Greg Bodine (’12), a former student-athlete and assistant coach for the Biola men’s golf team, witnessed one of the most memorable moments in golf history this year when Tiger Woods won the Masters. That’s because Bodine caddies for professional golfer Tony Finau, a top-five finisher at this year’s tournament. We asked Greg more about how he got the job and what life is like as a caddie.
Articles have said that you reached out to professional golfer Tony Finau on Twitter. Is that true?
I caddied in the same group as him a couple times, and ... I met him a handful of times. We followed each other on Twitter, out of all things, [but] I didn’t have his number. That’s a classic millennial thing, right? ... So I messaged him through there.
You’ve caddied for your cousin Andrew Putnam, who is a professional golfer, for a few years. How did you know you’d want to work with Tony?
I thought this is one of the few guys that I’d really be interested in caddying for. If it’s not going to be for family, this is the guy I could see myself really enjoying being around and working for. He’s a great guy, a great golfer obviously.
What do you think is a common misconception about what caddies do?
A common misconception would be that they carry the bag. “Do you carry the bag?” Caddying has changed the last 10 to 20 years. ... The three rules of old-school caddies was, “You show up. You keep up. You shut up.” Now, caddies play a critical role in their player’s game. Players put a lot more and more trust in their caddies ... I’d like to think Tony puts a lot of trust in me. ... We spend six, seven, eight hours a day. I think an underrated part of the job is just being good company.
When did you start playing golf?
I started playing when I was about 10 years old. I wouldn’t play very often, though. I didn’t start playing until I was a junior in high school. In my senior year, I went from a guy who shot in the mid-80s a lot to a stretch golfer, which means I would shoot around par and could actually start thinking about playing college golf at a lower level.
How do you stay grounded in your faith while on the road?
I take my Bible with me everywhere. There are some weeks that get busy, and I find myself going long in between getting in the Word. But we have a great thing called TOURLIFE. It’s kind of a pastor/mentor group of guys who come out and speak every Tuesday from 8 to 9. We go through the Word for 30 to 40 minutes, pray together and once in a while, we’ll have 10 to 15 minutes of worship if someone is willing and able. I love going to Canyon Hills [Community Church in Bothell, Washington] every week when I’m home but the fact of the matter is that half of the year, I’m not there on Sunday so [TOURLIFE] is my go-to.
What are some of your most memorable experiences on the green so far?
Tony was part of the Ryder Cup last year, which is a team event but probably the biggest event in golf. But if there’s one that beats it, it’s the Masters. And this year ... Tiger Woods won the Masters after a big come-back. Tony was in the group with Tiger so I had a front-row seat to that. That was probably the coolest thing I’ll ever see in my life, especially in my golf life.
– Interview by Joanna Wu