Franklin, New Hampshire-based George Sargent Jr., a University of Massachusetts graduate, worked on home state courses such as the Stonebridge Country Club in Goffstown; Campbell’s Scottish Highlands Golf Course in Salem; and the Lochmere Golf and Country Club. Other Sargent designs include the River Bend Country Club in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and Point Sebago Golf Resort in Casco, Maine.
I’d like to reflect for a moment on how lucky I am to be in this business, to be doing what I am doing, having come from such humble beginnings. I, like many others, started my career in the golf course industry as a caddy, at age thirteen, in my hometown of Franklin, New Hampshire.
At the club, all the caddies would sit silently on the caddy bench, and wait for the caddy master to pick them to go work. The trick, I quickly learned, to getting into the caddy master’s good graces was to help out at the club. I would pick up trash, clean the locker room, sweep the walkway, and scrub toilets because these tasks were essential to becoming a good caddy…or so we were told.
There was a highly-coveted, special bonus for the hardest-working caddies. There was a porch at the club that the golfers convened on, and the floor on the porch was wooden with large slots in it. If the caddy master really liked you, he would allow you to crawl underneath the porch and look for any quarters that had fallen out of the golfers’ pockets. You were only selected to do this, however, if the caddy master thought you were working hard enough.
Once I got the hang of caddying I loved it. I carried a bag around, got to learn about golf, was outside in the fresh air, and got to talk to a lot of interesting people. I thought it was the best job in the world and even wondered how I could go about making a living as a full-time caddy!
I became a golf architect, instead.
And can you believe that he club selected me to add nine holes to the course in 1999? My home course!
The old wooden porch is still there, slots and all. The only difference is that I no longer need permission to crawl underneath it to look for quarters.