The Important Role of Caddies Part I

Many pro golfers want their caddies to adhere to the three main rules of the trade: show up, keep up, and shut up. But times have changed, most players expect their caddies (aka loopers) to learn the course geometry just days before the tournament. A caddie might use a laser range finder to govern the distances between the tees and the course dangers and use a 9-inch level to map the outlines of the greens. Albeit both devices are not legal during the tournament, they have become critical tools in preparing for the game. The geographical backdrop to particular greens, makes judging the slope of the putting surface challenging. The majority of players rely profoundly on their caddies’ pre-tournament measurements.

Great caddies are also proficient sports psychologists, much like corner men in the boxing ring. A caddy must know how to choose the right club or read of the green, so the player is confident when he steps up to the ball. Any hesitation or a minute drop of the shoulders means a ruined golf shot. A caddie who has worked with the same player for a long time also knows just how long to let his man brood after an error before bringing him back to surface with just the right words and how to keep his golfer engrossed during each of the 200-plus swings needed to win a tournament. The best caddies know what to say to a player in order to avoid bad swing habits before he takes a shot. A caddie is the golfer’s cheerleader of sorts…inspiring, advising, and cheering him on throughout the game.

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