By Peter Owen

AS a 12-year-old growing up in Melbourne, David Kight would pedal his bike 30 minutes from his home in Mt Waverley to Metropolitan Golf Club early on Saturday mornings to offer his services to the members as a caddie.

If he was lucky enough to land a job – as he usually did – young David would receive $5 and a free can of Solo. And then he’d go and look for lost balls, which he’d keep for his own use. Hauling a set of clubs around such an outstanding course, and offering advice to golfers about where they should be hitting their ball, was anything but a chore for a young fellow who’d developed a passion for the game, and had even built a four-hole ‘golf course’ in his backyard.

The experience stood him in good stead for when, a few years later, he carried the clubs for players such as Greg Hohnen, Mike Clayton and Englishmen Mike McLean and Roger Chapman in some of Australia’s biggest tournaments.

Kight recalls caddying for Greg Norman when he made his first instructional golf video at Metropolitan Golf Club in 1984, the day after he’d won the Victorian Open.

David Kight made no secret of his favourite player when he attended the Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club in December.

“There was just Greg, me and a cameraman and every shot he played that day was filmed, with Greg later providing the commentary,” said Kight, who was paid $20 for his day’s work.

In 1991, caddying took him to the United Kingdom where he spent a year on the European Tour, working for Lucien Tinkler, Peter Lonard and Brit Ross McFarlane, who finished fourth in an event with Kight on the bag, and met him later at Heathrow airport with an envelope stuffed with 1000 pounds – his share of the prizemoney.

Kight walked the fairways with the likes of Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Canizares – heady stuff for a man who readily admits he’s something of a golfing ‘groupie’ – an out-and-out fan of the game and the people who play it well.

In between bouts of caddying, Kight studied to be a school teacher, which he describes as his ‘real job.’

But he never forgot the joy of walking inside the ropes at big tournaments, or of the fascinating characters he’d met through golf. 

So, he decided to write a book about his experiences, and in April, 2018, launched ‘Revelations of a Tour Caddie’ to a roomful of friends, supporters and golfers, fittingly, at Metropolitan Golf Club.

“They’re sticklers for tradition at Metro and for a while they weren’t going to let some of my guests in because they considered jeans weren’t appropriate attire,” Kight said. “But I managed to convince them; mainly because we were behind closed doors and nobody would see them.”

He sent an email to his one-time client Greg Norman, who graciously agreed to write the foreword.

“They’re sticklers for tradition at Metro and for a while they weren’t going to let some of my guests in because they considered jeans weren’t appropriate attire. But I managed to convince them.”

Though he no longer caddies, Kight is as rapt in golf as he’s ever been and, being a bit of
an extrovert, decided to make a special appearance at last year’s Australian Open, the final two days of which were played at Victoria Golf Club.

“I love Cameron Smith,” he said. “I wanted to demonstrate my support, so I thought I’d dress up for the occasion.”

He went online and ordered one of the golf shirts Smith wears, then carefully stencilled ‘Mullet Man Fan’ on the front, and wore it to the course on the Saturday.

“Everybody noticed it, and lots of people commented,” he said. Even Smith, who spotted Kight after the round and happily agreed to a ‘selfie.’ 

FOOTNOTE: If anybody wishes to buy a copy of David’s book it’s available through Amazon and Booktopia.

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