I’m not sure I quite understand just how important caddies are to tour players. In my long illustrious career as an amateur golfer, I’ve probably only used a caddy a handful of times. This is partly why I am so excited for the release of iCaddy (www.icaddy.com). An app for Google Glass that does everything a real caddy would for you in the convenience of your glasses 🙂
In my younger days I spent a summer or two as a caddy at Huntington Country Club, a private course on Long Island, where members typically knew the course better than the caddies themselves. Helping find errant golf shots, read the occasional tricky putt, and of course tending the pin, were really our most crucial tasks. However, for a caddy on tour, its way more involved. Knowing the course yardages inside and out, distances to hazards, slope of fairways & greens, the list goes on and on. These are all prerequisites for a job carrying a bag on tour.
Lydia Ko with Caddy
Don’t believe me..? Just listen to Lydia Ko, of the LPGA, describe her relationship to her caddy;
“Half of my actual shots are pretty much now my caddy Louis’s thoughts. He’s like, Okay, hit it over there,” and I hit it there. And that’s been working so far. He’s the more creative one at the moment.”
That’s a pretty amazing statement if you think about it.
Should I stay or should I go……..
On the flip side, every now and then a caddy needs to go! Sayonara! Take Jessica Korda who fired her caddy after nine holes at U.S. Women’s Open. The switch to her boyfriend paid dividends. After shooting 5 over on the front nine, Korda was 1 under for the remainder of play. She finished with a 76 and was tied for sixth at 1 over, 11 strokes behind leader Inbee Park.
Korda puts her boyfriend on the bag
“The first few holes I was very shaky, but my boyfriend/caddie kept me very calm out there and kept it very light,” Korda said. “And it was kind of funny seeing him fumble over yardage.”
Bubba Watson recently blew up on his caddy Ted Scott for a miss-clubbing, which cost Bubba several strokes at the past weeks Travelers Open. The stakes are huge out there on tour, the margin for error so minute, it’s natural to assume any mistake is going to be scrutinized with a fine comb. Scott and Bubba have a long history, and apparently Scott has threatened to walk off the bag if Watson didn’t improve his attitude out on the course. Watson and Scott eventually went on to win the Masters after years of perseverance and “relationship” management.
Bubba and Caddy Ted Scott
One thing is clear, a player’s caddy is way more involved in the outcome of an event than meets the eye. Despite being billed as an individual sport, golf at the tour level, is a partnership between a player and his caddy. May the best duo prevail, even if your second half is a pair of glasses 🙂