The ‘hilarious’ reason Joel Dahmen once played a round with 10 clubs in his bag

Historically, golf rewards those who do more with less. The beautiful shot from a fairway bunker to the green. The low punch through the trees. The bad lie-turned-birdie putt.

Doing more with fewer, though? That’s not quite as advisable in golf. If you don’t believe us, just ask Joel Dahmen. He once played a round on the Korn Ferry Tour with only 10 clubs in his bag, a feat caddie Geno Bonnalie told GOLF’s Subpar Podcast came thanks to a healthy serving of gin.

“That’s a hilarious story,” Bonnalie told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz.

In Bonallie’s memory, things started to go off track in the morning, when golfer and caddie elected to get an early lunch at the bar rather than a lengthy warmup.

“We didn’t warm up that morning,” he said. “There was no warmup. We had a late tee time that day. He goes, ‘Do you want to grab lunch on your way to the course?’ and I was like, sure. And he was like, ‘Do you want to grab a gin and tonic?’ and I was like, sure. So we got a bit going. We shot like 78 in the first round so it was one of those like, who cares [rounds].”

After a handful of cocktails, Bonnalie and Dahmen were ready to roll for their afternoon tee time.

“We get to the course, we pull the clubs out of the trunk and what happened was a few of them got stuck on something,” Bonnalie remembers. “We walked straight to the tee, and I didn’t notice or count them or anything like that.”

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Things rolled along smoothly for a few holes, but quickly turned sour.

“We get to like No. 2 or 3, and I was like 115-125, that’s a perfect gap wedge. And he goes, ‘Where’s gap wedge?’ And I go, I don’t know,” Bonnalie said. “So he goes, ‘Okay, I guess I’ll chip the pitching wedge.’ And then he says, ‘Where’s the pitching wedge?’ I go, I don’t know the answer to that one either.”

Fortunately for both caddie and player, the two were able to laugh off the incident. Today, Bonnalie has caddied Dahmen to a PGA Tour victory and in a handful of major championships.

“We had that number two holes in a row, but it didn’t matter,” Bonnalie said with a laugh.

To hear the rest of Bonnalie’s Subpar interview with Aaron Flener, check out the video below.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow, during which time he cut his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News and Fox Sports. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.