Carl Jackson
The upcoming film, “Loopers: A Caddie’s Long Walk,” was announced last week. Few player/caddie relationships have been more storied than that of Ben Crenshaw and Carl Jackson, which is documented in the film. Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

The upcoming feature length documentary “Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk” is sure to leave a lasting impression on fans of the game, especially those of us who’ve worked as a caddie in the past. After just watching the teaser trailer, it’s clear to me that this is a film that cannot be missed.

Hitting Close to Home

I grew up on a golf course. From the age of 13 until roughly 24, I worked at a country club in my hometown as both a caddie and a bag room attendant. The lessons I learned about professionalism, responsibility and accountability from my time there came second only to the lessons I learned about life.

In the Loopers trailer, which features a number of snippets from the many interviews you’ll see in the film, I couldn’t help but remember the many emotions I felt as a young man growing up around one of the oldest professions in the sport.

LOOPERS WEBSITE TRAILER from Charlize Toratani on Vimeo.

Working at a business I would have never otherwise stepped foot into — let alone meeting and carrying for men and women of a completely different social class than my own — was both nerve-racking and exciting. Understanding that the members were just regular people like you and me, complete with all the experiences life has to offer, both good and bad, was even more influential to my maturation.

Reaching that understanding was only possible by “showing up, shutting up,” and listening to the stories that unfolded on the course. Loopers will undoubtedly feature stories that will leave you wondering how the tales could possibly be true… yet awed at the realization that they are.

More than Just Stories

Of course, readers of this site know that what can be learned on the golf course goes much deeper than “stories.” Caddies who have the privilege of working at a professional level do so as much for the love of the game as necessity for living. Passion doesn’t always pay the bills, and reminders that life isn’t always fair lurks around every green or tee box.

Loopers will touch on this dynamic and much, much more. Understanding that different classes of people coexisting and working within a shared experience doesn’t happen often, yet is commonplace between the golfer/caddie relationship. That’s why we remember the names of professional partnerships as often as those of the players hitting the shots. One cannot happen without the other.

If anything can be learned from the Loopers trailer, it is that as much as the world changes, so too does the profession. However, the consistent thread of camaraderie, learning and commitment remains strong among today’s caddies, which is a comfort sorely needed today.

East Lake Caddies Mean Business

Speaking of taking the profession seriously, there are few caddies who take as much pride in their work as those at East Lake Golf Club. As posted on their Instagram page earlier this weekend, East Lake’s loopers enter every round with this helpful reminder posted in the bag room.

 

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A clear nod to the famous poster that greets the players on Notre Dame’s football team, the “Play Like a Champion Today” mantra has been duplicated in many ways over the years. East Lake’s spin on the widely recognizable phrase adds to the allure of the final postseason stop for the PGA Tour.