by Max Brantley
I'm sure Jim Harris at Arkansas Sports 360 was all over this, but my interesting reading yesterday included this New York Times sports feature about the vanishing black golf caddy. Augusta National Golf Club once famously allowed only black caddies and white golfers. Tiger Woods' emergence, the article says, explains some of the end of the black caddy.
The interesting thing was the local angle: Carl Jackson, who oversees the mostly white caddy corps at Warren Stephens' private Alotian Golf Course, was quoted extensively. He got his start at Augusta National, earning money to help his family. He was taken under the wing of Jackson T. Stephens, the Little Rock financier who was once chairman of the Augusta course. He became his valet, caddy and friend. Jackson's advice today: Be a player, not a caddie. He'll be carrying Ben Crenshaw's bag again this year at the Masters. More on his webpage.
The Times article notes the irony of the changing race of caddies that followed the big dollars many began making as purses grew.
UPDATE: Speaking of Augusta National and its welcome mat .... Remember the furor over the club's refusal to admit women? It could arise again. IBM's new CEO is a woman. IBM has been an important corporate sponsor. Can it continue to support a segregated facility with a woman president. You could ask the question whether it might be time for Augusta to change, but .... The IBM CEO, Virginia Rometty, reportedly does play golf.