The site was Highland Park golf course in little Auburn, NY. The event was the 5th annual, growing in popularity CaddyMaster's Golf Tournament.

On the line: PRIDE. Also a golf championship as well.

Here's the make- up of the CaddyMaster.

On day one 24 players made up 12 separate 1 on 1 matches, head to head, with handicap. The winners get to play on Sunday in a medal play score with handicap. Lowest NET score takes the crown. The loser?? Well he gets to carry the bag of the guy who beat him the previous day. White caddy outfit and all. Names on the back. The whole kitten kaboodle.

One week previously, yours truly happened to play in Highland's Club Championship. With some skill, more luck, and definitely some fate, I happened to win the club championship. Not all of the clubs best players entered, but of those who did, I was fortunate enough to come out on top. Quite an honor. Enjoyable. Lots of work both physically and mentally.

Next, someone suggests that the "new club champ" play in the 5 year young CaddyMaster( not sure that ever happened before). I figured why not? Sounds like fun. Of course I KNEW that a loss would get me plenty of hassle and jerking from the other members.

Enter Larry Bear, my opponent. Larry was a very nice chap originally from England. A worker for 40 plus years, now retired and concentrating on relaxation, house projects and golf. We had a fine match that ended in a tie. Extra holes. Added pressure. Mr Bear outlasted me in extra holes. OH NO. OOPS. From King to Pauper in less than one week. My reward for losing would be the HONOR to wear the white suit with L.

Bear's name proudly displayed on my back.

What did I learn?

First have the guts to participate. I knew the risks and , like life, the worst thing that could happen really wasn't that bad. Some "in good humor" ridicule, and a slight blow to the ego. Luckily for me, I really don t have an ego and had fun with the whole event, win or lose.

Second, golf, like life, is different every day. One day it's all going your way, and the next, the exact opposite. I've learned that, "it is what it is" and to deal with it. Take the good days, relish them, and SMILE. Take the bad days, and, pardon the pun, grin and BEAR it.

Third, unless your Tiger Woods, most of us are pretty even so that anyone can really beat anyone on a given day. Take nothing for granted.

As soon as you do, your in big trouble. That's life's way of saying, don t think your bigger than me.

Fourth, complete the task at hand. Due to the sunshine and warm weather, some of the caddies chose to take off their white uniforms early in the round. I figured, if the brave military men and women in IRAQ can do serious life battle in 3 digit temperatures, I can certainly rough out a
18 hole walk around the golf course toting a bag. Not to mention, it was part of the deal. I LOST . Wear the uniform. Also, perhaps I will remember what it was like to carry the bag and I'll be better prepared to improve my chances of WINNING next year. A little HUMILITY goes a long way.

Fifth, treat your fellow humans with respect. Larry was kind enough to remove as much as he could to lighten his bag for me. He also frequently carried 2-3 clubs in his hand to make my job more BEARable (sorry, again). Who knows, he may be carrying next year, and someone should show him the same kindness.

Finally, whatever your job is, DO IT WITH PRIDE. It was my pleasure to wear the name L. BEAR on my back, as he EARNED it by beating me the prior day. My job on this Sunday was to help Mr Bear do the best he could and possibly win the CaddyMaster. (It's also nice to say you got beat by the eventual winner). Well, Mr Bear and I competed hard and after a poor start, we hung tough to only lose by a shot, to a gritty Sam Giannettino, on the last hole. Well done Sam, and well done Mr Bear.

To sum up, I'm very pleased to have competed in the CaddyMaster. It's a great concept, a whole bunch of fun, and It'll make me stronger for future competition. Finally, and most importantly, it served as life's great reminder that some days you're the King and some days you're the Pauper.

Author's Bio: 

About the author::

TA Smith is the founder and creator of
A graduate of UMASS, Amherst.
A former Dale Carnegie graduate.
Smith loves to golf, ski, read, walk his chocolate labs, and listen to jazz and country music.
Smith's motto: Work hard, have fun, help others and make people SMILE.