Fun fact, I bartend a few banquets at a golf course every month. I started doing it for an old manager of mine from my serving days last summer and really liked it. It was super easy, great hours, super chill and I got to walk away with some extra money. It wasn't like my serving days when I would think about lighting myself, and all my customers, and everyone I worked with, on fire. :) So this summer when he asked me if I'd do it again, even though I didn't really have too, I was like, hell ya, we'll put that cash straight in the "still a little too broke to cut but still apparently doing it" fund. Yesterday I was trying on a swanky Nike golf coat from the pro shop and I mentioned it would be nice for cutting because it didn't have a hood. Said manager looked at me confused and I explained the no hood rule, "we wear collars and cuffs, no hoods, I guess it's a bit of a classier dressed sport than what you probably imagine." I'm sure said manager thinks that I'm a jewel encrusted barrel racer[no hate here, you guys do you]. He answered back, "So it's kind of like the golf of the horse world?" And as I watched the financially-secure, older men, filter in to the banquet, after slipping off their golf shoes outside their Audi's and Lexus', picturing my cutter-crew of the same men slipping off their Rio of Mercedes boots and exiting their Bloomer Trailers, I said, yes, yes indeed. I will admit, I don't golf, my mom does. So, when I started envisioning this blog post I googled some info about golf and found this quote from a PGA article, "When it comes to the Rules of Golf, there always seems to be an emphasis on the things you can't do." Sub in "Rules of Cutting" - I instantly knew I'd come to the right place. So here it is, why Golf and Cutting are similar... The Caddie
From Wikipedia: In golf, a caddie (or caddy) is the person who carries a player's bag and clubs, and gives insightful advice and moral support. A good caddie is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it. In cutting, a loper is the person who prepares a trainer's horse and often gives insightful advice that is ignored, as well as moral support in the form of always having a tail brush ready before they show. A good loper is aware of the challenges and obstacles of cutting and knows that when their boss gets run over by a devil bovine, that's probably not the best time to interject with said insightful advice and moral support. Bonus point for similarities - wives are often seen caddying for their husbands on the course, I mean we can all name some pretty bada** husband-wife teams out there in the cutting pen. I also found an article entitled "The 36 Greatest Caddies of All Time" by Golf Digest. Caddies are like, pretty famous, in the golf world. Start submitting your loper-nominations please. We gotta catch up with our golf counterparts. Champions In both cutting and golf there are up-starts that start smashing earnings goals from a young age... Pictured is Rory Mcllroy who became the youngest player to reach $10 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour at 22 and Jesse Lennox, a regular fixture in the NCHA Futurity Finals in the last few years with earnings over $1 million.
Yet, in both cutting and golf, there are elder statesman that continue to win championships and take the money from those young upstarts... Pictured is Jack Nicklaus who is often called the greatest golfer of all time, Nicklaus holds the record for the most Masters victories, winning the tournament six times during his career. Nicklaus is also the oldest winner of the Masters: he was 46 years 82 days old when he won in 1986. Then of course, cutting has the formidable Ronnie Rice, 28 time Futurity Finalist, 3 time Futurity Champion, earner of over $5 million.
Oh & while we're talking about age... yes, I am keenly aware that I am one of the younger cutters in my area that didn't get into this dang sport through their parents, or spouse, and is just, out here, under thirty.. trying to do the deal. I have a feeling there are a few under thirty golfers feeling the same way. G.O.L.F. You may have heard the whole "Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden" thing, fun fact: this is a misconception, Golf is actually derived from an old world word meaning "club" BUT... for blog-sake, in a professionally male-driven sport, such as golf and cutting, what you may call "an old boys club" if ya know.. ya wanted to call it that... there are still ladies killin' it... Pictured is Rosie Jones who has over 13 LPGA Tour career victories and nearly $8.4 million in tournament earnings and Morgan Cromer, a force to be reckoned with in the cutting pen, topping out at $2.6 million and counting.
In cutting we know the variables all too well, the judges, the arena, the dirt, the cows, your corner help, your turn back help, how your horse was prepared, how your horse was worked in the practice pen, generally how your horse is feeling that day, aka are they feeling like a unicorn or a donkey, then of course there is you... the list goes on. In golf, they deal with variables as well. Weather, of course, is a massive one. There is the golfer's form, their choice of club, and then the course, each course is different and intricate, and each hole will throw a different variable at the golfer. The Equipment
I'm almost positive telling a golfer to grab me a "Kerry Kelley Chicken Choker" would be as confusing as a golfer telling me to grab them the "King Cobra SZ Fairway Wood."
The Unwritten Rules
I'm sure in most sports there are unwritten rules, but cutting and golf are no different. In golf, unwritten rules include, but are not limited too, respecting the silence of the game, letting faster players move through ahead of you, be generous with tips to your caddy, fix divots and rake sand bunkers and a personal favourite "Roar, then 'Fore'" The cutting-horse answer to these would be, respect the silence of those in the lope pen who are mentally preparing for a run, if you're loping you're on the outside, be generous with tips to your lopers (*all my lopers if ya feel me*), don't leave your bridles and boots strewn about the arena, and many of my cutting horse wives know this all too well - if your hubby or bestie is laying down an absolutely amazing run - you better Roar, then "YEEEEEEE." That Perfect Swing
Okay, this could honestly go on forever, because legit, cutting is horse-people golf BUT to finish it off I called my mom to tell her about this post, and she summed it up eloquently. "You know when you've had a few bad runs and you're feeling like giving up? Then you go in there and lay down a fantastic run, and you're hooked again. That's how I feel when I've been struggling with my golf game and then I get out on the course and have a near perfect game. I'm hooked all over again."