As mentioned in earlier articles, Groton’s municipally owned Shennecossett Golfing Path is without doubt one of the maximum historical and in style {golfing} locations in Connecticut.

Virtually from its starting and, proceeding into the early to mid-1960s, using golfing caddies at Shennecossett, usually known as “Shenny,” performed crucial position in aiding golfers.

The pc website online “The Golfing Ball Manufacturing facility” could have correctly described the tasks of the golfing caddy as follows: “phase pack mule, golfing ball finder, golfing ball retriever, physician, servant, rubbish guy, golfing psychiatrist, sports activities analyst, bodyguard, nursemaid, golfing membership cleaner, golfing ball washing machine, vegetables keeper, golfing path information, navigator, surgeon, seamstress, enemy and good friend, GPS machine, path ranger, safety guard, enemy, good friend and whipping put up…”

All in all, whilst unattractive because the process description may appear, many younger males from Groton and the encircling house discovered that caddying supplied them with a good paying process all the way through the summer season months and, for essentially the most phase, relaxing and life-long reminiscences.

I assume it’s best to start out by way of relaying that, in a casual sense, there were 3 generations of caddies at Shenny. The primary workforce most certainly started operating all the way through the early years of the path, say from the mid-1910s and persevered throughout the early 1930s. The second one workforce labored from the 1930s throughout the 1950s and the closing from the 1950s till the creation and use of hand and cellular carts within the early to mid-1960s.

Even supposing it’s been estimated that the typical age of the caddies operating at Shenny used to be most certainly between the mid to overdue teenagers, a few of the ones interviewed for this text recall a couple of as younger as 10 or 11 and a few who have been of their twenties or older.

For a few years, simply as many different golfing lessons did, Shenny used an “A” and “B” score machine for its caddies. More youthful, much less skilled caddies have been generally ranked as “B” caddies and continuously carried just one bag. Caddies who have been ranked as “A” have been generally older, extra skilled and supplied a better high quality of carrier. They virtually at all times carried two [or more] luggage.

Rating and task of caddies to golfers used to be the duty of the Membership’s “Caddy Grasp,” who would offer caddies with buttons bearing numbers from 1-60, the bottom quantity being the most efficient score. Maximum all of the ones interviewed indicated that you just at all times sought after to stick at the excellent facet of the caddy grasp should you sought after to make it as a caddy.

The tales and reminiscences relayed by way of former caddies at Shenny can highest be described as relaxing and, in some circumstances, novel. As a result of it will be tough to record the entire tales within the restricted quantity of house for this text, it used to be made up our minds to color a small image in their tales despite the fact that a hodgepodge of reminiscences.

Tom Edwards: In the summertime of 1949, he and his brother Jack, who additionally caddied at Shenny, promised to regard their father to a Purple Sox/Yankee baseball (generic term) in New York. They’d already bought the sport tickets; then again, they wanted cash for the spherical shuttle educate to New York. At the Friday prior to the Sunday, they performed “Tonk,” a card recreation the caddies performed for nickels and dimes to go the time away between caddying.

Sadly, they misplaced the entire cash for use to pay for the educate shuttle. They have been truly sweating over the truth that they might have inform their father they might no longer have enough money it. Thankfully, tomorrow they made their a refund in any other recreation of Tonk and didn’t have to inform their father that he must pay the educate fare.

Bob Ross: Ross mentioned he changed into extremely ranked by way of the caddy grasp and used to be assigned to caddy for a number of “dignitaries” together with Burt Lahr, who performed the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz.”; golfing skilled Tommy Armour who outstanding himself by way of profitable the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the British Open; and John Jay Hopkins, the founder and president of Common Dynamics who additionally created the Global Cup golfing event.

Ross handed alongside the truth that it used to be the obligation of the caddy to stroll, at a distance, in entrance of the individual they have been caddying for and it used to be no longer abnormal to be struck by way of the ball being hit by way of the participant. He used to be struck by way of golfing balls a number of occasions and, sure, as soon as in his what may anatomically be described as his “derrière.”

Phil Nahas: Nahas recalled taking part in hooky from categories at highschool so he may caddy at Shenny to make sufficient cash to take his junior promenade date out to dinner. Thankfully for him, as it used to be a weekday, no longer many caddies labored that day and he ended up operating one double and one triple caddying process that day.

Invoice Scarano: Scarano mentioned that within the early 1960s, a big textile workforce rented all of the Griswold Lodge for 3 days and the Shennecossett Golfing Path used to be reserved every day to be used by way of participants of that workforce simplest. The golfers from that workforce paid caddies $20 in step with bag plus a tip of as much as $10. Lots of the caddies carried two luggage and, on the finish of the day, would make $50 to $60.

By means of the top of the textile conference he made more cash by way of caddying 3 days than his father did operating as a full-time paid fireman. He additionally remembers shedding fairly just a little of the cash he had earned when he performed the cardboard recreation Pitch with different caddies who had additionally made “giant cash” over the former two or 3 days. Total, he nonetheless took house fairly just a little of cash.

The tales pass on and on; then again, it seems that that the previous Shenny caddies no longer simplest made an inexpensive amount of cash appearing their process, but additionally got lasting reminiscences and friendships. Most of the former caddies, on account of their time spent at Shenny, won an schooling about {golfing} and proceed to play the sport lately, a few years after their caddying days. Caddying at Shenny has turn into a factor of the previous however unquestionably will continue to exist as a part of the golfing path’s and Groton’s historical past.

Jim Streeter is the Groton the town historian.

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