Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In the Bag Return of Caddies Allows Students to Lean, Earn

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In the Bag Return of Caddies Allows Students to Lean, Earn

Article excerpt

Ellen Maloney never liked golf until she started her job in April.

Mike Virgin enjoys playing as well as working at his summer place of employment.

Maloney and Virgin work as first-year caddies and bag-room attendants at Norwood Hills Country Club.

After a drought of several years, use of caddies is returning in large numbers at many private courses in the area.

Clubs such as Norwood, Old Warson, the Legends, Bellerive, Glen Echo, Westborough, Boone Valley, Algonquin, Westwood and Sunset have caddie programs.

The use of caddies will continue to grow as long as club professionals are dedicated to the program, said Bruce Korn, the director of the St. Louis chapter of the Western Golf Association.

"The caddie program here has really bounced back in the past five years," Korn said. "The use of the electric cart really changed the game of golf, and people just stopped walking. Now they're walking again for a fitness standpoint, and they're finding out that playing golf with a caddie is a great experience. There is nothing like it."

Students who work as caddies can apply for the Chick Evans Scholarship Program, which awards college scholarships based on class rank and financial need.

Norwood Hills has 70 caddies in its program. All went through a five-week training session followed by a 100-question test. Caddies are rated as B, A and Honor caddies. They can make from $10 to $15 plus tip for an 18-hole round depending on their rating.

Maloney, 15, said she took the job because of the salary and extras.

"We get free golf lessons, we get to play on Monday for free, and we can play tennis for free," said Maloney, a sophomore at Lutheran North High.

Maloney earned her A status by scoring well on ratings from caddie master Ken Boesch. She said learning both the east and west courses, knowing how to estimate yardage and how to forecaddie helped her gain the rating. …

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