If you’re familiar with golf, you might be wondering why do golfers need caddies? (we answer that below) For those of you new-ish to golf: have you ever watched a golf tournament on television and wondered who the person walking along with the golfer is? Chances are, this person is hauling a golf bag and you may see them conversing with the golfer. This is the golfer’s caddy.
But why do golfers need caddies? Golfers don’t need caddies, but the caddy performs a very important job. They work directly with the golfer during the round of golf and offer advice and/or moral support. Caddies are also responsible for carrying the golfer’s equipment and keeping everything running smoothly.
Stick around though, because we dig deep into caddies, the duties they perform, and likely what you’re all here for: why do professional golfers need caddies? What do they know that I don’t?!
What is a Golf Caddy?
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, let’s get a brief overview of what a caddy is. A golf caddy carries the golfer’s bag and equipment and gives advice if asked. The caddy will advise the golfer on things such as weather variables, calculate the distance the ball needs to go and may advise which golf club to use for a specific shot. There are a couple of different types of golf caddies – traditional caddies and fore-caddies. Each plays a different role, but, for both, their main objective is to help the golfer’s game run as smoothly as possible.
Why do Golfers Need the Caddy?
I would say a golfer doesn’t exactly need a golf caddy. Plenty of golfers carry their own equipment, but it’s definitely preferable to have one. As we discussed, the golf caddy basically acts as the golfer’s right hand man throughout the round of golf.
Say a golfer is at a hole and needs to quickly calculate the distance and angle that they need to hit the ball. Oftentimes, the caddy will be asked to perform this task. Using knowledge of the course (and sometimes technological aids), the caddy is able to advise the golfer of what they need to do. This can help a golfer tremendously in terms of making their shot and helping them play through the hole at a faster pace.
Caddies are also responsible for making sure the golfer’s equipment is clean. The caddy will wipe the golf clubs off after a shot. The caddy will also clean off the golf ball if it has become soiled during play. Caddies will rake the sand traps, watch where the ball is hit and repair the ball marks and divots the golfer may leave behind. This saves the golfer time as they don’t have to stop and perform these menial tasks while also trying to concentrate on their game.
The golf caddy does so much more than what we usually see at home on television. Golfers benefit from having a caddy along with them because the caddy makes sure the golfer is well hydrated, and really takes care of the golfer in a sense while they are on the course.
Many golfers appreciate having someone along to help take some of the load off and someone who knows what to say and when to say it and sometimes when not to say anything at all. This makes the round fun and relaxing. Being on the course for much of the day, it is important that the golfer and caddy get along well. It’s not always just about golf, the caddy also becomes a great companion for the golfer.
Caddies are absolutely indispensable to a golfer. The caddies are required to be familiar with the course (knowing where the out-of-bounds markers are, knowing where hazards are, etc.). This is extremely helpful, especially to a golfer who has never played on a particular course before.
Professional Golfers and Caddies
Especially for a professional golfer, a great caddy can be a friend as well as a reliable guide.
Most professional golfers will hire one caddy for the entire season. This helps them to build a relationship and the caddy gets to know the player’s techniques and strengths as well as their weaknesses. This partnership is imperative in helping golfers achieve their goals for the season.
Getting to know the golfer will help the caddy provide the appropriate support on the course. If the player has hit a few bad shots and beginning to lose their confidence, the caddy can step in and offer some encouraging words to help the golfer regroup. Likewise, if a golfer is having doubts about the selection of a particular club for a shot, the caddy is there to reassure or offer an alternative option. All in all, caddies are more involved than we would think.
Being a caddy for a professional golfer isn’t all glamour though. Typically, caddies do not have any kind of written agreement with the player they are working for. This basically means that a player can decide the caddy isn’t a good fit and the caddy can be let go at any time, for any reason. Once this happens, it can be very difficult for a caddy to pick up more work with a new player.
Caddies are paying their own way to get to all of the tournaments, food, lodging, etc. and their paychecks are usually tied to the performance of the player. This usually means that the caddy plays an especially important role in making sure the player does well so that they will both benefit.
Conclusion: Why do Golfers Need Caddies?
Again, a golfer does not absolutely have to have a caddy to accompany them on the course, but there are many great reasons for a golfer to have a caddy. Some of the caddy’s duties include, but are not limited to:
- Moral support
- Club advice
- Weather updates
- Distance assistance
- Carrying and cleaning the equipment
A day on the golf course can be long and tense if you’re going it alone. Having a caddy along for a round of golf can ultimately can make the day a more stress-free and enjoyable experience for the golfer.