9/4(Day 1) -Today I was with an awesome couple from the city (NYC). The highlight of the day was when the lady in the group nearly got a hole in one on the 3rd hole. The ball hit the flagstick and stopped 6 inches from the hole for a tap in birdie! The weather was perfect today, so it was a great way to start the journey
.9/5 (Day 2) -My morning loop shot a career personal best score of 75. 4 over par here is great golf. Then in the afternoon I was lucky enough to have my brother Joe working with me. I looking forward to getting out there bright early tomorrow to continue the hike.
9/6 (Day 3) -The weather is perfect again today. My player said he had his best round in three months! It's always gratifying when I can help my players play well.
9/8 (Day 4) -I got two rounds in today. The morning group was great! The players were in their mid 30's and have been friends since childhood. Needless to say there was a lot of trash talk in that group. The highlight of that round was when my player hit an amazing second shot into the par 5 13th hole. He hit it to within 3 feet for a tap in eagle. The afternoon round was business golf. Overall, though, everyone loved the experience. Hopefully the rain holds off tomorrow, and I can get two more rounds in.
9/9 (Day 5) -We got rained out today. On days like this I spend my time catching up with family, watching TV, and resting my back and legs. The weather looks to be clearing up tomorrow so I should be able to get back to work tomorrow,
9/10 (Day 6) - I had a couple of my regulars today. The best part of my job is the relationships I build with some of the club members I work for. A lot of the time it feels like I'm working for some of my best friends. I've known the guy I worked for this morning for over a decade. In his group there is always music playing and plenty of jokes to go around. The player I was with this afternoon treats me like a son, and loves to give me long term financial advice. It was incredibly windy out there today, but overall, everyone had a great time.
9/11 (Day 7) - Today I had some great customers. A man who talks about his business that I find very educational, and a club member that i've known for 13 years and his girlfriend. But today is 911, and it was in everyones thoughts and conversations. This club is just across the river from Manhattan and has a spectacular view of the borough. Though today was a beautiful sunny day, seeing all the flags at half mast helped bring home the horror of that day.
9/12 (Day 8) - Today I'm blogging from the 8th hole. Like most days, I'm carrying two fully loaded golf bags. Each bag's average weight is 24 pounds so I'm carry 50 pounds of golf equipment all day. My boss has a bag scale to make fun of people that bring heavy bags. Today one of my players is a member friend I haven't seen since the start of the pandemic! Great to see him! During the round, I got offered tickets to the Giants game by some people that have one of the best tailgate parties at the stadium! A perk of the job!
9/13 (Day 9) - Today the club was closed to members for a corporate outing.You never know what type of golfers you'll run into in these evens, but my group today had a blast. My player made 3 straight putts from over 15 feet. When he made the third one, he said 'Wow! having these caddies is going to save me ten shots today! It's stuff like that that makes my job enjoyable.
9/14 (Day 10) - Something happened today that's never happened before. I've been working at Bayonne Golf Club for about 13 years. Throughout that time I've met a lot of members that want me to carry for them every time they play if I'm available. Obviously I can't be in two places at once, so a lot of the time my brother (who just started here last year) will fill in for me. Today, for the first time, the opposite happened. Joe and I got a good laugh out of it.
9/15 (Day 11) - I saw the sun come up and the sun come down today at Bayonne Golf Club. It's that time of year, but somehow I found a way to sneak in 3 rounds. As my co-worker and I were driving down to the parking lot looking out at the bright lights of New York City, we said, "Wow, who could ask for a better office!"
9/16 (Day 12) -Bayonne Golf Club is an Irish Links style course, open with sandy soil, located on the water across from NYC. Since it is so close to the city we tend to get a lot of high end guests. Today I got to carry for some of the people that give us all financial advice on CNBC every morning.
9/17 (Day 13) -The wind was up today. Every fairway here is lined with really tall, thick fescue. No matter how good my players are, if the wind is blowing hard at Bayonne Golf Club, I'm going to be spending a lot of time searching for balls in the fescue. The bad news is that it made for a really long day. The good news is that by the end of the day i had acquired 15 brand new Titleist golfballs!
9/18 (Day 14) -Today was Club Championship qualifier day. The key to qualifying is to avoid the big numbers. At Bayonne if you end up in the fescue you can make some really high scores on those holes. My player today made one double bogey, but nothing else higher than a bogey. He ended up finishing in the 5th spot of the 8 qualifiers. Match play starts tomorrow morning it should be exciting!
9/19 (Day 15) - It was picture perfect out there today. The temperature was in the mid 70's and there was a nice cool breeze coming off the water. I had my favorite couple in the afternoon round. They always have music playing while they golf. We also have great conversations throughout the round, so it barely feels like work to me.
