What Do Golf Caddies Do?
In the sport of golf, one of the most recognizable positions aside from the golfer themselves is the golf caddie, but what is a caddie, and what are their roles on the golf course? In both professional and amateur settings, one will often see each individual golfer with a caddie to accompany them, usually carrying their bag on the course. However, caddies have a number of other roles besides simply carrying a golf bag, and here, we will take a look at some of them.
What is a Golf Caddie?
In short, the definition of a golf caddie is a person who accompanies one or more golfers on a golf course and whose main responsibility is to carry the golfer or golfers’ bags around, hand them the clubs they intend to use, and return the clubs to the bag after a shot is completed. Caddies exist in both professional and amateur settings, but they are most commonly seen in professional golf, where they are a requirement on circuits such as the PGA Tour.
How Does a Golf Caddie Dress?
Part of the deal of being a golf caddie includes dressing the part, as golf is a very formal sport where appropriate dress is expected and often required. On amateur courses, where the atmosphere is not as formal, both caddies and golfers may occasionally be allowed to dress in casual clothes, although dressing nicely is still a good idea. On high-end and professional courses, however, there is often an expectation that everyone will dress well. Common dress code for caddies includes a collared shirt such as a golf polo, as well as a pair of dress pants or dress shorts.
Other accessories caddies often consider are a sturdy pair of shoes for walking long distances on the course, a hat or cap to shade the eyes, and occasionally a pair of sunglasses. In many professional tournaments, caddies are also required to wear a special garment called a caddie bib, a one-piece garment that goes over the shirt and is typically marked with the logo of the tournament and the player’s name on their back.
What Does a Golf Caddie Do?
Most people are aware of the standard golf caddie duties, such as carrying a golfer’s bags, handing them clubs, and returning the clubs to the bag, but there are many other duties a caddie often performs on the course. For instance, in addition to carrying and giving the golfer their clubs, a caddie will also clean the club after it is used, removing dirt, grass, or sand from the club with their golf towel. Caddies will also clean a golfer’s golf ball, typically when it is on the green and before each new hole. When a golfer hits his ball out of a bunker or sand trap, the caddie is responsible for raking the sand after the golfer leaves the trap, removing footprints and ball marks from the sand.
Another responsibility of golf caddies is judging yardage to the green. Many caddies use devices such as range-finders and yardage books to calculate distance, but most golf courses also have distance markers that caddies can use to inform their golfer of how far away the green is. Caddies are also tasked with replacing or filling any divots or ball marks a golfer makes on the course, such as by finding a piece of disturbed sod after a golfer has dislodged it with their club and replacing it in its former spot. When golfers are on the green, their caddie is responsible for removing and holding the flag, or “pin,” from the hole before a putt is made and may also stand near the hole in order to help the golfer see where it is. The pin must then be replaced after the golfer scores.
Final responsibilities and mannerisms of the caddie relate to aspects of the game of golf such as etiquette, preparedness, and demeanor. Caddies are generally expected to have a good knowledge of golf and of the course being played in order to help advise their golfer on the best shots to make. Caddies should be prepared with all of the necessary items for a round of golf, including a scorecard and pencil, a towel, tees, and spare golf balls, as well as other necessities such as water. Finally, caddies should be careful at all times to follow the rules of etiquette on the golf course, such as staying out of their golfer’s line of sight when they are playing, remaining quiet during a shot, keeping pace with their golfer while walking, and being prepared at all times for any request. Lastly, caddies should remember to be encouraging and positive to their golfers at all times!
Being a golf caddie is a fun way to experience the game of golf, even if you do not necessarily want to be a player. For those with a decent knowledge of the game of golf, caddying is often a fun way to get some exercise and fresh air and comes with a lot of responsibilities that can make one feel valued and respected as a source of knowledge, encouragement, and camaraderie.