Have you ever wanted to be the brain and muscle behind success? Then as a golf enthusiast, you are asking how to become a golf caddy. Because caddying is a more intense task that merely carrying around some clubs. A caddy manages clubs, expectations and the club swinger. You have to be a kingmaker to totally understand the role. You will hold all key pieces of information regarding the course, the clubs and the golfer. You get to strategize how to beat the challenges of the golf course and keep the golfer psyched for victory. If you like travelling and connecting with people, golf caddying is as exciting a job as that of the professional golfer.
Caddying is an opportunity to the live the game of golf without fretting about wearing full pants on PGA tours or your swing speed. This guide will tell you how to become a caddy and live the golf life.
What Do You Need?
- A serious golfer’s golf bag: The primary job of a golf caddy is to stock up and arrange the golf bag. Find a friend or acquaintance who plays golf and check out their bag.
- All golf-related information: Sports magazines, TV, websites the whole arsenal. This is to learn as much about golf as possible.
- Rented/Second hand golf clubs: Rent golf kits at a local golf club or buy the basic clubs second-hand and practice the game to get practical training.
- Course maps: You need information about the layout, nature and distances of the local golf course and nearby courses which host known golf tournaments.
- Contact Information: You need to get in touch with local country clubs and tournament organizers once you start putting yourself out there as an available caddy.
- Rule books: You have to go through the rule books of the major tournaments. The golf caddy needs to know the rules of the tournaments inside out where he’s caddying.
- Raincoat: While the player will fend for himself, you should have a raincoat too, so that you don’t get drenched in the rain while loading and closing the golf bag once the rain hits.
- Sunscreen: You will be accompanying the golfer every step of the golf course. You need to be covered against damage from the UV rays of the sun. A sunscreen with 50+ SPF would be a good choice.
- Hat/Visor: Hats keep the sun out of your face and eyes. There’s only so much a sunscreen can do. Advice your golfer as well to wear one of the best golf hats.
Step By Step Instructions:
1. Know Golf:
Start by gathering information. A golf caddy doesn’t just know golf . She/He knows all about it: the clubs, the process, the trivia, the mistakes that a golfer or caddy can make. Use this time to learn comprehensively what basic duties a golf caddy has. Also learn how they can help golfers beyond these obvious services. Talk to experienced caddies after small tournaments and learn what they do for their players. Make sure to learn about golf etiquettes and club rules. Also read up on how to maintain golf clubs.
2. Golf Bag:
Learn to arrange the golf bag. The golf bag is entirely a golf caddy’s responsibility. From organizing it to carrying it, it is completely your domain. Make sure you pack the yardage book, sunscreen, extra gloves, umbrella, raincoats for both you and the player, towels and first aid kit. The golfer is responsible for checking his bag but the caddy makes the final assessment. This is clear from the famous case of Ian Woosman. 10 minutes into a shining performance at the 2001 Open Championship at the Royal Lytham, his caddy found that there were one too many clubs in his golf bag. There were 15 golf clubs where there should have been only 14. And Woosnam paid the price with penalty and his shot at winning the Claret Jug.
3. Professional Training:
You can sign up for Caddy training with the Professional Caddies association. There are many websites and associations providing training and certifications, but PCA is reliable. They give you hands-on training on being a golf caddy. You even get to shadow professionals and see how the pressure of a competitive tournament is handled.
4. Practice Caddying:
Get out on the course to practice your caddying skills. Be an early bird an offer to caddy for the morning golfers. Build a rapport with them and learn the mindset of different golfers. Offer your caddying services to your gramps or other acquaintances and learn about the golf course and club rules. Talk to the club officials and make friends with golfers looking for caddies.
5. Be Attentive:
Take every round as a golf caddy seriously. Observe the quirks and needs of the golfer. Ask and figure out what you can do to make her/his experience better. Keep your eyes on the movement of golf balls. Keeping in mind the golf etiquettes, rake the sand bunker after your golfer takes his shot. Learn the club guidelines on repairing divots and do it after your golfer takes a shot. Make sure you clean her/his clubs after every shot before lodging it back in the bag.
6. Be Attentive:
Groom the golfer: Keep the golfer in top condition while caddying. Remind her/him to take the liquids to stay hydrated. Also tell them to apply sunscreen from time to time. Check if they need to replace their gloves. Don’t disrupt their game with these questions. Be discreet. Also remember to stay hydrated and sun-protected yourself. A caddy will be her/his golfer’s closest confidante on the course. So you they to be present for the golfer in good health.
7. Practice Golf:
You don’t need to aim for record golf handicaps. But technical knowledge of the game helps you advise your golfer better. And you will have better handle on their arguments during discussion.
8. Learn The Golf Courses:
Once you have practiced well at the local course, travel to nearby golf courses which host tournaments. As a golf caddy, you should know these courses better than your mother knows you. Wind patterns, hazards, distances all help you strategize and provide valuable information and participate in decision making with the golfer.
9. Scout For Opportunities:
Get in touch with the hosting committees of mini golf championships close-by and get associated with them. Most golfers change caddies with every event. Don’t hesitate for the lack of experience. Many golfers depend on their caddies only for carrying the bags. You can start with them and see if you can work in the pressurized environment and want to make career out of it.
10. Work the way up/Network:
Work through small tournaments before you hit the big leagues. Communicate with and befriend your fellow caddies and their golfers. Keep hunting for opportunities.
Be confident while asserting yourself to the player. This helps them with decision making. Stay staunch if your golfer is having a rough patch. He/she needs all the encouragement they can get on the golf course. A bad mindset can quickly degrade the golfer’s game. As the famous Harvey Specter says “Don’t play the odds. Play the man.” Only a caddy can help the golfer redeem his game from a low point. Since your earnings and reputation depends on your golfer’s performance, lobby hard to keep her/him positive.
Learn the rules of the tournament. The golfer is going to turn to his caddy for rules during a conflict. And you should be able to help her/him use the rules to aid the game. Jerry Rice got disqualified from a nation-wide event after his caddie used a rangefinding scope for yardages. This was against the rules and the caddy was blissfully unaware. Make sure you don’t make caddy mistakes.
Learn about the latest technology for the golf course. Smartphone apps, golf GPS and golf metrics analyzers are innovating by the minute. A caddy needs to keep abreast of the developments to stay on top of the game.
The job of a golf caddy is highly nuanced and requires more than just basic, repetitive skills. Many of us root for the game but might not have the skills to swing a club. Caddying gets you inside the elite circle of golfing with a different set of skills. It takes exceptional patience to be a golf caddy. It has many roles packed into one. This guide on how to become a golf caddy brings all the stakes and information to the table. We are trying to give the interested folks a gentle nudge in the right direction. It is also to lay bare the fact that there’s nothing daunting to fear here. Once you get the caddying chops on, you can dive headfirst into it.
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