Admittedly, Kip Henley is bringing down the overall quality of the field at this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis. “Hey, it’s almost a miracle I’m in,” said the longtime caddie for Brian Gay. “Don’t laugh at my scores.”
But by accepting the automatic berth that goes to the Tennessee PGA Section champion, Henley is personally raising the quality of the caddie pool by miles. He’s signed up daughter Stormi Henley to be his caddie.
He knows you’ll go rushing to Google images, or perhaps You Tube for Stormi’s “American Idol” and “Miss Teen USA” performances, which is fine with him. The message is clear, especially to Henley’s fellow caddies: “I’ve told ’em all, you can look, but you cannot touch.”
Years before he jumped into the caddie business, Kip Henley was a club pro in his native Tennessee, then he tried to make it as a player.
He has maintained his Class A standing with the PGA of America for years, but figures he won’t put in the required hours to keep it, so why not go out with a vintage memory? Last fall, for reasons he still doesn’t understand, Kip Henley played in the Tennessee PGA Section championship, “even though I hadn’t broken par all year.”
Talk about the blind squirrel finding a nut. “I shot 10 under for 54 holes,” Henley said. “Like I said, a miracle. I stood on the 16th hole in the final round and made birdie on 16, 17 and 18, with my hands shaking.”