Sport Inside the mysterious world of golf 'sugar daddies' and the aspiring tour pros they support
Field of dreams: A caddie’s journey to build Nigeria’s first public golf range
Abimbola Olakanye had a nice life for himself as a professional caddie in the U.S. But he wanted to bring the game to the people in his home of Nigeria.He stepped onto the golf course for the first time in search of an American culinary delicacy. A food he had only read about in books.
The idea came, as many of my best do, from a co-worker. As part of a, Max Adler asked Joel Dahmen if there was a moment in his golf career when it all could’ve gone the other way.
From there, Dahmen launches into an improbable story about playing a practice round in the Washington State Amateur and meeting the man who changed his life. Dahmen discusses how “Uncle Bob,” as he came to know him, covered the expenses of his early years as a pro, and even paid for a medical procedure that likely saved his life.
“Without his financial backing, I would’ve never made it through the mini-tours,” Dahmen told Adler. “If I call ahead and make a tee time for that state am practice round like I’m supposed to, there’s no way I make it to the PGA Tour.”
Monday Scramble: As Berger follows Koepka, top 5 college duos as pros in the last decade
Daniel Berger followed his former college teammate into the winner's circle. Are they the best college duo in the pros in the last decade?Few have played better since the PGA Tour restart than Daniel Berger, and now he has the résumé to back it up.
Dahmen’s example led to a question: Was Uncle Bob a one-off case, or are there other wealthy benefactors bankrolling wannabe pros as they chase the dream? Or, put indelicately, how many golf sugar daddies are there?
Quite a few, it turns out. So long as the appeal of professional golf remains so powerfully enticing—one can argue it’s more appealing than ever, with wall-to-wall PGA Tour coverage and a $75 million FedEx Cup payout—and the expenses remain exorbitant, up-and-comers not fortunate enough to sign six-figure (or more) deals the day they turn pro are going to need cash to grubstake the journey.
So,—they’re hardly ever codified into a legally enforceable document, it seems—and stumbled upon stories so good they tell themselves: of a star from the 1960s who fell prey to a brutal arrangement that plagued him for years; of two self-proclaimed “misfits from a redneck town in Alabama; of a 31-year-old former prodigy-turned-caddie who beat Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler in match play, in the same tournament, but is still toiling on the mini-tours; and of Dahmen and “Uncle Bob” Yosaitis, who symbolize how these relationships so often blossom into much, much more than a simple investment opportunity.
For every PGA Tour pro with an equipment company on his bag and a consulting firm on his shirt, there’s a mini-tour player looking for any dollar he can find. And sometimes, as our story reveals, the money comes from unlikely sources.
Puerto Rico Open 2021 odds: Four-time Euro Tour winner Thomas Pieters the favorite in opposite-field event .
Puerto Rico Open 2021 odds: Four-time Euro Tour winner Thomas Pieters the favorite in opposite-field eventThe PGA Tour's 2020-'21 Super Season rolls on this week with two events, one a WGC in Florida and the other an opposite-field event in Puerto Rico. Both feature star-studded fields, and, naturally, both offer plenty of betting value.