It was a moment that I won’t soon forget… ever.
It was sunny October day. The Chicago Cubs had played in the NLDS the night before and lost to the Washington Nationals. Not only was I the only Cubs fan in the Westwood bar, but I had to endure the “Stephen Strasburg Superfan” (as I called him) from across the bar yelling and screaming all game long. Needless to say, I may have indulged in a few too many $5 22oz mugs beer, but what did I have to lose? In one day I was heading out on a trip to Bandon Dunes with the family, and tomorrow… President Obama was coming to the club.
Waking up hungover wasn’t great, but I knew I wasn’t caddying that day anyway. I was going to the club for one reason and one reason only, to see the President. I had never seen a President before in my life, and I wasn’t going to waste this opportunity. President Obama’s caddie had already been set, so I didn’t have a chance to get in his group anyways. He was teeing it up with Larry David and Ari Emanuel, two of my favorite loops.
When I arrived to the course, as you could imagine, everyone was on high alert and secret service was already there. I walked down to the caddyshack and it was packed. Everyone knew they probably weren’t getting out, but could you miss coming to get a glimpse of a President? From the caddyshack, we could see Obama and the other guys warming up at the range. As they were warming up, the crowds started to come. It seemed like every worker on the property either lined the first fairway, or the first tee to get a glimpse of the President. Even one of the club assistants made sure to come and tell us that if we, the caddies, stepped outside the perimeter of the caddyshack to try and talk to the President, then we would be fired on the spot. Because that needed to be said because we’re all just a bunch of low life idiots right?
From below the hill, we could watch from above on the first tee. Ari tugged one left, Larry right down the middle (as usual), and Obama a stripe show right down the pipe. Driving down the hill and towards the caddyshack in his cart he waved, smiled, and said hello to all of us on his drive by. We were 15 feet away from a President. It was a chilling moment, but for more reasons than that. We all know that LA is an extremely diverse city, and that went for the members of the caddyshack as well with many people of different races and cultures. No matter your political background, I saw so many people just in awe that day of that moment. To see their faces light up, the smiles they had, and even some tears falling from their faces, it took me back a step. It was just an incredible moment that many, including myself, never thought they would find themselves in. I know for some of my fellow caddies, seeing him sort of reminded them of their own struggles they’ve had been put through growing up. That he was able to symbolize the same struggle they had endured and the American dream their families believed in, and how he overcame all that to become the President of the United States. That anything is possible in this country.
I wish everyone had an opportunity to endure a moment like that, because it was powerful. I got to see a President drive by and play 2 golf holes for about 25 minutes. Hell, I don’t even know if he made pars on those holes or broke 100 on the day. He had secret service everywhere and it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I had a lot of amazing opportunities and saw a lot of great things as a caddie, but that will always be one of my favorite moments.