It is more than just carrying a golfer’s clubs that a golf caddie is responsible for. Golf caddies need to know the golf course, keep the equipment clean, understand the weather conditions, and provide definitive answers when their golfer needs them. In your local amateur league or on the PGA tour with Tiger Woods, you should be familiar with the role of a caddy. Here’s everything you need to know about the duties of a golf caddie.
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Caddie Etiquette Rules to Know
The game of golf has a long history and tradition. A caddie’s role is a great honor in the game, a wonderful way to network, an excellent form exercise, and a good source of income. Remember these things if you want to respect the game and your position as a caddie.
The clothes of a caddie should be tucked into their shorts or pants in order to maintain a clean and professional appearance. You should respect the game of golf, regardless of whether you’re working with an amateur or a professional. When you greet your golfer with a handshake before they start for the day, you should remove your hat.
Keeping the ball and clubs clean is another part of the caddie’s presentation. During a game, ball marks should not exist, so it is up to the caddy to remove them. Golf clubs can also be scuffed by accidental contact.
Be Prepared with Extra Materials and More
A good caddie should know the golf course and weather conditions before the game. They should also carry extra tees, golf balls, pencils, scorecards, and a rangefinder in addition to knowing the course and weather. You should always have extras of everything just in case.
Additionally, you may need to get the golf clubs of the golfer before the start of the day, so it is your responsibility to ensure there are 14 clubs in the bag. If they have too many, you do not want to create a penalty for them. Last but not least, caddies should have a slightly wet towel to clean clubs and wipe off dirt from balls.
Be a Morale Booster
The best day for a golfer won’t always come along. When this happens, your job as a caddie becomes even more critical. If the golfer needs encouragement, venting, or someone to talk to, you want to be there for them. Having a great relationship between a caddie and his or her boss can make the golf outings more enjoyable for both parties.
Tips and Payment
Following a long day on the golf course, you will receive a tip from the golfer. In proper etiquette, you should take the money and put it directly in your pocket. Any time you count money in front of a golfer, you should avoid doing so.
What are the Game Rules to Know for a Caddie?
Caddies should know their expectations for the game, whether in a professional or amateur setting. The following are some of the most common responsibilities of a golf caddie.
Knowing the Yardage to the Hole
Golfers want to know how many yards are left until the hole, which a caddy should be able to provide. In suitable conditions, rangefinders can be used by caddies to call out the yards to the hole. However, they should also explain the distance to the hole using the markings around the tee shot.
Besides knowing the yardage, the caddie should also be prepared to grab the right clubs for the golfer. When a golfer asks what they recommend, you should be prepared and direct.
Knowing the Golf Club Selection
A caddy should have a solid understanding of the different types of clubs a professional golfer can use. When the ball goes onto the green, the caddy should already have the putter ready for the golfer to use. The caddie should clean the wedge or iron after receiving it from the golfer, and then place it back in its proper place in the bag.
Know Where the Ball is at All Times
Caddy duties include following the ball on the fairway. When placing the ball, a good caddy should look for a landmark. For example, the caddy should mark a tree so he knows where to go to get the ball. Once everyone has hit the ball, the caddy should locate the ball and wait for the golfer to reach it before giving out a new club.
Fixing Divots and Cleaning out the Bunker
There will be minor cosmetic repairs to be made during a round of golf. During a shot, grass chunks might come out, or after hitting the ball, sand traps might need raking. Fixing small issues without delaying a game’s action is one of the responsibilities of a good caddy.
During putts, a caddie should hold the flag post and not cast a shadow over the hole. The caddy can slowly move the flag out of the hole as the ball approaches the hole. Additionally, you should never walk in front of a golfer as they line up their putt. If you need to move in the putting area, always walk behind them.
Being Direct with Communication
Golf caddies are known for being direct with their communication. There are times when a professional golfer might ask their caddy what they think of a particular strategy. Caddys should be straightforward with their assumptions and not waver in their answers. In order to give an opinion, the caddy must also be asked by the golfer.
How Much Do Caddies Make?
Professional caddies in the PGA have separate agreements with their golfers, but they typically make a few thousand dollars a week. In contrast, a caddy can earn even more money when the golfer wins a prize.
Do Caddies Pay for their Own Expenses?
In the PGA, caddies are independent contractors who cover their own expenses. This means that everything from hotels to food to flights is at the caddie’s expense. The independent contractors can deduct these expenses on their taxes since this is all done for work.
Caddies’ health insurance has been covered by the PGA since recently.
Is there a Caddie Hall of Fame?
Caddie Hall of Fame is run by the Western Golf Association. Caddie advocates, professional caddies, and junior caddies are the three levels of eligibility. There are 123 members of the Caddie Hall of Fame as of January 2022. Visit the official website to learn more about the hall of fame!
Conclusion: What is a Caddie in Golf?
A golf caddie is more than a person who carries a golf bag. Among their many responsibilities are helping the golfer learn about the course, ensuring they have the best equipment, holding the flagstick to assist with putts, etc. It is essential to understand what makes a good caddie, whether you are a PGA Tour caddie or work as a summer caddy at a country club.