Mackenzie Tour Caddie Chronicle II: Mark Stone
June 19, 2020
By Brendan Stasiewich, PGATOUR.COM
- June 19, 2020
- NHL forward Mark Stone caddied for Matt Hill back in 2015. (Courtesy of Scott MacLeod/Flagstick)
Editor’s note: This article is the second installment of a recurring series featuring prominent individuals who caddied on the Mackenzie Tour. The first story featuring Olympic gold medal winning curler Brad Jacobs can be found here.
Because most Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada players travel alone, or alongside fellow competitors throughout the season, most players rely on volunteer caddies at each tournament stop.
Or, if your name is Matt Hill, maybe your pro-am partner offers to caddie. And, maybe, on this particular occasion in 2015, that pro-am partner happens to be NHL forward Mark Stone, then of the Ottawa Senators and now with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Fresh off a 64-point rookie campaign in Ottawa, Stone, an avid off-season golfer, threw a feeler Hill’s direction after forming a connection during the pro-am.
“It was nice because he’s a Canadian guy who loves hockey, and I love golf,” said Stone. “We had a lot in common and we ended up having a great time. I would try to caddie for him any time I was available.”
For Hill, there was some disbelief when Stone, who narrowly lost to Aaron Ekblad for the Calder Trophy that goes to the NHL’s Rookie of the Year, offered to spend the next few days giving yardages.
“I was definitely surprised when he asked me during the pro-am,” said Hill, who grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, one province east of Stone’s hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. “He’s a pretty good golfer, but I wasn’t sure if he knew all the rules.”
A first-round 67 with the future NHL all-star on his bag quickly answered that question.
“He turned out to be a really good caddie, he loves the game and was very laid back out there,” finished Hill.
As for Stone, the 18-hole jaunt alongside a professional player was a change of scenery from his typical workday.
“On the course it’s just you and your caddie, and you’re competing against 155 guys and the golf course,” said Stone. “On the ice, you have teammates to bail you out if you’re not playing your best and the team can still win. But on the course, if you don’t grind out good rounds, it’s a different story.”
Although most of his offseason is dedicated to training to prepare for the rigorous NHL season, Stone plays golf a few times each week and has developed a deep understanding of the sport, witnessing firsthand the talent of the players on the Mackenzie Tour.
“Those guys are a few Tours below, but they’re so close and one break away from making it to the PGA TOUR,” said Stone. “It’s cool watching them pick apart a golf course. I usually hit driver and then an iron to an exact yardage, but they can hit so many shots in different situations.”
Hill ended up tying for 20th that week, and the pair still keeps in touch.
“Any time we played the Panthers, he was coming to watch me play,” said Stone.Mark Stone currently plays for the Las Vegas Golden Knights. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)