‘I played 350 games in the EFL, but now I’m going to be a caddy at the US Open’

June 15, 2024

In a surprise turn of events, one former Coventry City and Portsmouth player is set to start a new career as a caddy – starting off at the illustrious US Open at the legendary Pinehurst

Former EFL winger Carl Baker is preparing for a dream trip to Pinehurst for the US Open just a year on from his retirement from football as caddy to Robert Rock.

The 41-year-old will be well-known to fans across pyramid, having appeared 350 times in the football league – including a four year spell at Coventry City in the Championship. Stints at MK Dons and Portsmouth also followed after he first emerged through the Liverpool academy system.

The Merseyside-born ace last played in the EFL in the 2017-18 campaign, before embarking on a journeyman career which took him to India before a host of spells in the National League North. Now, he is set to head to the United States to start his foray into caddying in an incredible turn of events.

Speaking to bunkered.co.uk, he even admitted that he will be happy to miss the first game of England’s Euro 2024 campaign as prepares to head to the 124th US Open instead. He said: “I’ll record the England game. It would be a dream come true to have another two days on the bag at Pinehurst.”

After hanging up his boots last year after a short spell in the United Counties League Premier Division North with Quorn, he has embarked on an exciting second career. Since meeting former European Tour ace Rock at the Farmfoods British Par 3 Championship two years ago, the duo secured a place at in the 2024 US Open field following a qualifier at Walton Heath, Surrey.

Going into more detail about how his friendship with Rock first was established, he revealed that the pair have played golf together for the last two years. He explained: “For the last couple of years, we’ve been really close, and I’d play golf with Rob once a week.

Carl Baker established his status as a Coventry City cult hero during his previous career in football

“I was going to caddie for him in a qualifier for the Open last year, but I wasn’t able to. So, I went down to Walton Heath with him, caddied the 36 holes and the rest is history. He was doing his interviews with Sky Sports, and I was sat in the clubhouse waiting to hear that he’d got in. Then, he walks in and says, ‘how do you fancy America’.”

Speaking with gratitude as he prepares for the trip stateside, he confessed: “I played professional football for 22 years and it was always a plan in the back of my mind to get involved in golf after football. I know it’s very, very hard to get a job as a caddie but it’s something I’d love to do if the opportunity came along. It’s like football coaching in a way.

Such is his excitement for what is ahead in North Carolina, he confirmed that he is already ready to set off on the adventure of a lifetime. He added: “My suitcase has been packed for about a week. I’m good friends with Ross Fisher’s caddie, Rich Lougie, and he has been amazing with me.

“I’ve done loads of work and he’s brought over his yardage books and gone through it all. He’s been doing it for 12 years and I’m probably doing his head in because I’ve asked a million questions, but he’s been a huge help in terms of doing all the preparation I can for when Rob needs me.”