The Golfer’s Butler

June 6, 2018

The Golfer’s Butler

(How to be a Good Caddie)

The overall responsibility of golf caddies is to make the game of golf more enjoyable and satisfying for the golfers for whom they are caddying. Being a caddy is more than carrying a bag around a golf course for 18 holes. Serving a golfer well in this capacity requires a solid relationship between the golfer and the caddy and an understanding of the game of golf. The most basic job of caddies is to carry the golf bags and hand golf clubs when the golfer request them. The golfer should be assured that the caddy is prepared, knows the game very well, and offers reliable advice when needed. These traits only come from a caddy that is passionate about the game and ready to offer support at any level, on any course. There are a number of other duties caddies have, such as tending the pin, replacing divots and determining yardages between the ball and the green.

The Guy Who Got the Golfer’s Back

(The History of the Caddie)

No such records today that really pinpoints the first appearance of caddies in the game of golf, but historians believe that Mary, Queen of Scots, came up with the term “caddie” in the late 16th century. Mary grew up in France where military cadets carried golf clubs for royalty. It is possible that Mary brought the custom to Scotland, where the term evolved into the word “caddie.”

Alternatively, the word “caddie” may have originated from the Malay word ‘kati’. Kati is a measure for tea leaves and is printed on boxes used to carry and collect the tea leaves, hence its use in terms reflecting carrying and collecting. Learn more by visiting History of Golf Caddies.

Also, the word may have originated from the Welsh term “cad”, which is a “battle”, “contest”, or “test”, such as the Cad Goddeau.

Difference between the Traditional Caddying and the Fore-Caddying

(The Two types of Caddying)

Caddying has two types, these are the Traditional Caddying and the Fore-Caddying. While the nature of this job is literally assisting the Golfer, These two types of Caddying have some differences.

Traditional Caddying

In this type, it involves both the Golfer and The Caddie walking the course. The caddie is in charge of carrying the player’s bag, and walks ahead of the golfer to locate his ball and calculate the yardage to the pin and/or hazards. This is considered the most common method used in golf clubs and is the only method allowed in the PGA (Professional Golf Association) and LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association). The three “ups” of caddying are: show up, shut up, and keep up.


Unlike the traditional caddying that involves both the golfer and the caddie walking the course, the fore-caddying, entails the Caddie walking while the Golfer ride in carts.

The fore-caddie will give a hole description and then walk ahead to the spot of the player’s tee shots. The caddie will then get the players yardage (either with a GPS watch, laser, course knowledge, or sprinkler heads) while the players drive their carts from the tee to their shots. The caddie will walk ahead again to spot the golfers next shots. This process is continued until the players reach the green.

Once on the green the caddie will read greens (if asked per proper golf etiquette), clean golf balls (if asked), fix ball marks, and attend the flag. The caddie is also responsible for raking traps on the course. Caddies will help with club selection, reading greens, weather variables, and marking balls on the green but should do so only if asked by the player. More than anything else, the caddie is there to make the player’s round enjoyable by taking care of menial tasks, speeding up play, and providing mental support if asked.

Are you Planning to be a Caddie?

(Traits of a Good Caddie)

“A good caddie,” Henry Longhurst once wrote, “is more than a mere assistant. He is guide, philosopher, and friend”. The relationship between a Golfer and their Caddie is one of the most unique in sports, and it can have a direct impact on a player’s success. How, though, how does someone become a caddie? And more importantly, what’s it like working as one? Follow these Guides and Tips and you’ll be a Caddie in no time. More tips here: Golf Caddy Jobs.

First things First - Determine the Golfer’s needs

Prepare the Golf Bag

There are numerous Golf Equipment that every golfer will need for every round, and it’s your responsibility to make sure that the bag is properly stocked. If your golfer doesn’t have everything required, it could adversely affect the game. (it could also be a long run.)

Check your golfer’s bag for the appropriate golf clubs, new golf balls, extra gloves, towels, a yardage finder, a yardage book, bug spray, sunscreen, an umbrella, and a medical kit. You might also want to include a rain suit for both of you if the weather is uncertain.

Anticipate your Golfer’s needs

The best Caddies know what a golfer needs. Keep the golfer hydrated, and as cool or as dry as possible, and you should also know which golf club is needed for the next hole. Be able to figure out each club and be ready to offer a couple of different solutions for each of the golfer’s obstacles throughout the game. Be sure to carry a towel at all times, since it will be your responsibility to clean the golfer’s clubs and balls during a game.

Learn everything you can about golf

If you don’t play golf, talk to friends or family members who do. It’s a simple game in some ways, but complicated in its rules and etiquette. Ask golfers you know about why they play, what makes a round fun, and if they’ve ever taken a caddie.

The more knowledgeable you are about the game, the more of an asset you will be to your golfer. Watch golf, read about golf, play golf, and breathe golf. Visit various courses and talk to other caddies about their experiences. You can use networking experiences as a resource for learning more about golf and becoming an overall better caddy.

Ask caddies questions such as: “How comfortable are you with that club?” Offer suggestions, but get to know your golfer’s communication preferences. Some golfers will want your advice often while others prefer to make their own calls and have very specific preferences.

