They are modern-day adventurers, these men who criss-cross the continent with women's golf bags slung over their hunched shoulders.

An LPGA caddy is not rich, nor is he a pillar of the community.

"I don't think anybody wants to think their son will become a caddy," said Chuck Monastero, a Villanova graduate who caddies for Laura Baugh. "You've got to be different. You can't have any roots. You can't be completely normal and do this."

Among them are a high school assistant principal (they call him Janitor), a Baltimore lawyer, a tomato-picker, an undercover narcotics detective, an Italian restaurant cook, college grads with degrees in mathematics and journalism, assorted nomads and an Indiana University dropout who sleeps in sand traps.

Why sleep in a sand trap?

"I am a golf junkie," replied Jerry (Speedway) Aiken, nicknamed for his hometown. The caddy grapevine, an awesome, ever-churning machine, had it that Speedway was sleeping in sand traps because he didn't have a nickel to his name.

"That's not true," said Speedway, "I'm sure I had a nickel just this morning."

At 6 a.m., out charting the course's flags with the previous night's disco beat replaying in his skull, a caddy decides it is time to get out, to leave behind this life of cheap hotel rooms, beer and Big Macs and do something grown up. The guilt creeps in at 29, as it has with Jesse Harris, a three-year LPGA veteran now carrying for Jan Stephenson.

"I have one more year to mess off. I've always said that when I'm 30, I've got to go to work," said Harris, a native of Dallas. "Its getting too expensive. I spend more than I make, but that comes with partying - you know how that is.

"It's plenty of work and a lot of mental strain. You keep seeing these ladies four-putt on 'ya and you got tired of it sooner or later."

But a glance at the age lines on the tanned faces of many of these men suggests that something chains them to the tour, often way past 29.

Monastero, who is 29, was at last weekend's Lady Keystone Open, even though Baugh was somewhere else, taking lessons.

"I'm here," he said, "because I don't have anywhere else to go."

Monastero, a dark-eyed, sad-faced man weighing less than 125 pounds, thinks of himself as "the most controversial guy here," surpassing even Nancy Lopez' caddy, Kim (Roscoe) Jones, who was taken away from a golf course last year in handcuffs after he waded into a lake to retrieve an empty beer can.

Monestero's fame took flight years ago on a Sunday when Baugh, ever in the hunt for her first tournament win, had a two-stroke lead. Coming up to the seventh green, Monastero, who has a degree in mathematics, told Baugh the pin was 160 yards away, and she swung the appropriate club. The ball arched high and sailed beautifully, 160 yards, which put her a good 35 yards past the green. She took a double bogey and never led again.

"I gave her the wrong yardage," said Monastero. "Looking at that shot was the worst feeling in the world. People behind the green didn't even move, like you would to get out of the way for a shot that's a little long. They just looked up, like Superman was flying by."

The incident is told and retold by the caddies, who feel it was an especially significant occurence, since Baugh still has not won a tournament.

Monastero's stigma is worse than Baugh's, however. He has been on tour longer, a total of six years, caddying for JoAnne Carner before Baugh. In six years, he has been in on only one win. His nickname, therefore, is Bad Luck Chuck. And it is well-used, often in the shortened version, simply Bad Luck. He hates it.

Monastero said that if Baugh ever wins a tournament, "I'll quit. It's the only thing that's kept me going for six years."

Harris said if Stephenson ever wins with him (they've worked together just briefly), "I'm going to jump in a lake. But only if it's on TV."

The men are obviously fond of their bosses, and one wonders if they ever fall in love with them.

"Deep down inside, some of them are in love, but they say they're not," said Monastero, who says he is not. "That'll really end it fast. You have a certain amount of loyalty. There's a fine line in there somewhere."

Jones, hired by Lopez after he was fired by Hollis Stacy over the bathing incident, said that falling in love "is the last thing I need right now, especially with my player.

"You spend five or six hours together every day on a one-on-one basis, and I don't imagine a lot of married folks spend that much time together. So I guess it might be easy to do that. People ask us if we go anywhere together and we do occasionally, but not real often."

Jones is kidded by the other caddies for his notorious lack of female companionship, especially inexcusable for one so famous. As Lopez has rocketed to fame, Jones has trailed along, being quoted in national publications, having his picture splashed across sports pages (including several of him kissing Lopez after a win), making more money than the other caddies (he'll probably earn more than $15,000 this year, working on both a weekly salary and a commission). So he's picked up the nickname Celebrity.

At a Lopez press conference last week, the tour publicist presented to the crowd "the tour's newest sex symbol," and as they waited for Lopez to approach the microphone, the 26-year-old Jones was hauled up instead, blushing beautifully beneath his frizzy brown mane. He admits to being a sex symbol ("of course") but insists he hasn't gotten uppity about his selection of dates along with LPGA road. "I don't know if I'd take them home to Mom," he said, "but a few of them are really nice."

He was asked where he went to college.

"College? Are you kidding?" said Jones, who is from Medina, Ohio "I worked in a few warehouses. I've been a bum for six years now.

"I'll tell you what - if you don't get a bag in the top 25, it's pretty rough. One year I made less than $4,000. I used to hock used golf balls for extra money. A lot of caddies do that."

Jones loves the caddy lifestyle.

"We know the bars to go to. We like to scream when we go to discotheques. We scream at the ugly girls, the big ones who ought to be out playing tight end somewhere."

But life as the tour's sex symbol can be tiring, as Jones will attest. The last time he went home to visit his family, "the paper sent a guy over to my house every day."

The routines can grate on one's sensitive nerve.

"I'm so tired," he said, "of discotheques."