At Keen People Caddies, we continually strive to provide our client’s and golfers with the best caddie service according to their golf event or specific requirements. But what makes a good caddie?
Here are some top tips we think will help anyone to become an excellent golf caddie.
- Turn up on time. We always recommend our caddies turn up at least one hour before tee times. This gives you enough time to meet and greet your golfer, team members or client(s) beforehand and that all important opportunity to get to know one another before the serious business begins. It also allows you to check the equipment before heading out onto the course. Being late in general is never good but being late for a tee off time is unlikely to create the best impression even if “your dog has eaten your homework!”
- Have the club bag ready. It is paramount you make sure you have all the correct equipment in the bag before you set off. If there is something missing, either tell your player or try and resolve it yourself if possible. There is nothing worse than not having a tee to hand, a towel to clean off the clubs or spare golf balls just in case a shot is miscued and you need a replacement.
- Clean clubs and balls. As a caddie it is your responsibility to clean the clubs. There is no excuse for this not to happen so make sure you keep a towel on you at all times. Additionally, if you are required to clean the golf ball make sure you have either a tee or a marker so this can be done within the PGA guidelines!
- Be Ready to Rake. It is likely that a shot may end up in the bunker. After your player has taken his shot, you are required to rake the bunker so it is in ideal condition for golfers behind you on the course. A simple tip is to enter the bunker following the footprints of your golfer and rake backwards retracing your steps as you exit. It’s a relatively straight forward task that so many get wrong!
- Watch the Ball. As daft as this sounds… always watch the ball. There are many occasions where your golfer may not have seen the direction of his or her ball. Always stand in position where you can follow the flight to see where the ball lands and direct your golfer straight there. Failure to locate it can be the difference between gaining and losing points! Should the ball be heading towards other players or persons on the course you need to warn them by shouting “FORE”. Don’t rely on your player seeing his or her shot as the onus is on you to take the initiative. This is paramount if you ever caddie in the Par 3 Championship at Nailcote Hall!
- Maintain the Golf Course. Okay, so we don’t mean for you to be a greenkeeper and immaculately tend to the fairway or putting surfaces, but it is expected for you replace any divots or pitch marks for your golfer. Simply pick up the dislodged turf and replace it from where it was taken. Have a little stamp on it to make sure it reconnects with the earth and get back on your merry way! That said if you do happen to see other people’s divots (or discarded rubbish) then have the decency to sort that out too. Although it’s not directly your responsibility it does give you a sense of doing something worthwhile and treating the course with respect.
- Tend the Pin. As a caddie you are responsible for tending the pin should your golfer require it. Sounds simple enough but BEWARE those dastardly little imaginary lines to the pin and be aware of other player’s lines when you traverse the putting surface. DO NOT step on one of those… it’s not worth your life! If all players agree they would rather have the pin out, then you can take the pin and move away from the hole. We do NOT recommend putting the pin on the floor. Keep the pin in your hands, ideally not resting it on the green, and when all the players are finished you can replace it.
- Stand in the Right Place. This seems like common sense but do not stand anywhere near your player whilst they take their shot. Ideally you should stand a good distance away, approximately 10 yards minimum. This also applies to other golfers that may be playing with your golfer. Do not stand in their peripheral vision or cast a shadow. This can be distracting and will not be well received especially if a serious competition is at stake.
- Wear the Proper Attire. Keen People Caddies insist all our caddies wear a smart golf uniform, so they are easily recognisable and look the part. However, for those caddies not booked through our company, it is extremely important you choose the right clothing and footwear. Some courses are a little more relaxed in terms of their clothing rules but always err on the side of caution by wearing your best golfing gear at all times. Some competitions require you to wear a caddie bib or boiler suit. It is best practice to come equipped with additional golf wear for colder days or when poor weather is forecast. Such items include thermal-wear, waterproof raincoat or jacket, waterproof trousers and an umbrella to shelter your golfer and his or her clubs!
- Be sociable and have fun. The most important part about being a decent caddie is to work well with your golfer. To do this you need to be personable and to communicate well. Make sure you listen to what they expect from you and tailor your approach to their needs. You want to be able to offer advice, discuss shot selection and share your course knowledge. This reassures them they have the best caddie who really knows their stuff. Furthermore, if you are part of a fourball then respect, courtesy and manners towards the other players and caddies is of utmost importance. You will be spending a good few hours together so make sure you dovetail and add value! Ultimately, you want to enjoy your day as much as your golfer so make it your top priority.
If the top tips from this blog have inspired you to become a caddie and gain essential experience then please sign up to one of our Keen People Caddies training days. We host a number of these throughout the year at various locations in the UK. Our comprehensive training combines golf theory with caddying practice alongside a golf professional and is perfectly designed to see if you’ve got what it takes to be the best caddie!