PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — Ava La Belle has been a caddie at Oak Hill Country Club for 2 years now and a little over a week ago, she received a phone call from her mother that gave her once in a lifetime opportunity.
“It’s kind of indescribable to be honest,” said La Belle.
La Belle is a 19-year old, Webster native, who got the chance to caddie in this year’s PGA Championship.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” said La Belle. “I thought it was kind of up in the air. Then later that day I found out I was actually going to caddy. I don’t know if it hit me. I still don’t know if it’s hit me.”
La Belle caddied for Jesse Droemer, a club professional from Lakeside Country Club in Houston, TX, in this week’s major. The duo met in person for the first time just four days before the first round.
“We met Sunday and she went in for a handshake and I said no we’re going to hug it out,” said Droemer. “She was a little shy, but we really got to know each other and start to figure out our vibe for the week.”
This is a teenager caddying at a major championship. Her youth could have been a deterrent in the their partnership, but Droemer said that was never an issue.
“I mean I asked her a lot of the time what would you do?” said Droemer. “I wanted her to be like it’s OK to be wrong. Everyone is going to have incorrect reads out here. I wanted her to know that I trusted how she felt.”
Droemer even went as far to say that La Belle saved him ten shots during the PGA Championship.
“Basically all of my reads I went with what she said,” said Droemer.
La Belle added she really loves caddying, but she’s an even better golfer. The 19-year old will play this fall at Florida Southern and eventually she wants to go pro.
“I’m definitely going to think more methodically about how I play for sure,” said La Belle. “The wind, how the rain affects the course. Looking at the pins before you play. I have all the respect for all these tour caddies out here. It’s a lot that goes into it. So I definitely think it’s going to help my game a lot.”
La Belle also stated she was honored to be up close with all the top players in the world this week, but there was one golfer in particular that left her a little star struck.
“Meeting Jordan Spieth was probably the highlight of my whole week,” said La Belle. “I shook his hand. I didn’t wash the hand. I definitely met him and it was crazy.”
Crazy. I think that’s the word to describe La Belle’s experience for the past week.