Golf isn’t a lone sport, nore should it be. There are days where you would prefer to play alone, and other times you’d like to have both company and competent assistance. Some golfers frown upon the idea of employing a caddy, thinking of it as a sign of weakness. “I don’t need a butler to play golf,” they say. But a good caddy is not a butler, and has far more utility to a golfer than they might imagine. If you are considering getting a caddy for the day, especially for the first time, then here are a few tips about how to pick the right one and what to expect.
Knowing the Course
A good golf club won’t let just anybody become a caddy. Most caddies are required to spend years on the course in some capacity before they can be eligible. That is because the caddie’s first job is to know the course well. If you’ve just arrived at the course for the first time, assessing the terrain might be difficult. An experienced caddie will help you assess your position and advise you the optimal line of shot if necessary.
Knowing the Clubs
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. Knowing the terrain is the same as knowing the tools necessary to achieve success on it. A good caddie will always be able to advise you on what golf club to pick in any situation. Undoubtedly you have a good understanding of the iron you’ve brought with you on the day, but your judgement of just how much force the golf ball will need in a specific location might be lacking.
I know, it sounds odd, but it is an important function for a caddy. Newer players and those that have never played outside their home course can easily get discouraged if they can’t make the shots they want. It is in the interests of the club for you to return to the course for another game, and not associate it with a single bad experience you’ve had. A good caddy will reassure you, advise on a strategy, and keep morale high by being more positive than you about the situation.
Knowledge of the Area
You already know that there is so much more to a good golfing experience than just the session. A lot of people dedicate the entire day to a golf outing, which means that there will be plenty of things to consider outside of the greens. You might want to pop by a golfing store, or the finest place to eat, or just find a good spot to take a picture – a caddy should be able to advise you on all of that. If you are polite and generous to your caddy, they will have greater incentive to provide the best assistance next time. Who knows, you may even befriend this person, and be let in on some of the best kept secrets about the course.