NCGA Golf

Spring 2019

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which is adjacent to Pebble Beach. Boyns coasts his electric scooter down the mean- dering roads of Del Monte Forest to work. These days, Boyns works by request or is in the first or second group off the tee in the morning. Today's caddie shack has a couple of comfy sofas and is luxurious com- pared to the smoke-filled caddie shack he endured as a kid. He was less than 5 feet tall and 12 years old when he caddied in his first AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (the Bing Crosby Pro-Am back then) for Richard Gelb, a Cypress Point Club member. "I didn't know anything; I didn't know the yardages, and the bag was so big," Boyns says. That big bag dragged him down the slippery slope of the par-3 12th at Spyglass Hill. "I slipped in the mud, and slid down the hill, almost into the lake," he says. But Boyns, probably with the same shy, boyish grin that graces his face today, gath- ered himself and the bag to finish the tour- nament, and for many years, he caddied for Bob Lurie, who was majority owner of the San Francisco Giants. "The best part of the AT&T is rubbing shoulders with pros, celebrities, and meet- ing the tour caddies. You start to root for the caddies," he says. Prior to the 1972 U.S. Open, Boyns, then a junior at nearby Pacific Grove High School, started hanging out at Pebble Beach in hopes of drawing a loop in the caddie lottery. He was chosen to be a forecaddie, spotting balls coming over the barranca to the green on No. 8. Boyns has played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am twice. "On No. 17 at Cypress Point, my double-bogey 6 helped out Lon Hinkle," Boyns recalls. "He had a 13, hitting into the ice plant and not getting out. He apologized later." Boyns was still debating if he would cad- die this June when Pebble Beach hosts the Open for the sixth time. Boyns has seen them all since 1972 when he was standing behind Jack Nicklaus on the tee of the par- 3 17th as the Golden Bear's 1-iron shot struck the pin for a kick-in birdie. "Well, I saw the swing, and heard the crowd react to the ball landing on the green," he says. "From where I was in the gallery, I could see. But from the tee, you couldn't see the ball hit the green." After completing his second year of college, it looked like Boyns was going to become an apprentice in the sheet metal industry. That is until his cousin sent a video of Boyns and his sweet swing to the golf coach at University of Utah. Boyns accepted a scholarship offer, and he and Sara, his high-school sweetheart, moved to Ogden. It took Boyns seven years to com- plete his undergraduate degree in "leisure studies." "I was waiting for Sara to catch up," Boyns cracks. He tried being a club pro and a touring pro, but gave it up to come back to Del Monte Forest and cad- dying. When he's not walking the fairways with someone's bag on his back, Boyns can usually be found pulling his own clubs on a trolley, and in the winter, he loves to ski. On a recent Friday afternoon, Boyns hustled up the 18th fairway – clubbing a professional for an approach that came to rest five feet from the pin for a birdie, read- ing a long putt for a mid-handicapper try- ing for birdie and settling for a par on his bucket-list round, and helping a woman two-putt for an end to a trying but glorious morning. Time to tip the caddie, give him a hug, and go on to lunch. Casey put his work clothes into his locker and hopped on his electric scooter to make the climb home. 48 SPRING 2019 | NCGA.ORG T oughest hole – No. 9, par-4 will play at 500 yards in the Open, with fairways shaved so that tee shots roll toward the cliff above Carmel Beach. Toughest to putt – No. 8, the sloping green is slick with sweeping breaks. Toughest green to read – No. 14, though flattened out a bit on top in preparation for this year's Open, players will likely grumble. Boyns once caddied for Lawson Little III in a group with Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus putted up the "old" hill, now flattened, and saw his ball roll back three times. Toughest approach shot – No. 8, though a short tee shot to get into position, the golfer then must carry a barranca and hold the shot on the green sloping toward gaping bunkers. Toughest tee shot – No. 1 because it's the "nervous" first and the gallery is thick. No. 18, the famed finishing par-5 dogleg left, a menacing sight of rocks and ocean on the left and out of bounds on the right. Depending on the circumstances, it could be a high risk- reward shot or a safe play, short of OB. Toughest green to hold – No. 17, par-3, when tees are back at 222 yards and hole is cut in the left back. "Unfair," Boyns says, adding that players can't get enough loft and spin on the ball to keep it on the green. "At the last Open, I think only eight out of 78 players were on the (putting) surface." Casey's best round – 61, 9-under par at Pacific Grove Golf Links. Casey's round matching his age – 63, 8-under par at The Club at Pasadera (formerly Nicklaus Club at Monterey). Casey's best round at Pebble Beach – 68 in California Amateur Championship, which he won twice, in 1989 and 1993. Casey's pick to win the U.S. Open – Brooks Koepka, which would mean a third straight U.S. Open and a PGA Championship to boot. Casey BoynsÕ "Toughest" at Pebble Beach Boyns, pictured in the Pebble Beach caddie shack, spends his free time playing on Monterey Peninsula courses, such as his hometown track, Pacific Grove Golf Links, and The Club at Pasadera.

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