Being a Support System

Caddies need a certain amount of confidence in their knowledge of the game. It’s acceptable to stop a golfer from swinging if you disagree with a club choice or if you sense the wind about to change. A golfer will be more at ease if he or she knows they can rely on their Caddie. Never speak during a golfer’s swing. Offer advice before they are teeing up and say something along the lines of, “I think this club would be very effective here” or “Stay wary of this sudden breeze.” Some golfers will prefer that you stay out of the way and let them play, but others will love your words of encouragement.

Golf is a game that requires intense concentration and a positive attitude on the part of the player. If your golfer is experiencing a few bad holes, it’s your job to boost morale; help the golfer stay focused, and offer words of encouragement when they are most needed.

If a golfer blames you for a poor game, you must remain calm and collected. If your golfer hits above par, say: “Your next hole will be better. Just stay focused. You’ve got this.” Even if you need to critique your golfer or offer advice, try to stroke their ego so they can become more confident in their strokes!

When a golfer is hitting over par, they may become frustrated. In order to ease their tension and keep them focused on their game, offer them words of encouragement and motivation. Learn how to communicate with your golfer in the most effective way; each golfer responds differently to advice. Never talk during their back swing.

Being a Caddie means, you’ll do a lot of waiting, both before you’re assigned a bag and during the round. Use the wait as an opportunity to get to know other caddies and try to learn from them. On course, use the walk itself to work off any “anty-ness.” Remember, they’re going to pay you for this!

Geoff Ogilvy, the great Australian tour player, talked about the player-caddie relationship at the pro level.

Some of what he said applies to amateur caddying as well: “The hardest part of the job is keeping the player happy. That means talking only at the right times, and not talking at the wrong times – and saying the right things when you do say something.”

Don’t overdo it, of course, but once you know what a good shot is, occasionally praising your player for hitting one won’t hurt. Think of yourself as a team, and if he’s smart, he’ll reward you for that.

Mastering the Course

Punctuality is the best policy..

If you are one of the first caddies to show up to the course, you are far more likely to get the chance to caddy for a golfer hitting the course early in the morning.

Promptness indicates to the golfer that you are professional and prepared. You never know who could be getting ready to tee off, so never miss out on such an opportunity. See also: Golf Course Introduction

Learn the yardages of the course

A caddy needs to know the yardages of the holes, referring to the yardage book when necessary in order to help the golfer choose the right club for each hole. Knowing the yardages isn’t always enough, and the caddy has to take the distances into account with weather conditions, course conditions and lie

Join the Professional Caddies Association (PCA)

If you are serious about your role as a caddy, then this program can help you become a professionally trained and certified Caddie. You will also be able to learn your local course along with other major and nearby courses. There are also special benefits that come with such an exclusive membership, such as the potential to meet and work with exciting professional golfers at the top of their game.

Stay alert to changing weather patterns

The wind and the elements can affect the golfer’s game, so be ready to provide any information that is relevant. Play in various weather situations yourself to get a better idea of how this can affect one’s swing.

8 is the Lucky Number

(8 Tips and Rules in being a Good Caddie)

Be Prepared

    Make sure you have a pencil and a scorecard, and of course a towel as well. Before the round begins, grab some tees from the bag as well as some balls so you do not have to dig for them, they should be necessary later. Don’t forget to ask the golfer if there is something or anything specific that you should do during the round.

    Have the Clubs ready

      Place the bottom of the golf bag on the ground and hold the top away from your body. Depending on your height, the top of the golf clubs should be at about your waist. Presenting the clubs in such a fashion allows the golfers to easily select the clubs they want to use. Do this before each shot, except on the green. (It is also a good thing to be informative on where to buy quality golf clubs. for starters, you can check for quality golf clubs that suits yours and your golfer’s budget.)

      Keeping the Clubs and Balls Clean

        Carrying a towel is a must, this will be used to wipe off golf clubs after each shot, and wipe golf balls when they are on the green or between holes. Additionally, many courses have hand-operated club and ball cleaners at the beginning of holes. Use these to further clean clubs and balls.

        Watch the Ball

          While most golfers will hit their ball then watch to see where it lands, Caddies should, too. If golfers do not see where their balls land, then, it is important that caddies should know and will be able to show them.

          Maintain the Golf Course

            This involves replacing the divots golfers create when they hit the ground as well as their ball. When that happens, chunks of grass will fly a short distance. Caddies should retrieve these chunks of grass and put them back. Golfers can take divots on fairways or in the rough.

            Tend the Pin

              Caddies should be ready to tend or remove the pin when golfers are putting. Pins need to be tended when the ball is in such a location that golfers have trouble seeing the hole. To tend a pin, stand near it with one hand on it. Remove the pin after the putt has been hit. If the ball is close enough to the hole so the golfer can see it while putting, the pin can be removed right away.

              Know your Place

                Caddies should stand in the right place. (being hit by a golf ball is no joke.) When golfers are hitting their shots, caddies should be out of the way and standing completely still and silent. Any movement can throw off a shot. On the green, caddies must be observant of where they stand and make sure they do not walk in the imaginary lines between balls and holes.

                Observe Proper Dress Code

                  Wear the proper attire. While most caddies will be given a uniform, they should wear collared shirts and khaki pants or shorts. It is also a good idea to wear a brimmed hat to keep the sun off of your face. (You don’t want to get sunburns right?) Well-kept gym shoes also should be worn.

                  Being a Caddie might be a big responsibility and requires lots of hard work, but if you give your best effort and a little bit patience to it, you will definitely be a good Caddie which can be a great factor in the success of your golfer, and can even be one of the best around.

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