Saints’ Sean Payton caddies for Ryan Palmer at PGA event this week
The Super Bowl winning New Orleans Saints coach already had a taste of victory in the NFL, but now he wants to know what its like to be part of the efforts in winning the PGA Tour. So, Payton will caddie for PGA golfer Ryan Palmer and carry his bag this week at the Greenbrier Classic, in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., this week.
With the NFL training camp starting later this month, Payton initially had plans to spend a week relaxing at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. But following a series of events, Payton ended up agreeing to help Palmer, who in turn gave his regular caddie the week off.
"This time of year for us in the NFL is very quiet. So what started as a plan of vacationing here at the Greenbrier for a week, after two days I've quickly realized, this isn't a vacation,” said Payton on Wednesday. “It worked out and James is someone -- James Edmondson, Ryan's caddie, is someone I'm good friends with as well and we were just talking at dinner one night and it ended up working out.”
“So the last two days have been good, but I take the opportunity very seriously in that this is how he makes a living."
Payton said he’s also known Palmer “for a while now,” since the two initially met back in Dallas. They see each other each year when Palmer plays at the Zurich Classic in Louisiana, and the two even have even played an occasional round together in spare time during the summer.
The 49-year-old Payton added that being a caddie is like visualizing an NFL game through the eyes of a quarterback, and he’s picked up a lot from the experience.
"I know what game week feels like for me in the fall, and I know what it will feel like for him and what it does feel like for all these golfers," said Payton. "Just to be invisible as a caddie and do your job and be supportive, those are the things that I look at as being important for me this week."
Although two sports have dramatically different venues and working environments, Payton determined both require the same discipline and dedication for success.
"(There's) a lot of tedious work that goes for the most part unnoticed," said Payton. "And it's pretty interesting to be around this venue and just see how these guys get around the course and what's going through their mind."
Palmer also quickly embraced the change and believes there can be several benefits in the current situation for both himself and his regular caddie.
"It's pretty cool to hear the mindset of one of the great coaches in the game,” said Palmer. "Gave James the week off to relax, so I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun and try to win this thing."