In our inaugural Q&A here on Long Island Golfers, we go straight to the Holy Grail of LI muni tracks. Because as you, our loyal readers know, there’s certainly
no bias placed on Black here.
Our first subject has been caddying the Black for nearly 10 years, which leads us to believe his quads look like this. On to it I say!
Long Island Golfers: Did you grow up on Long Island? How did you get into caddying?
John Gozo: I was born in Queens and raised in Manhasset. While in high school, I caddied at Plandome CC in the summer. After the redo in 98′ at Bethpage Black, I would go up and play the courses. Golfers would ask me if I could caddy for them on the Black. That’s how i got the bug. After the 02′ U.S. Open, I worked at Engineers CC and would come up and caddy the Black when it was slow.
LIG: I saw that you looped on the Nationwide Tour, what was your best finish and what was it like out there in the big time? Any other pro tours?
JG: In 06′ I went out on the Nationwide Tour. Easy to get a bag, but hard to get a top-25 player. Lots of driving around the country but fun nevertheless. My best finish was with Todd Rosetti in Scranton, PA. I would do Monday qualifiers with him. If we didn’t make it in, I would get other bags that week, like, Robin Freeman, Josh McCumber, Joe and Jess Daley, Chris Anderson. As a rookie on that tour, Robin was the best at showing me the ropes and proper protocol as a tour caddy. No other pro tours.
LIG: Favorite course to play and caddy on Long Island? And what kind of player are you?
JG: Did you have to ask? Bethpage Black is my favorite course to caddy. There is no No. 2. And I’m not very good. Had two baby girls in ’07 and ’08 so I don’t get out and play as much as I used to.
LIG: Worst part about caddying Black? When do your legs start feeling IT? My guess would be the walk up to 15 green.
JG: The worst part of caddying the Black is bad golfers and very heavy bags. But I really don’t feel it, I have really good shoes. I did feel it last year during the heat wave. That kicked my butt. If I do two loops, my feet are fried by the 34th hole.
LIG: How does it work over there? Is it a scrum to get on a bag, or is there more organization?
JG: Its a lottery system now. Pick a number and wait until you’re called. It was a scrum in the parking lot until ’09. That’s when it became more organized.
LIG: How can someone contact you if they want you to carry their bag out there? Rates? Days?
JG: Over the years I developed a clientele, so they call me directly. Rates are $75 a bag plus tip and I am there when the course is open.
You can email Gozo at firstname.lastname@example.org and his twitter handle is @JohnnyGcaddie.