by Jay Revell
There once was a time where the most famous names in Augusta, Georgia were names of men wearing white coveralls and dark green hats. Those men were the caddies of Augusta National Golf Club and the men behind the guys wearing green jackets.
“Stovepipe,” “Cemetery,” and “Marble Eye” were all names given to some of the famous Caddies of the National. Carl “Skillet” Jackson brought “Gentle Ben” Crenshaw two green jackets, but it was Willie “Pappy” Stokes that taught him and all the others. Pappy was the Godfather. Pappy was born on the grounds of Fruitland Nursery and was clearing trees there when Bobby Jones and Dr. Alister MacKenzie were laying out their masterpiece.
Pappy Stokes is in the caddie Hall of Fame. He carried the mail for five victories at the Masters. His winning ways started when he was 17 years old and on the bag for Henry Picard in 1938. Pappy got a green jacket for Claude Harmon and Jackie Burke Jr. He also took Ben “the Hawk” Hogan to both of his trips to Butler Cabin. That’s legendary. That’s Pappy Stokes. That’s an Augusta story.
The caddies of Masters past are all but memories now. They live on in black and white photos and the tall tales of members. Pappy Stokes was the most famous of all the Augusta men. He may be gone, but the hat he wore isn’t.
The Pappy Cap is a salute to Pappy Stokes and the men in white coveralls who walked with champions wearing green.