9/20 (Day 16) - Often throughout the year when other clubs in the area have large events they'll call other clubs to help. Today I got to work an outing at Hamilton Farms. It's an amazing golf course built on an old horse farm. There are several large plantation homes, and beautiful rolling fairways up and down the hills. My group was laughing, and listening to music, so it was a fun day away from my normal routine.
9/21 (Day 17) - My morning group canceled today, so I walked to the diner next to my house to eat a nice breakfast and catch up on some podcasts. It was nice to have a relaxing morning off after such a busy week last week. I got an afternoon round in with one of my regular players. He gave me a couple good book recommendations while we were out there, all in all it was a great day.
9/22 (Day 18) - Today we had a one day member/guest event. Each member brought three guests to play in a one day tournament. My group got off to a shaky start, but on the back nine they birded 4 of the first five holes. They almost came back to win it, but ended up finishing one shot back in 2nd. Needless to say we had a great time out there
9/23 (Day 19) -This is the time of year the walk gets tough. Being a links course, it's right on the water, and the winds can get crazy. I think it was a steady 30 mph wind today with gusts at 40. My morning group quit after 9 holes, and my afternoon group got chased off by an incoming storm after 13. It looks cooler but less windy tomorrow, so it should be a great day.
9/24 (Day 20) -As tough as the conditions were yesterday, today was the complete opposite. The weather was perfect out there today, and I hit the halfway milestone. i think I'm going to celebrate with a high calorie pizza.
9/25 (Day 21) -It was another beautiful day today. I worked for a member today that is also a member of the club I used to work at in Chicago called Olympia Fields. My friend Doug and I graduated from college together, and we both went there for our first golf pro jobs out of school. I wanted to explore the Florida opportunities, but he wanted to stay there long term to hopefully take over the top job one day. Almost 15 years later, he's getting his opportunity. I am thrilled that his dream finally came true. Cheers to Doug!
9/26 (Day 22)
Note: Today was "Wheelchair Sunday" at Jeff's Knights of Columbus Council in Jupiter Fl. in support of his "500 Miles for Kids Wheelchairs" effort. Presentations were made during all Masses at St. Peter Church, and donations collected after Mass.
I'd like to thank everyone for their support of "Wheelchair Sunday". It was a great success. I am in West Palm Beach today. I got the opportunity to caddie for one of my best friends on his journey through the Korn Ferry qualifying school. It is the gateway to the PGA Tour. We got a solid practice round in today, and we'll do another one tomorrow. The tournament begins on Thursday, and we're very confident going into it.
9/27 (Day 23) The practice round went great today. Steve's awing is looking phenomenal, so hopefully we can string a bunch of birdies together tomorrow.
9/28 (Day 24) We got off to a sizzling start today. The day was perfect with a little wind. This is pro level competition, a little different from private club play. One bad swing on the back nine derailed the train a bit. We were 4 under par after the front nine, and ended up 2 under par at the end of the round. We're one off the cut (top 20 plus ties), so we've got some work to do. Overall though we're pleased with the way things went today.
9/29 (Day 25) We shot 2-under par again today. It puts us right on the cut line. The top 20 and ties qualify for the next stage. The field is mostly made up of guys fresh out of college, so Steve and I feel like the old men out there. He's 34, and I'm 38. He's striking the ball phenomenally, so we just need more putts to fall. We're excited to get back out there tomorrow.
9/30 (Day 26) It was extremely windy out there today. When that happens its good for the better players because they can somewhat separate themselves from the worse players. I am a very good golfer, but when its windy I'm terrible. Haha. Steve is barely effected by the wind. We shot another round of 2 under par today, and that put us 1 stroke ahead of the cut line. We have more round to play, and we're looking good at the moment.
10/01 (Day 27) Today didn't go as well as we had planned. Steve got bit by a tick last week, so his hands are occasionally flaring up. It happened at the worse possible time today on our back nine, and caused him to make two bad swings. We ended up missing the cut line by one stroke. After grinding so hard for four straight days it was pretty heartbreaking to fall only one stroke short. I'm flying back to Bayonne tonight, and I'm looking forward to getting back to my normal routine. Everyone send prayers to steve. I know his head is hanging low right now. He's an amazing player, and an even better friend, but just had an unfortunate tick byte at the wrong time. When you're playing against other elite players you need to be 100%.
10/02 (Day 28) We had a 27 hole event today. It was the end of the season member member event. It was a lot of fun, we had music going for all 27 holes, and a foursome of members that have been friends for about a decade. On the final hole they got us caddies involved. I chipped in for birdie... needless to say there was a good celebration from our team.
10/03 (Day 29) I got in 36 holes today. I had a brand new member and his friend this morning. The friend had such a good time that he is going to join next season. That kind of thing happens quite often here. It's a very relaxed atmosphere compared to most private clubs. That is what also makes it such a great place to work.
