Former AFL star Brendon Goddard admits caddying for good mate Marcus Fraser at the US Open at Pebble Beach will be more nerve-wracking than his trio of grand final appearances.
Goddard was asked to carry the clubs of fellow Australian Fraser when the European Tour veteran snared a spot in the US Open field via sectional qualifying in England two weeks ago.
Neither Goddard nor Fraser had set foot on the iconic seaside California course and the pair were still in awe after three practice rounds since arriving on Saturday.
"I never thought the first time I'd walk the fairways of Pebble Beach would be caddying at a US Open; it's pretty special," Goddard told AAP on Monday.
"I was watching on TV when Tiger Woods won the (2000) US Open here by 15 shots and I watch the (PGA Tour's) Pebble Beach Pro Am every year, but being here has outdone my expectations."
Fraser, 40, a winner of three European Tour events, will contest his fourth US Open this week and says Goddard will keep the atmosphere relaxed.
"Brendon loves golf more than I do; he's a golf tragic, a competitive guy and pushes me pretty hard," Fraser said.
Fraser says contesting a US Open at Pebble Beach is a lifelong dream.
"It's such an iconic venue," Fraser said. "To see the par-3 7th hole for the first time is special.
"It sneaks up on you; when you walk from the sixth green to the seventh tee you think, 'Holy shit!' You're standing on one of the most famous par-3s in the world."
RIGHT: Goddard is an accomplished single-figure handicap player. PHOTO: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.
Former AFL No.1 draft pick Goddard, 34, retired from football last year following a 334-game career with St Kilda and Essendon.
He played in three grand finals for St Kilda – in 2009 and 2010, the latter replayed following a draw.
But Goddard says the anxiety will be higher caddying in a major championship.
"Definitely on the first tee at Pebble Beach, even as caddy," Goddard said.
"I'm a little out of my comfort zone; being on the footy field in front of 100,000 fans felt more natural to me.
"But it's great to feel those butterflies and anxiety again."
Goddard is an accomplished single-figure handicap player who says golf has been a passion since his childhood in country Victoria.
"My dad was a superintendent at a little public course in Toongabbie," he said. "Dad used to water tee boxes and greens by hand because that's all the club could afford.
"My brother and I used to ride in the back of his Holden HQ ute that he'd take out to water putting greens and we'd hit balls or go swimming in the dam at the par-3 9th hole.
"Mum has photos of me swinging a golf club aged 2 but I never had to choose between my two passions; it was always my dream to play footy."
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press