Tenth Anniversary of Jim Tanner Caddy Classic

July 11, 2016 will be the tenth anniversary of the Jim Tanner Caddy Classic to be played at the Pawtucket Country Club. The members and new owners at Pawtucket Country Club look forward to celebrating this milestone and remembering the rich history of golf and the many young men and women that started their work life at the club. JT, as Jim Tanner is affectionately known by many, started his career as a caddy in the summer of 1950.
JT recounts his first steamy afternoon down in back of the proshop where the caddies would wait to catch a loop. A loop was a four hour trip carrying your assigned player’s golf bag around the 18 holes at the course. The 5 mile trip would include watching your golfers’ shots so to locate a ball that traveled into thick brush or in the woods. The caddy would replace divots, rake traps after sand shots, tend flag pins, and often provide encouragement when their golfer did not play as well as expected.
Jim was 10 years old and was sitting amongst a group of older seasoned caddies that numbered 50 that day. What chance he thought that the Caddy Master would pick him before all these older boys. An hour or more passed and JT was getting thirsty and wished that he had 50 cents for a Coke and a candy bar. Jimmy got the courage to ask the Caddy Master for a loan and was pleasantly surprised when his request for the loan was granted.
Jim sat back on the bench under the Willow Tree and enjoyed his treat. The golfers’ bags started to come out of the bag room and placed in their respective slots on the bag porch ready for assignment. A few of the seasoned caddies were called up and they would take two bags for their assigned golfers. They were double caddies carrying 2 bags for 18 holes for $1.50 per bag or $3.00 total for the 18 hole loop. Most of the groups went off in a foursome (four golfers to a group), so 2 double caddies would carry the member’s bags. There were no golf carts back then. Carts would not come for several more years.
The next group was a threesome, so there would be one double and one single caddy assigned. Jim got the nod and was about to start his first loop at Pawtucket Country Club. A career at the club started that day that is now 68 years and counting. As JT walked off the first tee with his golf bag hitched over his right shoulder, he thought, “The caddy master wants to get his 50 cents repaid.” JT’s thirst that hot summer day helped get him his first loop. That day turned into the beginning of his golf career that included several summers caddying, then a job in the proshop as assistant pro and eventually Caddy Master, the job that he tends to still to this day.
JT has been at Pawtucket Country Club since 1950 accept for 2 years he served in the Navy. Jim was inducted into the Pawtucket Country Club Hall of Fame in 2002 at the Centennial Celebration at the club and was given an honorary lifetime membership from the members of the club. In 2009, Jim entered the Professional Caddy Association Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in Orlando, Florida during the PGA
Merchandise Convention. Last year, the Rhode Island Golf Association recognized JT for his service to golf with the RIGA Hall of Fame Service Award. Only a special few can claim more than one Hall of Fame Award. JT has a trifecta with three Hall of Fame awards!

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