Who’s your caddy? Carr keeps his family close
By Jeremy Evans
Tribune staff writer
STATELINE – For the first 23 years of his life, David Carr’s most serious golf competition was against his father, Rodger, and his younger brother, Derek. Just days before making his second career appearance at the American Century Championship, that hasn’t changed.
“When I’m playing against my dad and my brother, it’s very serious,” said the 25-year-old Carr, who is about to begin his fourth season as the Houston Texans’ starting quarterback. “Out here with these guys, I don’t know too many of them unless it’s the ones I play against. It’s not too serious.”
For those familiar with Carr, putting family first isn’t surprising. For those who aren’t, consider that he met his wife, Melody, at a church camp when they were both teenagers. They fell in love immediately.
David and Melody Carr have since married, had two children and moved Carr’s parents and younger brother with them to Houston after he was drafted first overall by the Texans in the 2002 NFL Draft.
For a family that spent most of their years in California – David was born and raised in Bakersfield, Rodger grew up in Santa Cruz – moving to Texas required some adjustments.
“The first time my youngest one went out there, he wore board shorts, swimming trunks,” Rodger Carr said. “All the kids said to him, ‘Why are you wearing your swimming trunks to school?’ To him, it was natural. But nobody else wore them. All of sudden, everybody else was wearing them. They said, ‘If Derek’s wearing them, then that’s pretty cool.’ “
The adjustment period in Texas appears for David Carr as well. After being sacked for an NFL-record 76 times during his rookie season in 2002, he threw for 3,531 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2004, leading the Texans to a 7-9 record. Each year he’s been in Houston, the team has improved.
“We have a chance now where we can be competitive, where the last couple of years it’s been kind of a learning process,” said Carr, who had a record-setting career at Fresno State, throwing for almost 8,000 yards and 70 TDs in just 37 games. “Now we actually have a chance to go compete for a playoff spot and go play for what everyone else gets to play for. Before, we said we wanted to be competitive, but we didn’t really believe it until now.”
But until training camp opens next month, it’s all about golf. More to the point, it’s all about beating his dad.
“What’s funny is I taught all my boys to play, but now he can beat me,” Rodger Carr said. “Just the other day, he shoots a 73 and I shoot a 78. I can’t beat him anymore. I can’t catch him. It was going back and forth, but it’s over now. He’s beaten me the last 10 times.”
With his recent domination, David Carr has created a golf trophy for the Carr family.
“It’s like one of those WWF belts and he didn’t bring that out until he started beating me,” joked Rodger Carr. “So we have a family championship belt. Whoever wins gets to take it home. And he’s always taking it home.”
When the father-son duo begins first-round play on Friday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, family competition ends and the other competition begins. Carr finished 60th last year at the ACC and said he doesn’t feel any pressure in improving.
“This is fun because football is one thing, but it’s nice to come out and play golf against some of the guys you play football against,” Carr said. “But this is a vacation slash competitive thing. You try and be laid back about it, but competitiveness kicks in and it’s pretty hard to turn it off after that. There’s still bragging rights out there to be had.”
For the second straight year, Rodger Carr will be his son’s caddy. David Carr didn’t play a practice round last year and his unfamiliarity with Edgewood’s greens was costly. Although he displayed an exceptional long game, David Carr three-putted numerous times. He couldn’t figure out the greens.
Now that his home course in Houston is Shadow Hawk Country Club, a course with similar greens to Edgewood, Rodger Carr expects better results this year.
“He had a six-foot birdie putt last year and I told him to leave it close,” Rodger Carr said. “That is how I dealt with him after all those three-putts. I was scared to death of these greens. It should be a lot better this time around.”
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