Ex-Flyer Quinn will be on Ernie Els' bag at Open

Ernie Els talks about the condition of Merion and the course with all the rain in an interview at 2013 U.S. Open Championship, June 10, 2013. ( DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer )
Ernie Els talks about the condition of Merion and the course with all the rain in an interview at 2013 U.S. Open Championship, June 10, 2013. ( DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer )
Posted: June 12, 2013

Ernie Els is likely the only golfer at the U.S. Open to have been hip-checked by his caddie. Then again, he's the only golfer whose caddie is a former Flyer.

Dan Quinn has worked Els' bag part-time for the last four years. He also played 14 seasons in the NHL, including two separate one-season stints with the Flyers. He scored 685 points in 805 career games.

Quinn began caddying for Els in 2010 after their daughters became friendly while living in Jupiter, Fla. Quinn was born in Canada, where, of course, a different sport is king.

Quinn took up golf after moving to London, Ontario, at age 12.

He said he did anything possible to stay around Thames Valley Golf Course. He played in tournaments. He caddied. He worked in the cart barn and the bag room and the pro shop. He tended the kitchen and labored on the course.

"I played as much golf as any kid could in the summers," Quinn said. "And you could play hockey, sleep and then school - that's all I did."

During NHL seasons, Quinn could rarely make it to the course, if at all. But each offseason, he says, he'd play for three or four months straight.

After retiring, Quinn started playing competitively; he even played at Merion Golf Club in 1999. Now 48, he's good enough to compete against Els, 43, if Els spots him a couple of holes.

Together, Els said, Quinn's hockey-inspired intensity complements the golfer's calm. Els, who is from South Africa, likes to rib Quinn by arguing that rugby players are tougher than hockey players.

"Big, I mean big, big, big arguments," Els deadpanned. "We actually one night, we had too many beers, and I showed him, I go: 'This is how you tackle.' "

Els mimed a tackling motion, then continued: "He was giving me some checks."

Quinn said his rapport with Els helps during tournaments, but Quinn is a professional and he takes his job seriously.

"I'm not arguing with him this week," Quinn said.


Contact Zach Helfand at zhelfand@philly.com. Follow on

Twitter @zhelfand.

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