Saturday, June 25, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 17

Santa Maria Sun / Sports Lead

The following article was posted on October 20th, 2015, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 16, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 16, Issue 33

The 35th anniversary of 'Caddyshack' brings an unexpected honor for Santa Maria resident Ed Murray, who helped inspire the film


Santa Maria resident Ed Murray, the inspiration for the film Caddyshack’s main character, has a meaningful new trophy for his mantle.

Murray, a retired financial consultant, and his five brothers—movie star Bill; Andrew, who’s a chef; and actors Brian, John, and Joel—were inducted into the Western Golf Association’s Caddie Hall of Fame on Sept. 16 in Lake Forest, Ill. 

“It was not about me, it wasn’t about Billy either. Usually he’s the headline,” Murray said. “It was the fact that all six of us caddied.”

Santa Maria resident Ed Murray, a 2015 inductee into the Caddie Hall of Fame, is a former caddie and lifelong golfer.

The oldest of the Murray clan, Ed, was the first to caddie, in eighth grade, at the exclusive Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, Ill., back when golf bags were made of leather and were much heavier, especially for a little boy to lug around for 18 holes.

The club’s golf pro at the time, Sam Bernardi, cut down clubs for the young Murray and taught him the basics of the game. By the time Murray was 16, he was a scratch golfer. 

One day, Bernardi invited Murray to golf with him and other pros.

Murray recalled how excited he was to be playing with them, and playing well, until the second hole, “I cold-topped my second shot and it just dribbled on the ground, and I threw my club at my bag. Sam said, ‘Ed, do you want to play ahead of us or behind us? Because we don’t play with cry babies.’ So I just went and got my ball and walked into the woods and cried. And that was my lesson. Never happened again, I never threw another club.”

Murray matured quickly on the golf course, caddying for bankers, corporate heads, even celebrities such as Bob Hope and Billy Graham. Murray also caddied in PGA tournaments next to the likes of golf legends Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

“You’re a kid dealing with adults. You have to be polite and feel like you’re a partner with the guy you’re caddying for. You’re with him to help him, not to tell him how to play golf. You’ve gotta be alert, as far as where the ball went and how far the distances are,” Murray added.

“The problem is, once in a while you get a real jerk, somebody you don’t want to caddy for, but you’re determined to do a good job anyhow … and then the guy asks for you the next time.”

In 1963, Murray became the only one in his family to win the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship, earning full college tuition and housing at Northwestern University.

Several years later, the Murray family traveled to Florida to film Caddyshack, loosely based on their golf course experiences. 

Murray’s brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, co-wrote the screenplay.

“I have the original script somewhere,” Murray said. “A lot of scenes will say, ‘Billy [Murray] will improvise. Chevy [Chase] will improvise.’ And a lot of scenes are improvised.”

Murray said shooting the comedy wasn’t all laughs.

“Rodney Dangerfield was a pain in the ass because he didn’t like waiting. And there was a lot of waiting because it was right in the landing pattern of the Fort Lauderdale airport, so they had to stop a lot because of planes,” Murray recalled.

Joel, Andy, Ed, John, Brian, and Bill Murray, on stage during their induction into the Caddie Hall of Fame last month in Lake Forest, Ill.

“Rodney tried to quit a number of times, but Ted Knight always got him to come back. Ted was wonderful; a really nice guy.”

An orange plaid golf pants-wearing Murray has one close-up in the film, the scene when a flung golf club hits a woman in the head. 

In Caddyshack’s closing credits there’s this mention: “Special thanks to Ed Murray,” appreciation from director Harold Ramis for giving him a tour of the actual caddy shack at Indian Hill.

But it doesn’t end there: The Murray family owns Murray Bros. Caddyshack Restaurant, in St. Augustine, Fla., at the World Golf Hall of Fame.

And each spring, they host the Murray Bros. Caddyshack Charity Golf Tournament, bringing together celebrity friends, pros, and sponsors to raise funds to provide medical services and lifesaving equipment for firefighters and disabled veterans. 

In the last 15 years, they’ve raised $4.3 million. (For more information, go to 

The Murray brothers have found a way to give back by playing the game that they adore. 

“I love it, more than anything! I’ve been playing since I was 8 years old,” Murray said. “You learn about a person on a golf course; you learn about their competitiveness, their integrity, their disposition.

“I think golf is such a great sport because it’s a game of honesty. It’s a game of honor. It’s a game where just when you’re ready to quit, you’re gonna have a great hole or a great shot and it brings you back. You make a putt on the 18th hole [and say,] ‘Well, I’ll be back tomorrow.’”

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