A Sense of Huber: Leading by Serving

Caddie
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Jim's chance encounter with one of the Tour's loopers leads to a greater appreciation of how one serves others.
By
Jim Huber
PGA.com

Series: A Sense of Huber

Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011 | 11:52 p.m.

The church was just beginning to fill when the deeply-tanned stranger in the navy golf shirt, jeans, and sandals slipped quietly into the second row on the left.

Last Sunday was on its way to being the hottest day of the year so far and regulars used their bulletins to rearrange the air, all the while sneaking a look at the man.

A Sense of Huber

PGA.com's Jim Huber provides his thoughts and love of golf and invites you to enjoy and share your passion for the game.

For a moderate Baptist congregation, it was startlingly complex; African Americans, Indians, Asians, all dotted the small sanctuary but while they were diverse, they were familiar. They were us.

He was not.

Average of stature, his forearms were deeply muscled, his right shoulder indented just enough to let you know he carried for a living. Turns out, a staff-sized golf bag.

He (and I will leave him anonymous here) was well into his ruggedly regular 40-week season and had just finished caddying in Greenville, South Carolina, and was driving to Texas for his next stop. His pro flew.

He said, modestly, quietly, that when he has a rare Sunday off, he likes to stop along the road at an anonymous church and worship. Though this particular one didn't happen to be on a main interstate, instead tucked away across a creek from a Home Depot, he somehow found his way to our door.

I watched him from time to time, as did most of us, as we made our way through the service. A thin, warm, smile stayed on his bearded face nearly the entire time. He sang earnestly, he prayed fervently (okay, so I peeked). He seemed at home.

When we sang our last hymn and began to make our way to the vestibule, he found a welcome face.

"You look like a leader here," he said. "I have something here I'd like to give."

He held up a regular offering envelope.

"Just give it to the pastor at the door."

"I don't want it to go to the church," he said. "I want it to go to a family in need, one that might be hurting, hungry, whatever."

"The pastor is your man. And thank you."

For a half century or more, the caddie fraternity has been a tortured lot, good, solid men overshadowed by the drunken gambling souls who go from bag to bag like ravenous bears to a picnic.

Fortunately, we are allowed a first-name glimpse at the class acts, Bones and Fluff and Joey and Ox among others. But the overall reputation has been tawdry.

And then one takes a left and makes his way into your life, to share one of the most precious of times for the shortest of hours.

He is long gone now, working in Texas, having likely forgotten. But we, us, never will. And that is the impact we all can make on one another.  

 

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Comments

jamesanderson1979

This story is nice but at the same time it is kind of Jake. JAKE – (adj.) lame, crappy, lousy.
It is not a bad first name at all but it serves even better to delineate the things that suck.
Example: If you say The Beatles are a better all time rock band than The Rolling Stones, your jake characteristics exponentially rise.

Get hip golf stiffs -> http://caddydigest.blogspot.com/2011/05/caddy-dictionary-golf-terms-looper_19.html