I don’t have much experience as far as being a Caddy, but I do have a few friends that do it for a living. Being that I’m usually the one with the caddy, I just never understood how hard it actually was. My few instances of doing it was for friends or I was a fill-in for someone when they couldn’t make it.
My most memorable time was when I looped for Steve Pate. I met him before that so when my buddy that was his normal caddy got sick one day, I told him I would do it for him and Steve said that was fine. The preparation for the next day (since this was a Monday qualifier) was insane. Steve is pretty laid back so he would just laugh at all the little mistakes I did.
The qualifier was at Industry Hills in California. If you’ve played that course, you will know how hard it is to walk, especially for me since I used to basically spend all of my time in a cart. I remember when Steve would hit it in a bunker – which happened like 5 times that round – I would of course have to rake it. By the time I finished raking it, Steve would be almost at his shot waiting for me to catch up. I seriously caught myself running at times just to keep up.
What I’m trying to say is, if you are not a normal caddy, you just don’t have the timing down. It’s like knowing when to hold the flag or give the flag to another caddy. I had no idea that since your guy is last to putt out you go take the flag from the caddy that was holding it before. A few guys actually made a joke of it all day, and they would hold the flag on purpose to see if I would remember. Or they would stare at me when I was suppose to give it to them. It was funny after but I felt stupid at the time.
The best example of the above was Bobby Clampett’s caddy was doing his normal stare, Steve had already putted out, and I was just kicking back waiting for Bobby to putt out. He had a terrible first putt that went more than 10 feet by, took about 2 minutes for his next putt, and knocked it in. I put the flag back in, look around, no Steve! Everyone is laughing at me and I’m just thinking “what the heck’s so funny, where did Steve go?”
They say “He’s probably on the next tee” I speed walk to the next tee and I see Steve laying on the ground basically sleeping. He looks up at me and says “Brad, never quit your day job” and everyone of course laughs at me. So, what do I do? (this is still the practice round) He asks me how far it is to clear the water – which is 170 – and I tell him it was 160 so he asks for a 7 Iron, I give him an 8 and he comes up at least 25 yards short lol. The whole group laughed their asses off and from that point on, I started to feel more comfortable and started keeping up.
The next day at the actual tournament, things went really well. I finally knew how to keep up, when to do something and when not to do something. Steve knew I just didn’t have it in me to Caddy. He was right, I felt I should be out there playing instead of carrying a bag. But it was still a great experience and one I’ll always remember since I’ve looked up to him since I started playing golf.
Day in the Life of a Caddy will come soon but involve some of my good friends that do it full time. They may even chime in on here from time to time, so look out for the blog series “Day in the Life”