Photo: Orville and Kim, his caddie and friend.
KIM GREEN WAS A CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND of Orville Moody, who died last week in Texas. Kim also caddied for “Sarge,” a U.S. Open and U.S. Senior Open champion, in the early 1990s. She graciously shared many of her memories and stories about Orville and life on tour. Following is the first of two parts.
Orville died this morning. His cancer had returned and I assume that his body just gave out. My father was one of his best friends and he can’t talk about it yet. It is almost a relief because he was not in a good state after the stroke.
Orville was a good ole boy and never tried to hurt a fly. He was generous to the point of enabling and never could say no. Not in his whole life. Even in the Army he was always giving away what little money he had to those around him. Orville was uncomplicated and refreshing. He was fun to be around, except when he wasn’t playing well and wanted to blame his caddie for his yips. (Smile.)
I was his caddie after college, so it was a long time ago. He introduced me to a life that was exciting and challenging, and not for me. But it was so amazing to hear stories and walk down beautiful fairways with the likes of Orville, Dave Stockton, Gene Littler and Lee Trevino. Chi Chi was insane. Really.
Orville helped me heal from a broken engagement by bringing me out on tour afterwards. He helped me to see the world and experience amazing things. I will always be grateful for his many kindnesses and generosity. He didn’t have much in the end because he gave EVERYTHING away. It’s been said of some people that they can never see the bad in others. Orville was truly that way. Or else he just didn’t care. He still gave what he had.
He had his faults, but his kindnesses and love and generosity made putting up with him so easy. He would stay with my parents, and my mom and grandma would cook his favorite Korean food, which would take him back to his Army days. Oh how he loved his mandu!
I was after Michelle. (Editor’s note: Orville’s daughter, Michelle caddied for her father after he came out on the Senior Tour. It was a popular story at the time.) I had to have a badge made that said, “No, I’m not his daughter.” Everyone would ask me and I would hear it whispered all the time. I got so tired of explaining who I was. I wore it on my hat.
Lots of tournaments stand out, but I don’t have the memory those golf guys have. They can tell you 100 years later about every shot they hit on every hole at every tournament. It’s uncanny. They probably don’t remember to take out the garbage at home, but they remember every shot.
We had a tournament where we did really well on the first day. I think it was TPC Tampa. Orville asked me to read the longest putt. It must have been 40 feet. I told him the line, which was like a snake. I was half kidding because I knew that he had no shot. He wasn’t the greatest putter in the world. But, you know, he hit that ball exactly where I told him and made an outstanding putt that got him a standing ovation from the crowd. He was as amazed as anyone.
(To be continued.)
−The Armchair Golfer
Remembering Orville Moody: A Caddie's Story (Conclusion)
Riding Shotgun with Orville Moody