A newbie would define a caddie as a person whose work is simply to carry a staff golf bag for a professional golfer and keep an eye on the golf ball. It is true that the aforementioned are part of his role while serving a casual player but there is much to that when it comes to a professional player. A professional caddie is a tremendously significant resource for a professional golfer and their role in the overall win or defeat of the players should never be ignored.
A good caddie is a best friend, a guide, teammate, strategist, and a philosopher who helps a player to make excellent choices that can help in winning a game. The article explores the various functions of a professional caddie and why a pro golfer need their assistance.
Importance of a Caddie: What is the work of a Professional Caddie?
- Carry the bag – A caddie will assist you to carry your golf bag so that you keep the stress off your shoulders, back, and entire body. It can be stressful to carry a heavy bag that is loaded with clubs and other valuables up to the 18th-hole and still be expected to perform better.
- Offer Mental and Moral Support – In a major pro tour, a caddie is a team player and can help the player to make a vital choice whenever he is indecisive. The caddie can give few words to encourage the player such as “Trust the swing” or “This is the best club to use”. In case the player’s adrenaline is pumping hard, then the caddie can help to ensure that the player relaxes so as to avoid making mental errors. The caddie can assist a player to stay positive after suffering from some negative emotions from missed putts or bad shots and regain the confidence they may have had at the beginning of the tournament.
- Clean the Golf Clubs – The golf clubs need to be clean so that they can be in perfect condition while hitting the ball. A pro golfer is required to prepare and focus on winning the game and not cleaning clubs. Thus, a caddie should ensure that the clubs are clean so that the golfer would achieve an ideal hit on the ball.
- Assist in navigating the Golf Course – The golf course is large and can be confusing to a golfer who is not familiar with the course. A caddie has sufficient knowledge and would guide players so that they find their way around a golf course better. Therefore, it is their work to keep you away from dangers and show you the safest route to the greens. Also, they’ll read the green and you will get the best chance to make putts.
- Offer Guidance – A caddie watches the way in which you’re playing and if they observe something you’re not doing correctly, they can highlight it and help you improve. For instance, if they observe something in your swing that you’re not doing correctly, they would be quick to highlight and help you improve.
- Collect Vital Information for Swift Decision Making – A good caddie should check on the direction of the wind and weather patterns. They can identify targets so as to assist a player to make informed choices during a tournament.
Famous Pro Golfers and their caddies
In the golf course, the player is the person who swings the club and hits the ball. However, golfing is more than just taking the hit. It involves emotional control and great focus and this can be achieved when you have a good caddie. The caddie is an essential part of the team and they should be appreciated for contributing to the success of a player. Here is an example of three players and their caddies who have been a great success together.
- Tony Lema after winning British Open in 1964 at St Andrew’s Old Course, he gave much credit to Tip Anderson the Scottish caddie who had helped him win a tournament he had not previously participated.
- Phil Mickelson and Jim Mackay association that began in 1992 and the relationship have remained sturdy even today. Mackay the caddie charts each golf course and he often added minute detail. For instance, he recorded every shot that Mickelson took at Colorado’s Castle Pines Golf Club as they tried figuring out the ways of handling the golf elevation that was a mile above the sea level. In addition, he noted the wind direction and speed, time of day for each shot, and the air temperature. Mickelson won twice the International at Castle Pines.
- Tiger Woods and LaCava is another example of a great relationship between a player and a caddie that has resulted in great success. LaCava has been caddying for Woods ever since 2011 and he has also offered him some advice to break the tension.
How much are Professional Golf Caddies Paid?
Caddies earn differently depending on their level of play. Normally, a caddie can earn anything $1,000 and $2,000 each week. Steve Williams, the New Zealand, and the former caddie for Tiger Woods earned about $1.27 million in 2006 making him the highest paid New Zealand sportsman.
Additionally, caddies earn extra cash from their individual endorsement deals. The caddies must wear logos and bibs with names of the tournament sponsors. The caddies for the big golf players who gain most TV times such as Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson, can make more than $200,000 annually from deals. Caddies of other players can earn up to $50,000 annually from such sponsorship deals.
There is no doubt that a professional golfer requires a professional caddie as they play their game and compete at different levels. A caddie does a lot of work at diverse levels of the golf world. It has been noted that for a casual payer, a caddie would just carry a cheap golf bag and keep their eyes on the ball. In a major pro tour caddie, a caddie is a key member of the team and offers vital support and data that make the distinction between defeat and victory.
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