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All eyes are on the world’s top golfers when a golf tournament is held. The viewers with no knowledge in the field are unknown of the person accompanying the golfers carrying the golf clubs. This person is the caddy or cad, who goes a little unnoticed by the public and is sometimes underestimated for their work.
Caddies in golf date back to the very beginning of the sport. Never mentioned in the prize list of professional tournaments, often misunderstood, caddies have an important role to play. Have you ever wondered what do they do?
Just like golfers, caddies spend 25 to 30 weeks away from home, do training, spend their days on the course or at the driving range. Technical adviser, supporter, friend, etc., much more than a simple bag carrier, the caddy performs all these functions to allow the golfer to approach the competition in the best possible conditions.
Let’s discuss the role of caddies in detail!
What Do Caddies Do?
The caddy’s work is undervalued by people who do not know much about golf since, at first glance, it seems that this character is a kind of golfer’s personal assistant. However, nothing is further from the truth because the caddy’s job is to load the player’s golf clubs in a certain way. This is a key piece for the golfer because before making each shot, the caddy advises the player on the best shot possibility.
Caddies are very well paid at a professional level, thanks to the fact that they are very relevant and influential for players’ success in tournaments. These important golf characters come to have a close bond with golfers and become indispensable to them.
Often called shadow men, caddies are golf co-pilots that helps golfers and accompany them throughout the game. Here are some of their roles:
The caddy’s main job is not just to carry the player’s golf clubs and accompany them throughout the tournament. However, caddies are much more important than they seem since they are the main advisers of golfers. It is important to have extensive knowledge about the game rules to be a professional caddy.
This important individual keeps track of the player’s shots, noting them and informing the player of their performance in the tournament. The caddy reports in detail the state of the playing field and the possible obstacles that can be achieved in each hole.
Even sometimes, caddies remind players of the rules. Most elite golfers agree that having a good caddy is extremely important to compete at the highest level.
Although caddies are seen next to the player during the game hours, their work does not start there. They arrive long before the start of the day to inspect the playing field.
Carry Golfers’ Bag and Golf Clubs
The most obvious role of the caddy is to carry the player’s bag and clubs. In addition, the caddy makes it easy to give the golfer the right club and store the one that has just been used.
Clean the Materials
Although many courses today are equipped with mechanical club and ball cleaners, it is important to provide your caddy with a golf towel so that they can clean the equipment after each use.
This is a more technical function of caddies. Knowing the distance between the player (amateur or professional) and the hole is essential during each round of golf. And caddies often do this job with binoculars.
Of course, if the golfer knows the course very well or has done a survey, they will not necessarily need to measure the distance. They can spot obstacles and determine approximate distances on the green, but it’s still practical.
Raking the Sand Area
After playing in a bunker, always rake the entire sand disturbed by the golfer. And although most players already do this after their shot, it is also part of the golf caddy’s job.
The divot is the clod of earth that will be torn off during the golf shot from time to time.
When the player performs a divot on the fairway or in the rough, the caddy must find the piece of dirt and put it back in place.
Also, they must replace the pitches on the greens when the player does not do so.
Take Care of the Flag
Once the ball hits the green, it is the role of the golf caddy to handle the flagstick. In professional tournaments, caddies agree among themselves based on their player’s distance from the hole to remove or replace the flagstick once the hole is completed.
The Technical Role
Beyond the functions listed above, the missions of the golf caddy require above all certain technical capacities, in particular for:
- measuring distances on the green,
- how to approach the greens,
- identify areas to avoid or to play in,
- how to play on the slopes,
- imagine scenarios depending on the wind and the weather,
All these elements will allow the golfer to improve and play with a good score.
A Playing Partner
The golf caddy is, above all, a playing partner for the golfer. We know how much pressure there is in a tournament. And we all also know that a bad blow is never pleasant.
In this case, the caddy intervenes as support! They must always remain positive throughout the tournament to calm the player and help them regain confidence.
Henry Longhurst, the famous writer and golf commentator, said that the golf caddy was a true assistant who guides the golfer, motivates them and supports them in difficult times.
After many years of working together on the greens, many golf players navigate the various courses with a golf caddy which they believe is indispensable. But at the same time, many golfers can do without caddies.
What Can’t Caddies Do?
According to USGA, caddies are not allowed to do the following in any case:
- They must not stand on or close to the other golfer’s line of play.
- They should not point out the other players’ Line of Play for Ball
- While pointing out the line of play for their golfer, they must not do anything to improve the conditions concerning the stroke
- They must not put anything, any object, anywhere on the putting green to show their golfer their line of play
- They must not deliberately stand on or close to the line of play of the golfers or behind them. The only exception is when they want to attend the flagstick.
- They must also not point out a site on the green when the golfer makes a stroke.
- They must not provide any physical help to golfers to make strokes.
- They must not reveal the next stroke to the opponent or agree with them
- They are not allowed to replace or move the ball
Golfers are responsible for their caddies’ actions during a round but not before or after the round. The golfer gets the penalty if the caddy breaches a rule.
In conclusion, caddies are very relevant to the success of elite golfers, even if sometimes they do not occupy certain attention. Every pro recognizes the importance of their caddy and celebrates each victory with them.
The caddy is the main support for the player during the game, and many times thanks to him, golfers stay focused and motivated to succeed.