On the Audubon Golf Trail in Louisiana: It's a small, small world
I knew I had met Bill Caldwell before, perhaps talked to him on several occasions, but I didn’t want to bring it up until I was sure. As it turned out our paths had crossed many times over the years, and they had crossed again on this night during dinner at Carter Plantation Golf Club.
Finally I realized I had worked with Caldwell years ago on the Rules columns that we ran in PGA Magazine; Caldwell, the longtime pro at Chateau Golf and Country Club in Kenner, La., then remembered a story I had written on PGA couples that included he and his wife.
I had also met Caldwell at the PGA Teaching and Coaching summits that he chaired and at golf events like the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup. The 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah was particularly memorable for Caldwell, who is now the director of golf at Carter Plantation, one of 12 courses on the Louisiana Audubon Golf Trail.
It seems this was the first time that this former PGA board member got to announce the players at the 18th green. Caldwell was a little nervous because he knew he would be on national television as he announced the leaders coming into the last hole.
So he went into the locker room to prep for his appearance. Jean van de Velde, who had lost the British Open a few months earlier after infamously triple bogeying the final hole at Carnoustie and losing in a playoff, was in the locker room as well. As Caldwell put on the final touches, van de Velde told him that if nothing else, at least he would smell good when he went back out to the 18th green.
Caldwell didn’t know what to think of that comment, especially coming from a Frenchman.
As it turned out, Caldwell, who is a PGA Master Professional, thought he had used hairspray to tame his mane. It was actually deodorant, the kind that dries white. He didn’t have enough time to wash it out, so that’s how he appeared when he announced the players, looking a little older and wiser.
Of course, if Caldwell sprayed a little deodorant in his hair today, nobody would notice. And the same would hold true for me, too.
My, how time flies.
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