DID YOU KNOW THAT JARROD WAS A KOALA WHACKER? He told me this story when Eddie and I first met him for dinner in Vegas. He was going to be Nexbelt's first PGA Tour Player. In his Aussie accent, he described how as a young man he had a job of keeping koalas off the Sydney Harbor Bridge. There were so many koalas in Australia that they would infest the bridge climbing up the trusses and pooping on the cars and pedestrians below. There would be hundreds of them. He would have to climb up there in his harness and knock them off with a stick. The koalas would fall off the bridge and into the water. His buddy would be below in a boat to scoop them up with a net, and they would take them back to the wilds.

As he was telling us this story, my thoughts are running rampant - I've been there and never heard of the problem. Finally, he cracked a smile to let me in the joke. He and his caddie would tell this story at bars, and the people ate it up!

A few years later, we were at the PGA Show, and we had an extra staff member and didn't have enough rooms, so Jarrod offered Jake to stay with him in the spare room at his condo. Jake is a HUGE fan of golf, played college golf and knew something about every player. He was so excited to be around a PGA Tour player and be on the "inside."
I pulled Jarrod aside and asked him to tell Jake the koala whacker story. I also told our team what I did and to play along.

The next morning Jake met the Nexbelt team for breakfast and lots of discussions but nothing about Koala. I thought Jarrod had forgotten but around the 25-minute mark, there was a little silence and then Jake spoke up, "did you know that Jarrod was a koala whacker?!" He recounted what Jarrod described to him. We played along like we never knew and pretended he was pulling our legs. But Jake was adamant that the story was not made up. That afternoon during the PGA Show, I let him in on the joke, and he was so disappointed that the story was not true - just as we are so disappointed that to hear that Jarrod's passing was true.

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