As a first assistant pro at Pelican Preserve Golf Club in Fort Myers, Fla., Jamestown native Chris Stoddard's responsibilities include giving lessons, running tournaments and working in the pro shop.
And, of course, there are fringe benefits.
Take Wednesday, for instance.
Greg Norman chats with his amateur partners at the Franklin Templeton Shootout Pro-Am on Wednesday.
At 10:23 a.m., the 2007 Southwestern Central School graduate stood on the 10th tee at the Tiburon Golf Club in nearby Naples, awaiting the start of the Franklin Templeton Shootout Pro-Am.
On the tee box with Stoddard, who was a caddy for the event, were amateur golfers Marvin Shanken, Bill Terlato, Bob Holmes and Todd Wagner.
In the business world, well, let's just say these guys are among the best in their respective fields. Shanken is a publisher and founder of M. Shanken Communications; Terlato is president and chief executive officer of Terlato Wine Group and Terlato Wines International; Holmes is president of Pizza Blends in Bellevue, Wash.; and Wagner co-owns 2929 Entertainment with Mark Cuban.
Yes, that Mark Cuban.
But for all their impressive credentials, it was the fifth member of the group who Stoddard, 24, was happy to announce on his Facebook wall Wednesday morning.
"In Greg Norman's group today,'' he wrote.
Yes, that Greg Norman.
The Franklin Templeton Shootout has been hosted by Norman since its inception in 1989. It is a team event and attracts some of the PGA Tour's top players during its challenge season, which begins after the last official money event of the year.
The field includes, among others, Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter, Jason Dufner, Vijay Singh, Stewart Cink, Carl Pettersson, Davis Love III, Brandt Snedeker and Rickie Fowler. The pros will tee it up for the Shootout - a three-day, 54-hole stroke-play event in which teams of two compete - beginning Friday.
But at least for the pro-am, Stoddard, who will be caddying in Cink's group today, he will be hanging with the game's best.
"It's pretty neat to watch (the PGA Tour pros) play,'' said Stoddard, a 2011 St. Bonaventure University graduate. "They just make a different sound when they hit the ball. I felt star-struck when I saw all the guys. It was a lot of fun.''
Stoddard, who also caddied in the 2011 Shootout Pro-Am in groups occupied by Webb Simpson and Kenny Perry, landed the job through his boss at Pelican Preserve. On both occasions, Stoddard carried the bag belonging to Holmes, the amateur, who is the pizza entrepreneur.
"He was actually pretty serious about it,'' Stoddard said. "I'd read putts for him, and after the round he asked for a lesson, so I gave him an hour lesson on the range."
Stoddard said Norman shot an even-par 72.
"He was happy being out there with all the amateurs,'' Stoddard said. "He chatted with them quite a bit and was really friendly.''
Stoddard, a four-year letter winner on the St. Bonaventure golf team, spends six months in Florida before returning to the Park Country Club in suburban Buffalo where he serves as an assistant pro.
"If we weren't working,'' Stoddard said, "our boss encouraged us to play on our days off. It was nice."
Stoddard's handicap in his first year at Park CC was plus 3.
"That's the best summer I've had,'' he said.
The start to his winter hasn't been too shabby either.