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Professional Caddies: An Un-Dismissible Job!

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If you are given five seconds to name a single caddy, I bet you won’t be able to! Unless you have been associated with the sport itself, it is hugely unlikely that you would have even heard of their names (apart from Steve Williams, who has been in news row recently). But that’s the life of a caddie- work behind-the-scenes, and lead the golfer to victory.

The main job attributed to a caddy is to carry the golf club, but their job extends much more than that. This is why Stephen Potter said, “Make friends with your caddie, and the game will make friends with you.”

The role of caddies in the game!

Caddies are resource person on-field who carry various responsibilities. Some of the key jobs that fall under the care of a caddy are:

  1. Carry the equipment and be responsible for its cleanliness

    Caddies are often seen around carrying the golf equipment. Caddies are expected to carry them on-field, and all are also responsible for the cleanliness of the equipment. They clean the clubs and make sure they are proper for use. They also need to keep a check on the clubs and should have adequate knowledge to hand out the one asked by the golfer. They can give suggestions if their expertise allows when asked, but at the very least, they should know what the configuration refers to!

  2. Fix the ball marks/ divots and tend the pins
    It is a great ethical practice to leave the grounds as it was handed over to you. Hence, any damage done accidentally needs to be rectified so that the next player can play in the same environment. Ball marks and divots are the most common ways the ground gets disturbed. Every player must be conscious of these, but often during games, it isn’t easy to do so. The caddies are responsible for cleaning up so that the ground remains playable as before. Tending the pin is also a part of their job as the player gets ready to putt.
  3. Assist the golfers
    Though some might not agree with this point, like the time when Bobby Jones said, “If I needed advice from my caddie, he’d be hitting the shots, and I’d be carrying the bag.” Well, essentially, not all caddies may, but some really do. They assist the golfer with their suggestion about the clubs, share their expertise as a golfer (yes, they need to know one or two about the game), and provide them help in the psychological warfare, on which we’ll talk in a little while.
  4. Along with this, a caddie who is well versed with the player’s game is capable of reminding the player of his weaknesses and strengths regarding a particular shot! This is why a great caddie never goes unnoticed.

  5. Study about the grounds
    The caddies help to prepare the player before the game. In building the strategies on how to go about the game, the caddies compile critical information about the playing grounds. What are the yardages? Where are the landing spots? Are there areas that need to be avoided or double-checked? Where are the slopes? And so many more! All this information forms the basis of the players’ strategy.
  6. Study the distances!
    Caddies are required to provide with the distances. Thus, they should have fair aptitude in calculating the distances in the game. Most of the players heavily rely on the caddie’s judgment regarding this, and hence, it is imperative for them to know the use of markers or instruments if allowed on the field.

The greatest role!

However, when it comes to professional sport, the caddies also serve another role, which is by far denoted as the most significant role. The caddies act as a psychologist during the game. During the immense pressure of the game, a caddie acts as moral support to help the golfer calm down and hold down the reigns. Much more like when thousands of fans cheer you up in the stadium (though sadly, golf does not allow it).

There is no doubt a lot of things can ruin a great shot. A moment of doubt is one thing that definitely won’t set things back on track. It only takes one slight disturbance in a posture to say goodbye to the winning shot.
A caddie typically serves the player for a long time. But, even if not, they are accustomed to the golfer and their way of handling setbacks and accomplishments. Thus, he knows how to prep up the player back into the game so that their game does not suffer in time. This is why the chemistry between the caddie and the player is greatly emphasized.

Each stroke is of great importance when it comes to winning the game. If having a caddy can certainly improve the odds of winning, then there is no harm acknowledging them for the same!

Final words!

Of course, the role of a caddy is often taken out of context and not given much relevance. Though the presence or absence of a caddy on the field may or may not affect the performance, there is no denying they do put invaluable inputs for the game to succeed. This in no way undermines the player, for it all lies in the player’s capability. But a capable caddy can make a decent game out of a moderate player! Thus, it boils down to the capability of a caddy that makes them indispensable.
In short, it is not that the caddies are responsible for the win, but more or less like they are a part of the journey in pushing the player to the win!

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