As you read this, Carthage’s Trevor Freeman is a caddie on the LPGA Tour (Ladies Professional Golf Association). On Thursday, Trevor spoke over the phone from the lobby of a Best Western in Edmonton, Alberta Canada where the CN Canadian Womens Open is taking place. It’s been an adventure so far for the 23-year-old, and his happiness is evident, even over the phone. He had encouraging words to share; some of which were “Aim high.”
Suddenly A Caddie
Trevor Freeman, 23, son of Eric and Tina Freeman, graduated with the Carthage High School Class of 2008. After a couple years on the golf team at West Palm Beach, Fla., he transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma. He has one more year to go for his degree in professional golf management with a minor in business.
It was in June this year when an opportunity knocked for Trevor.
At the Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., the head caddie master was seeking caddies for the PNG Northwest Arkansas Championship. Trevor met the requirements and showed exceptional knowledge of the game. At the practice round of that tournament was where he met Maude-Aimee Leblanc, 24, a French-Canadian on the LPGA Tour.
“She was really shy, but we met at the tournament and did the practice round together,” Trevor said. “It was tough to be a caddie on the fly but by the 12th hole I was a seasoned veteran. At the end of the tournament she asked if I would be interested in caddying full-time. I said, ‘sure’ and she said she needed me in Canada.”
They Hit It Off
“She’s not just my boss, she’s a really good friend,” Trevor said of the 24-year-old LPGA golfer he calls “Modes”. “You got to be a therapist and a comedian at the same time ... I’m trying to learn French, but she speaks perfect English. She won the 2010 NCAA Championship, and let me tell you, she can hit it long. She’s top 10 on the tour with her drive, and she’s hitting with a three wood.
“I’m very lucky and very fortunate to be here,” Trevor continued. “It’s indescribable the tight-rope you have to walk to be a caddie. You have to know what they’re feeling, what they’re thinking. When they’re pumped you have to club them down – just feel that adrenaline off of them.
“You can be fired at any moment,” he said. “I’m just honest and Mister Coach – I love it. Being a caddie is the closest I’ll ever be to predicting the future: reading a break in the green, knowing that breeze is coming – oh yeah – it’s crazy – I love it. We’re rubbing elbows with Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie.
“Modes isn't the typical ‘average pro trying to make the cut with average talent’ every time she arrives at an event people recognize her and want her autograph,” Trevor said. “TV stations will film her hitting balls on the range or request an interview with her at every tournament. Even other well known pros will stop to watch her hit balls as they walk by. It's simply amazing to watch. It's humbling to know that I'm a part of her team and contributing to her success.”
After the CN Canadian Womens Open, Trevor and Leblanc will travel to Portland, Ore., next week for the Safeway Classic. (That will be their fifth tournament together.) Their performance there determines where they go next. If they miss the cut, Trevor said he will return to Oklahoma to focus on his studies and instructing.
“I’m excused from my classes right now, I’ve missed two weeks so far, but I’m doing the work online,” Trevor said of his school work. “I am a personal golf instructor on the side. I have about 20 students, and so far it’s been great. Some of them even send me their swing on the iPad, so I can instruct from anywhere.”
Trevor said it’s his dream to be a professional golfer, and so far he has found bliss in teaching and caddying.
“What’s that saying – ‘Aim high,’ Trevor said. “‘Aim for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll land on the stars.’ That’s what I did. The best thing you can ever do is observe the best – in anything you want to do – and that’s all I’m doing. You observe their prep work, their perspectives and don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t. Don’t ever give up.
“My childhood in Carthage, Coach Catron and Mark Peterson, they all helped get me to where I am now – even the people who said I couldn’t do it helped me because it made me want to prove them wrong,” Trevor said. “I love coming back (to Carthage) and seeing Coach, seeing the golf team and sharing what I’ve learned. If I can give back, I’d be happy to. That’s what it’s all about.”