Gerrit van Rooyen
Benefits of the caddy
If like me, you don’t know as much about golf, you might think that a caddy is just some guy that carries your clubs around the course. That’s what I thought too. The typical young kid working at the golf course over the summer stereotype comes to mind. While that may be true in some instances, I’ve now learned there is a lot more to being a caddy than meets the eye.
Carrying the bag is definitely one of the jobs a caddy does. For golfers that are fit enough to walk 18 holes, but don’t want to expend unneeded energy on lugging around a heavy bag, having a caddy is the way to go. It’s a good way to still get in a workout in while not straining your backs, something that could impact your game.
But the caddy’s job doesn’t stop there. They also need to keep an eye out for your shot so you don’t lose your ball. They also will clean up your equipment between shots so you’ll always be ready to go. All this allows the golfer to focus on the game and not sweat the small stuff.
Some caddies really go above and beyond. It’s not about what they can do for you physically, but the knowledge they have to share. This will all depend on the level of professional the caddy is. They can give advice about how to play their home course to golfer’s that haven’t yet played through the 18 holes. They can help them select the right club and offer suggestions on the strategy for tackling the hole. They know the greens well and some report that the best caddies could save a golfer 10 strokes on a tricky course through their expert advice.
Really good caddies for pro golfers go even further than this. As they travel with their golfer, they are expected to examine a course before the golfer ever even sets foot on the green. This includes taking detailed measurements of the course such as distances of the holes and the hazards using a laser measurement tool. They need to know every contour and slope on the green. Then, during practice sessions, they will track everything their golfer does and every element on the environment to help their golfer get better. This includes things like wind speed and air temperature. These detailed recordings may seem over the top to you or me, but at the top levels, any information can give you an edge. Caddying at this level can be a lucrative business. Steve Wiliams, once Tiger Woods’ caddy, earned over $1m a year. While this is an extreme example, earning $1k a week plus a portion of your golfer’s winners is certainly doable.
While many still have the old school view of “keep up and shut up” with their caddies, others see the value that a caddy can bring to their game.
Hope you all had a great weekend and that this new year brings you many opportunities!