The Players entrance
I arrived Wednesday morning at the Players and had barely taken 10 steps off the media shuttle when a matter of blogoriffic proportions (yes, I just invented that word--use it if you dare) was thrust in front of me. A tour caddie, who must remain nameless because of possible retaliation, ripped into the working conditions the PGA Tour (which has historically displayed mostly a total disregard for caddies) has supplied here at the TPC.
The caddie's complaints were many. They've been bumped into a small, garage-sized room, and there are exactly two bathrooms--for more than 150 caddies. The food is apparently abysmal, too. Yesterday, the caddie said, there was a bin of what was supposed to be hash browns but in fact more closely resembled mush. The caddies have also been bumped out of their old parking lot, wedged between the entrance road and the first fairway, and into another lot across the road that isn't as close.
"The tour has always had nothing but contempt for us caddies," he told me. "But two bathrooms for 150 guys? That's ridiculous."
To add insult to injury, they are laboring in the shadow of a kajillion-dollar clubhouse that was brand new last year but includes no caddie hangout. And, they are fresh off the Wachovia Championship, where caddies get valet parking, first-class food and their own large tented villa and lounge. "And the tour wonders why guys like playing Wachovia?" the caddie asked. "Anytime the tour is in charge of an event, we always get screwed."
Welcome to Ponte Vedra Beach, fellas.