Many of us learned about the game of golf as caddies. This was a fortunate life experience for a youngster living on the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., south of Washington, D.C.
The golf bug bit hard at age 12 and the beautiful base golf course was my favorite hangout.
Had the great fortune to caddy on a regular basis for Lt. Colonel Bobby Conrad, a great man and great champion among service golfers.
He was demanding and that was good. He taught me how to be a good caddy and taught me things about golf that would be tough to learn on my own.
It was just another Saturday in the spring of 1962. Course was in great shape, Col. Conrad typically would shoot lights-out and I figured this Saturday would be fun.
Then he dropped this on me:
"Tommy, you won't be caddying for me today." I was stunned.
"You'll be caddying for the Commandant...." I was pick-myself-up-off-the-ground stunned.
"The Commandant of the Marine Corps?" I asked. "Yes, General Shoup," he told me.
That would be General David Shoup, four stars,Â Medal of Honor winner in World War II when he commanded the 2nd Marines, Second Marine Division at Betio Isl...
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