There are only a couple of places you can see caddies these days — on the PGA Tour and during reruns of Caddyshack.

The PGA Tour caddie often has to be part psychologist, best friend and supporter while reading greens and suggesting clubs. The Caddyshack employee complains about his clients, defiles the club swimming pool and tries to get away with murder.

Somewhere between those extremes, you’ll find your regular golf course caddie, a species long ago thought extinct but alive and well at Belgrade Lakes Golf Club. Started about eight years ago, the caddie program at Belgrade received a recent boost with the addition of Patrick Kane, an experienced caddie from Belmont Country Club in Belmont, Mass.

“He goes down there for big events now and then,” Belgrade managing general partner Kyle Evans said. “He’s caddied for people up here. We’re grooming to be the caddie master.”

Kidding aside, Evans hopes Kane will mentor his young caddies, most of whom are members of the Messalonskee High School golf team. Sometimes their job is as simple as carrying clubs and finding lost balls. But often golfers will ask for advice, especially reading greens.

“You can tell by the questions of the customer what they’re looking for in a caddie,” Evans said. “We have people come back every year and ask for the same caddie.”

Belgrade is also a good walking course which is conducive to hiring a caddie.

“It’s really the end of an era, even at private clubs,” Evans said. “It’s a great gig for a kid, they make good money.”

Business is picking up at Belgrade, Evans said.

“It’s our high end season,” he said. “We’re seeing the same people we’ve seen for 10 years.”

* * *

Two-time Class C schoolboy champion Seth Sweet of Madison played well in a couple of recent tournaments. He finished second in the New England high school championships in Keene, N.H.. last Monday, losing in a playoff after shooting 69 in regulation.

“I left a few shots out there,” Sweet said. “I missed a 3-foot putt on the last hole to win it.”

Sweet played in the Hudson Junior Invitational in Hudson, Ohio, last week and finished in a tie for fourth with a three-round total of 221.

“I was even par through the first two rounds,” said Sweet, who shot 77 in the third round. “I just had a bad day at the end. It’s a pretty big national junior tournament.”

Sweet was less pleased with his play at the Maine Open this week at the Augusta Country Club where he shot 75-76 to finish in a tie for 62nd place.

“It was pretty awful,” he said. “The first day I couldn’t put a wedge within 20 feet of the hole. If it wasn’t for my putting I wouldn’t have made the cut.”

Sweet will try to qualify to the U.S. Junior Amateur on Monday in Longmeadow, Mass. The tournament will be held at the Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H., from July 16-21. He played in the tournament last summer and reached the match play portion. He’s working at Lakewood Golf Course this summer and playing every day.

“I hit a lot of balls,” he said. “I’m just trying to work the ball a little bit more. I want to be able to attack every pin.”

Sweet is preparing for the Maine Amateur at Sunday River on July 10-12. He may play a junior tournament later in July but otherwise is preparing to head to Old Dominion University where he’ll play golf for the Division I Monarchs. Toward that end, he’s lost 20 pounds in the last couple of months.

“I did the ‘Insanity’ program,” Sweet said. “It works great. I put on a lot of muscle. I made it through the 60-day calendar so I’m doing the calendar again.”

* * *

Sugarloaf Golf Club and the town of Carrabassett Valley broke ground Tuesday for a new $1.7 million irrigation system. Earlier this spring, town residents voted overwhelmingly to replace the old system, which was installed 27 years ago.

“The old system was beginning to fail,” superintendent Bob Bruce said. “With the new irrigation system, we will be able to pinpoint the exact areas that need water, and avoid over-watering areas that don’t need as much. This will end up saving water and electricity costs, and will be much better for the course in the long run.”

Installation will continue a hole at a time until all 18 holes are completed.

* * *

The Maine Junior Golf Tour begins this week at Jato Highlands in Lincoln. The tour continues throughout June and July with 18 tournaments, concluding with the junior championships at Val Halla in Cumberland. Further stops this month include Clinton Golf Course, Belgrade Lakes and Val Halla.

The Belgrade Lakes tournament is known as the Kit Bartlett Memorial in honor of the family who originally owned the land upon which the course was built.

“They donated money to the MSGA for junior golf,” Belgrade managing general partner Kyle Evans said. “We expect 75-100 juniors. We love having them.”

Chip shots . . . Augusta Country Club teaching pro and former head pro Pete Hatfield shot his age recently while playing in a foursome with Mark Plummer. “I birdied 1 and 2 and Plummer got on me right away about shooting my age,” Hatfield said. Hatfield, who is 73 years old, shot 71 . . . Gavin Dugas, who will be a sophomore at Maine Central Institute this fall, finished second in a PGA New England Jr. qualifier at Cape Arundel last week, shooting 76. The NEPGA Junior will be held at the Black Swan Country Club in Georgetown, Mass. on Wednesday and Thursday. Dugas also finished fifth in a New England Elite Tour event at Abenaqui/Ledges, shooting 79-80 . . . Jack Wyman of Falmouth tied for low amateur at last week’s Maine Open, finishing at 143 with Collin Brennan of North Andover, Mass. The former Maine junior champ will be a senior at Endicott College. Samoset pro Jeff Seavey was low Maine pro with 144. . . Maine amateur qualifiers will be held at Biddeford-Saco on Tuesday, Fox Ridge on Thursday and Penobscot Valley on July 3. The tournament will be held July 10-12 at Sunday River.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]


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