10/04 (Day 30) Today we had a private Monday outing called the Irish Open. Needless to say, we had a lot of Catholics out there. I ended up working for Father Gabriel from Fisher Island. He loved what we're doing to raise money for Wheelchairs, and said he'd share our website with some of the Knight's that he knows in the area. I thought that was pretty cool!
10/05 (Day 31) It was the first time that it felt like fall this morning. It had that October chill in the air. It warmed up nicely and ended up being a great day though. I had a group of the owners friends today. My partner and I accordingly gave them the royal treatment. Everyone had a blast, so it was rewarding to provide them with such a great experience. It just makes you feel good when the players are full of compliments at the end of the round.
10/06 (Day 32) Today we had our Pro/Member invitational. Each member that played brought a professional as a guest, and they competed against all the other teams in the event. We got off to a slow start, so we were never really in the mix. Despite not finishing well, today was a personal milestone for me. It marks what will potentially be my final event of a 13 year career at Bayonne Golf Club. I've had some of the best times of my life working here, so it's still hard to believe I might be moving on.
10/07 (Day 33) Every once in awhile I'll run into players that are just completely outmatched by the difficulty of Bayonne Golf Club. Today my player might have broken the record for most golf balls ever lost in one round at Bayonne. As physically draining as it was searching for his balls up and down the hills all day, we could not have had a better time. He was cracking jokes and loving every minute of the experience. At the end of the day that's what golf is all about, so it was great to spend the day with a guy that has such a positive attitude.
10/08 (Day 34) Today was a pretty exciting day out there. I was caddy for a golfer with a 20 handicap. For those of you that don't know, a 20 handicap golfer typically doesn't make a lot of pars when they play golf on difficult courses. Today I guided my 20 handicap to 3 birdies and 4 pars. Needless to say, he was loving every minute of it, and said it was one of the best rounds he ever played.
10/09 (Day 35) I had my favorite group today. Not only do they teach me about business and finance, but they also take me fishing and golfing in Florida during the winter. The generosity of the people I meet here is incredible. It's one of the many things that makes my job so special and enjoyable.
10/10 (Day 36) It was a tough day early on out there today. It was rainy and windy, and since this is a "Links" style course with mostly grass and sand, there are very few trees to block the wind from off the Atlantic. This is a caddy course, so there aren't even any golf carts to hide in. Ha! Even so, there were still plenty of golfers trying to get in as much golf as they can before winter. My group got soaked for the first five holes, but then it actually ended up being a nice day! The guests had a great time, and we finished just in time for everyone to go watch their favorite football team.
10/11 (Day 37) It was a little cooler out today. It's the first time since the beginning of the season that I had my jacket on for the whole round.
It gets me excited for Florida. For those of you that don't know,
I spend my winters down in Florida. My official exit date is October 20th, so that sunshine is right around the corner!
10/12 (Day 38) Today was the last corporate outing of the season. All of us were excited when they announced the format, a scramble. Outings can be long days, and we always hope for a scramble. In a scramble you take the best shot of the group, everyone plays from there. That continues for the whole round, so it's a lot less looking for golf balls. We had two former college golfers in my group. We ended up 13 under par for the win. The real excitement came when one of the guys missed a "hole in one" by three feet. If he had made it, he would have won a new Cadillac.
10/14 (Day 39) I got 36 holes in today, so the 500 mile target is right around the corner, I should hit it sometime this weekend. The weather has been unbelievable for October. Usually this time of year I'm bundled up in a winter hat and three layers. It's been mid 70's and sunny all month. Clearly I must be getting some good karma points from the kids waiting for wheelchairs!
10/15 (Day 40) I had my two friends from Florida this morning. They golf here in the summer time and spend the winter months in Florida. They're leaving this weekend for Florida, and one of them invited me out for a fishing trip on November 13th. He said I could have been included in his fishing tournament on the 12th, but he doesn't want me getting sea sick and ruining the event. Haha! I look forward to crossing the finish line tomorrow!
10/16 (Day 41) The New York Harbor has two golf courses on the Jersey side. Bayonne Golf Club is one of them, and on the other side of the ship yard closer to the city is Liberty National. Once a year they have a Ryder Cup type battle called the Harbor Cup. Today was that day. I finished the 500 miles, but did it on enemy territory. (Ha!) Therefore, Ifeel it's only fitting to do some wheelchair Sunday bonus miles tomorrow and finish the mission on my home course.
10/17 (Day 42) This is my final post, so I Just want to thank everyone for their donations and support. The comments I've received throughout this experience have been incredible. It's awesome th see everyone come together for a great cause. It's been a truly remarkable experience, and if this ends up being my last season at Bayonne Golf Club I can't think of a better way to go out. For those of you that don't know, I've been working seasonally for the last 15 years I've been out of school. As amazing as my jobs have been, I'm really looking forward to returning to Florida and staying in one place year around. Thanks again everyone, you're all great!