We’ll miss you, Jesse.
Editor’s Note: In October 2015, legendary Pinehurst caddie Jesse Jones passed away. On Wednesday, Jesse will be enshrined with the second class of caddies to be inducted into the Pinehurst Caddie Hall of Fame. Just moments after Jesse’s passing, former Pinehurst Golf Professional Jeff Crabbe shared a few thoughts about Jesse as a person and as a caddie. They are below. Jeff will be the presenter on behalf of Jesse on Wednesday night.
By Jeff Crabbe
Pinehurst Resort lost a legend, members and guests lost a great caddie and lots of us lost a friend in October 2015.
Jesse Jones is in the very top level of caddies in Pinehurst history. I bet we walked Pinehurst No. 2 20-30 times over my years at Pinehurst, and he made every single step enjoyable.
Jesse was on my very short list of caddies I would recommend to VIP Resort guests as well as guests of mine who would stay at the hotel. He was not into telling stories or giving swing tips or any of that stuff. Instead, he knew No. 2 like the back of his hand and he wanted to give his player that same knowledge. I used to laugh with him when I would see him with the rangefinder that caddies are required to use. Jesse never needed it. He was a walking range finder. Jesse could read No. 2’s greens from the fairway, and as a player, if you wanted your best score possible that day, you better not question his read. Jesse was right. Always.
When I would be setting up in the staging area for tournaments on No. 2, he would always greet me with, “What’s happening, Pro?” I can still hear him saying it. I always made it a point to talk to his players in the staging area to let them know what a special day they were going to have with him. I always tell people asking advice on No. 2 to listen to their caddie, but it was even more significant when Jesse was on the bag.
Jesse Jones, a portrait by Tim Sayer.
Jesse was a soft-spoken guy. He did a job and he went home. He wasn’t interested in interviews or pictures or things like that; he wanted to caddie and help his players. He enjoyed Jack Daniels, no ice and no mixer – “room temperature,” he told me one time – chased with a Heineken.
When I asked golf pros to caddie for their caddies during the annual Pinehurst caddie tournament, it was for people like Jesse, to give back to him. When I would go to the CaddieMaster Christmas party it was for guys like Jesse to show my appreciation and respect, but most importantly, my friendship.
I will certainly miss him. It makes me sick I didn’t go see him when I was at Pinehurst a few weeks ago.
But Pinehurst No. 2, I think, will miss him even more.
Jeff Crabbe is a former head golf professional at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club.