable to work hard enough to do its job.  For four years, doctors tried to treat his condition with medications – steroids, to be specific.  If you’ve ever had to take massive doses of steroids, or know anyone who has, you know how they can ravage the body in their attempt to heal it.  Erik’s features became bloated and grotesque, and this at a time when kids are trying to find themselves, to fit in with the world around them.  Erik didn’t fit, and in the way children can be exquisitely mean, he was often taunted and ridiculed because of his appearance.

By the time he was twelve, it was obvious the steroids weren’t going to work, and so doctors gave him a new heart and a new lease on life.  He became a golfer, a very good one, with a college scholarship to the University of Georgia.  When he graduated, he turned professional – playing on mini-tours, then the Nationwide Tour, and even a handful of tournaments on the PGA Tour.  He won some, and could see a bright future ahead as a professional.

Then came the big setback.  His second heart began to fail, and in 2008 he had another transplant and had to start all over on the long road to physical recovery and his quest for a life on the links.  You could say that when Erik Compton finished his final round at Pinehurst earlier this year, tied with Rickie Fowler for second, he had finished the journey.  No matter that Martin Kaymer won the golf tournament by eight strokes.  Erik Compton won the life tournament.

You can say all sorts of good things about Erik Compton.  He has great talent, he works hard, he has persistence and spirit.  He has heart.  But what this sports psychologist was talking about was how Erik’s life of setbacks contributed to the golfer and person he is today.  He had to endure childhood ridicule, and what has to be one of the most difficult physical challenges I can imagine, having your heart taken from your body and replaced with another one – twice.  He confronted failure, and the threat of failure, at every turn.  So on one of golf’s biggest stages, under mind-boggling pressure, he performed with skill and grace because he had faced failure and conquered it.  No mere golf tournament could compare with what he had been through.

This psychologist says his advice to parents is to let our kids face failure honestly.  Don’t try to sugar-coat it, don’t say it doesn’t matter, don’t make excuses.  We can’t keep our kids from failing, no matter how hard we try.  The best we can do is help them recognize it, deal with it, and learn from it.  If we’re having trouble with that, we can sit down with our kids in front of a TV, find a professional golf tournament, and watch Erik Compton.  He knows how to fail, and through failing, win.

Robert Inman's novels -- Home Fires Burning, Old Dogs and Children, Dairy Queen Days, Captain Saturday, and The Governor's Lady -- are available on