Cart Barn Confessionals: Mistaken Identity


Cart Barn Confessionals are reader-submitted memoirs from their years as employees at a private country club or golf course. If you have a story you'd like to share, email Adam at


From reader Lincoln Duff:

At my course there was a group of doctors that played every Wednesday afternoon. These guys played quick and most of them were at least half decent (18-ish handicap). The downside to the loop was that they could occasionally be dicks, and they weren’t big spenders.

Generally the caddy master would assign this group to the younger caddies, which meant I was on this loop quite a bit. One particular day my buddy John, who was a young caddy probably 15 at the time and who may have weighed 100 pounds was on the loop. He was new to caddying but he checked all the boxes of a good caddy (show up, keep up, shut up).

This was his first round with the docs, and he was assigned to Doctor Mac. Mac was a regular at the club, but never went out of his way to interact with a caddy. Not to say he was a dick, but he was fairly direct and might have been the fastest player at the club.

For a caddy, Dr. Mac was tough to keep up with. He’d hit and immediately start walking, so after replacing his divot and picking up his bag, you really did have to run to catch up with him.

This particular day he hadn’t been playing well, he kept missing greens, couldn’t hit putts, and probably dumped three or four Pro V’s in the lake. Most of the caddies knew that he loved to talk to himself and the ball and this day was no exception. John the caddy started becoming quite nervous as the round progressed, Dr. Mac went from yelling things like “Get to the green” or “Stay out of the trees” to more attacking phrases like “Dammit John” after his shots.

This continued to progress until the back-nine, where the insults were flowing after a particularly bad shot Dr. Mac yelled “John, go fuck yourself”. John the caddy was very shaken by this and wasn’t sure why he was to blame, or what mistakes he had made. He hadn’t talked to Dr. Mac much all day, and he felt like he was doing the best job he could.

It was about that time he picked up the bag and noticed Dr. Mac’s bag tag: “Dr. John Mac”. Finally it all made sense, he wasn’t attacking his poor caddy, but like Jordan Spieth just yelling at himself after his poor shots. John caddied for Dr. Mac many times after that but always laughed when he yelled, because at least he wasn’t angry at his caddy!