When I first started playing golf I never thought that I would have anything to share with an experienced player.
Walking through the wind lobby of the ladies change room there would be notices up asking for volunteer caddies for the next upcoming inter club or pennant season. To be honest with you, if I was going to be on the golf course I could only imagine myself playing not pulling or pushing someone’s bag or raking their bunkers. Haha !!!
DON’T HESITATE…There is no better way to learn course management and the game of golf than being on another player’s bag. If you ever get the opportunity to caddy do yourself a favour and take it !
It doesn’t matter if the player you are caddying for has a handicap of 5 or 25, everyone plays under pressure whether it is brought on by themselves in a social round or a matchplay event. It’s been 5 years since I became involved in our club teams competitions. I signed up to caddy with the intention of one day playing.
From the 1st tee to the 18th tee you will ride the wave of club choice, course management, distance to the pin, short game and the read of the greens.
Also, the most incredible part of the day is the emotional roller coaster you go through with your player, and if you’re lucky on the day you may finish with a win for the team.
If you’re smart about caddying and you really want to improve your golf, take mental notes on the day. There are so many do’s & don’ts in the game and this is one on course lesson you will find invaluable.
When you caddy for a more experienced player they will give you a lesson on the mental side of golf and how to control or not control your emotions. You will see how some players state of mind can be detrimental to their own game, as a caddy they will rely on you to be a calming influence. You will build up subtle strategies to control situations that are getting out of control for the player, these subtle strategies can make a difference to your own game if you use them on yourself. Keeping the conversation balanced as you walk with your player and sometimes recognising when and when not to converse. What works for you may not work for your player, quiet reminders of tempo and breathing will help keep your player positive and calm.
I’ve seen a lot of missed fairways off the tee, but from that missed tee shot I’ve seen a lot of par’s. Club selection is vital when trying to save a hole, I’ve learned that my 7 iron is a very valuable tool to get me out of trouble and I’m not just talking about a full swing. I’ve learned to use my head , stay calm, and think things through under pressure to save a hole. I’ve also learned that you never ever give up. Golf is a funny game, anything can happen and usually does under pressure. But most of all, I have a feeling of belonging and when you are part of a team there’s no better feeling.
- Cleaning Golf Clubs: Keeping the player’s clubs clean is the caddie’s job. Before the round begins confirm no more than 14 clubs. Keeeping clubs dry
- Caring for the Course/Divots: Caddies repair their player’s divots, as well as any others they spot and have time to address.
- Caring for the Course/Ball Marks: Cleaning the golf ball and repairing divot marks on the green if requested.
- Tending the Flagstick: I will always ask our opponent if she would like me to tend the flagstick, caddies should follow the same etiquette as players in avoiding stepping on putting lines, keeping their shadows off the lines and the hole, and standing still during putts. The flagstick should be placed off the green and carefully returned to the hole before the group moves on to the next tee.
- Keeping Track of the Golf Ball: Always keep an eye on the ball flight so you can readily identify the landing spot of the ball so your player benefits. Make sure player has marked ball with ‘Sharpie’ pen and know her insignia on the ball.
- Providing Advice: All caddies should carry a copy of the Rules of Golf and know them well – in order to help players abide by them and avoid breaking any rules themselves. Studying the course in advance allows the caddy to give on-the-spot information about distance, advice about club selection, as well as helping the player to read putts.
- Avoid idle chit chat and noise to a minimum minute before your player goes into her mental zone before pre shot routine.