Former Payne Stewart caddie Mike Hicks is six months into his new venture for Cary-based Caddies on Course – and loving every second.
Hosted by top Tour caddies such as Hicks and providing a unique peek into the world of professional golf, Caddies on Course offers a variety of programs to help plan a perfect client outing or team incentive.
Hicks was a caddie on the PGA Tour for 33 years, most notably for Stewart at the 1999 U.S. Open in Pinehurst, before recently retiring from looping. Hicks, who will be 54 in July, is now the Director of Golf at Mill Creek in Mebane.
One of Hicks’ first jobs with Caddies on Course was a clinic of sorts at the SAS campus in Cary, where he gave mini golf lessons for more than three hours.
“I ran through about 150 people,” Hicks said. “It was pretty cool. A lot of people had never even grabbed a golf club before so that part was interesting.”
Hicks will also be partaking in a series of wealth management client dinners starting in June, and is hoping the Caddies on Course concept takes off.
“I don’t know how good I am at it but everybody I’ve talked to likes what I have to offer,” he said. “I was at the Raleigh Sports Council quarterly meeting about a month ago and spoke at the luncheon and did a Q-and-A that last for an hour and a half. They had to shut it off because we ran out of the lunch time.
“People want the inside scoop,” Hicks added.
Hicks is not asked about his former boss and friend – Stewart – as much as he is a current golfer.
“They all ask me, ‘Do you think Tiger will make it back?’” Hicks said. “My answer is always the same — Father Time is undefeated. Old age is rough.”
Caddies on Course was founded in late 2014 by Sally Webb Berry, the wife of caddie Grant Berry, who used to caddie for Jesper Parnevik, Henrik Stenson, Thomas Bjorn, Carl Pettersson, and is now looping for Daniel Berger.
Hicks is friends with Berry, along with the group of a half dozen caddies in the company. Caddies on Course bills itself as employing caddies with 125 years of combined experience, having worked for more than 150 professional tour players, with over 50 victories, including all leading events such as the Ryder Cup, U.S. Open, Masters, PGA Championship and and British Open.
“I love just standing up there and answering questions,” Hicks said. “Now if they want me to speak for 15 minutes that can be a little intimidating, but I’ve got a little better at it. The more you do it the better you get. The Q-and-A’s are a piece of cake for me.”
Hick is a certified SeeMore Putter instructor, and he’s looking forward to hosting a series of summer camps in June, July and August at his home club at Mill Creek.
The Caddies on Course campers will experience the training and preparation given to top professional golfers with an unparalleled golf clinic designed exclusively for up-and-coming golfers.
“Putting is what I know the most about; but I know the swing now, too,” Hicks said. “In today’s world you have to put it on video and let the golfer see it, and draw some lines and tell them this is where you should be. You don’t have to have a super eye like you did years ago. But putting is a whole different ball game.”
For additional camp details online: caddiesoncourse.com/summer-camps . — by David Droschak