NEWS

When Mom carries your clubs

By Kym Klass
Published on

PRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Julieta Granada asked her caddie what she wanted for Mother's Day this year.

Her caddie -- who is also her mother, Rosa -- answered: birdies.

"So, what are you going to do?" Julieta Granada of Paraguay said, laughing, while at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill this past week.

Granada, 29, and who has had her mother as her caddie for more than 10 years, since she joined the Symetra Tour in 2005, said in order for it to work, "you have to get along, whatever the situation, and you have to trust each other with whatever decision you make.

"And sometimes I mess up and sometimes she does, but you live with it. And you move on and you try and grow together and keep the relationship as good as it can be and you grow on that. Not a lot of people get to spend so much time with their moms, and I really cherish that."

Granada has played in Prattville for a few years, but said being here on Mother's Day weekend reinforces her to remember that parents, especially mothers, want the best for their children.

"Sometimes, kids want to reject that," she said. "But I learned early on that she was a big asset for me and that she knew myself and my game really well. So we work together. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we don't. But we respect each other enough to not take it personally. We're out there and we both try and do a good job."

And that means not taking anything personally, keeping the golf on the course.

"You can't get upset all the time, like, 'Hey, that was the wrong club...you hit the wrong shot,'" she said. "You just have to take it light. Golf is a tough game. And she has another perspective, different than mine. Us players sometimes get caught up in crazy stuff, so she keeps me centered ... like, this is the way we are going. She's been to pretty much all my golf lessons I ever took. So she knows what I need to do. So if I forget, she remembers. So that's a good thing about moms: They never forget."

During Granada's junior career, she had a few other caddies, and her mother was not interested in the job. But when she turned pro, it wasn't exactly the plan for her mother to caddie -- at least not for more than 10 years -- but it was convenient. Granada didn't have a lot of money, and since her mother was at the tournaments anyway, it was a good fit.

"And now we can't think of anyone else carrying my bag," Granada said.

Granada reinforced the message of relationships at a "Mom and Me" clinic this week.

"I think it's important for kids and moms to understand that a good relationship is the foundation of understanding each other," she said. "I definitely want people to have a good relationship with their mother. I'm lucky enough to be one of those people. But I think more people could benefit from that. Just seeing how we get along maybe helps someone else. And that's what it's all about."

After Prattville, Granada has her sites set on the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she will represent Paraguay. Her career has taken her and her mother all over the globe, from Asia, Europe and South America to Canada, Mexico and the United States.

"We're going to make the trip down for the opening ceremonies," Granada said of Rio. "That's something we don't want to miss. From Paraguay, there are six athletes qualified. The goal is 10. We played the Pan American Games last year in Toronto, and she went there with me. And now we're going to Rio."

Asked about any mishaps while on tour -- whether someone forgot a club, got lost, forgot a pair of shoes -- Granada said, "I have left 9-irons at home, and then we had to have a new 9-iron the week of the tournament.

"It's never her fault. She's always on top of things and I'm always the one that is forgetful and I never remember anything. It's good to have her on my side for those situations."

At the beginning of Brittany Lincicome's 12 years of playing golf, her mother, Angie, went to every tournament. Today, she picks and chooses.

For example, she chose Hawaii. And this week, she chose Prattville.

"I pick the ones that I like," she said on Friday. "Dad comes a whole lot more."

Being Mother's Day weekend, though, makes the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic even more special. While she has two sons at home, she said it is nice "to be with my favorite daughter."

Angie Lincicome has not always just stood on the sidelines watching, though.

At the LPGA Kingsmill Championship, she served as her daughter's caddie for half of a hole.

In the pouring rain, Angie Lincicome reminded her daughter. And in the wind. Brittany Lincicome's caddie had to leave to catch a flight, so mom filled in.

"I still haven't been paid for that," Angie Lincicome said, laughing.

Brittany Lincicome, of St. Petersburg, Florida, said her mother serves as a huge support in tournaments.

"She goes down in the fairways and whistles back and lets me know if the ball is in the fairway or in the trees," she said. "It's nice when Mom's out, because I have lots of snacks and she tells me where my shots go."

Vicky Hurst, from Melbourne, Florida, has had her mother, Koko Hurst, as her caddie for two years.

She has caddied all seven of her daughter's wins.

"She helps me a ton," Vicky Hurst said. "She is confident and believes in me so much that it's contagious that I just go out there and play golf."

On Mother's Day weekend, she understands the partnership with her mother is an opportunity not a lot of women have.

"I realize that and it is very special," she said.

From Ontario, Canada, 18-year-old Brooke Henderson is surrounded by her family this weekend. Her sister, Brittany, is her caddie, and also her parents, Bruce and Darlene Henderson. The family is accustomed to being on a golf course on the weekends, even on Mother's Day. They've also spent other special weekends, such as Father's Day and Easter.

"We were fortunate enough to come," Brooke Henderson said of this week in Prattville. "We're really enjoying the sweet tea.

And while Granada's mother wants birdies for Mother's Day, Henderson said, "an eagle would be even better. We're just happy to be here and enjoying the whole experience. They do have the week off next week, so that's wonderful. We knew we'd get to see them, but this was something that just worked out. And we get to spend extra time together and then actually be together all day Sunday. ... (It) will be really lovely to be with the girls again."

Brittany Henderson took this year off to caddie for her sister.

"We've always been in it together," Brooke Henderson said. "When Brooke was small, she'd watch Brittany play, following her through the junior amateur ranks. She went off to university on a golf scholarship in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina). And we've continued on with Brooke.

"She was just ready and she knew that. She felt that way and that's what she really wanted and we just totally supported her in that 100 percent."

Asked about any Mother's Day traditions, Brooke Henderson answered: "No, not really, because often we have been at tournaments. So we don't have any traditions. We just try to stay together."

This article was written by Kym Klass from The Montgomery Advertiser and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.