Golf Magazine

How a Caddie Can Help You During a Golf Tournament

By Golfforbeginners
"Caddies don't win championships, golfers do." What are your thoughts on this statement?
If you were to review the commentary made by C.T. Pan after the Wyndham Championship, basically that caddies should "show up, keep up and shut up", you would be missing out on an opportunity to learn a great deal about the game of golf. Pan was joking, of course, but, having his wife (an inexperienced caddie) on the bag was probably not the best idea when it came to winning or losing the tournament.
Been asked by many questions about my caddie (wife) last week. Would like to answer them all in this post 1. She is retired from caddying 😆 and ended her career on a high note. 2. I have a caddy for the next couple events. Thank you for all the offering. — C.T. Pan (@ctpangolf) August 20, 2018
There are mixed thoughts on the roles that caddies should play in the game of golf. Bobby Jones, one of my favorite golfers, was not a proponent of caddies being a major part of his round, saying, "If I needed advice from my caddie, he'd be hitting the shots and I'd be carrying the bag."

Video producer Dan Jenkins was quoted with a similar sentiment about caddies, "If a caddie can help you, you don't know how to play golf."

Lawrence Donegan, a Guardian newspaper golf correspondent, admits that some caddies are good, "and some are bad." Good caddies are like psychologists during a tournament, helping with mood, club selection and reading the greens.

Caddies must have some worth to a golfer (aside from carrying clubs) as some make as much as ten percent of a player's purse!
Caddies are a breed of their own. If you shoot 66, they say, "Man, we shot 66!" But go out and shoot 77, and they say "Hell, he shot 77!"  ...Lee Trevino

From counseling on the mental game to advising which golf club is best to use in different situations, a caddie who knows your game can go a long way during eighteen holes of a tournament.
James Y. Bartlett, author of the book, "Think Like a Caddie, Play Like a Pro", believes that caddies "serve as a valuable team member to help them make better decisions and achieve the lowest possible score."
If you are offered a caddie during your company event or during an amateur tournament, here are three things to ask before accepting his or her looping ability:
- How often do you play this golf course? If you have never played the course, your caddie will know where the doglegs, and trouble lies!
- How well can you read greens? You may not see where the break is, but, if your caddie regularly plays the course, he/she will know!
- If I give you an idea as to how far I hit my 7-iron (for example...and no fibs on distance as the caddie needs to know the true distance), can you help with proper club selection?
You should know your distances better than a caddie who meets you for the first time but if you are unsure, ask for advice.
When I was invited to play Pebble Beach with the Navy Seals at the Legends Invitational Tournament, I was given a caddie who played the course often and gave me invaluable advice. On the 8th hole at PB, my caddie told me to hit my second shot (over a deep water divide) to the left of where the rest of the group was aiming (because they wanted to make the shot onto the green). I landed safely on the fairway and wound up with a bogey on this very difficult hole while my group's golf balls landed in the ravine.
Final thoughts: Caddies don't judge you - they've seen it all, from bad swings to stressful fits of rage, so asking for advice might be just what you need to improve your round during a golf tournament!
Have you ever employed a caddie? How did he/she help your round? Comments welcome below on this golf blog and tag us with your answers on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

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