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Have you played a round with a Caddie? If so, did you enjoy it?


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So, quite a few years ago I played a round at Bandon and was hesitant and apprehensive about having a caddy walk the course with us.  Had a guy named Kurt (or something similar, as I am very bad with names to the point I couldn't tell the names of a threesome I joined a couple of weeks ago). Anyway, having a caddie was worth every penny I paid that day.  His knowledge of the course, his ability to tell a story with each hole, and the way he was able to judge the character of each member of our foursome was spot on.  And that he carried two bags without once saying a word about how much extra junk my playing partner had in his bloated, oversized "professional issue" bag.  He was able to help me break 90 on the Trails course playing from the Gold tees (instead of the Black), which we played after he and the other caddie talked to us before the round. They wanted to find out how we played normally, what we wanted to accomplish in that round, and how we wanted to remember the round. They suggested that we try the gold tees instead of trying to get the full experience from the black tees as we thought we would do. I noticed as we played that some hazards the black tees would have put into play were gone, but the challenge of the course was still high.  I can't afford to get a caddie every round or even play at a course that offers them, but I would do it again in a heartbeat and really recommend that if you get a chance, try it at least once.

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I caddied as a kid and have played with one but not in some time.  The first time that I ever broke 100 was with a caddie at a course in Spain.  I was 13.  I'd love to say it was the great symbiotic relationship between he and I but we were barely able to communicate between his English and my Spanish - That was a shamed because I could have really used his help reading the greens - I seem to remember a 4 putt on number 1.  🙂

 

Hard to believe that it was over 50 years ago.

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I have played dozens of rounds with caddies, from Pinehurst, Whistling Straits, Torey Pines...etc.  All but one have been an exceptional experience, and the one off wasn't horrible, he was "just ok"

Like you my first round I was a bit nervous and mentioned that to him on the range.   His response is something I have repeated dozens of times to people and their first experience.  He told me, "Hey, I've caddied for players a lot better than you and I've caddied for a whole lot of players much worst than you.  So theres nothing your going to do that I haven't seen before.   Just relax, enjoy playing here (Pinehurst No. 2).    And on my first hole, I hit a beautiful 7 into the middle of the green.  I started to walk away and he said, "Wait, you're going to need this" as he handed me the putter.  That became what I say to this day, the best feeling in golf is walking down the middle of the fairway with your putter in hand!

I have played Whistling Straits Straits course many times and had the same caddie most time. The first ime there he pointed out to me al lthe tees the pros used when they palyed the PGA there in 2004-this was in 2005.  I went back again in 2015 as the were preparing for the PGA and saw the grandsands and all starting to take place. 

I highly recoomend any chance someone can play a round with a caddie to do so. 

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Maybe I'm harsh, but I have only had a couple caddie rounds that I would say I was truly glad they were there.  

By far the best experience was at Bandon as well.  Our guy was just top notch.  Learned our bags and distances very quickly.  Did not step on any toes and had a couple great stories. 

I do know my game fairly well, but enjoy to talk through shots and what type of strategy would be best.  Other caddies have been fairly quiet and tend to just walk ahead of the group. I was looking forward to our caddies at the Ocean Course a month ago, but they were a bit lackluster as well.  I thought with the PGA just recently there, they would have a few cool stories, but mostly talked to each other instead of the people in my group. 

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I caddied at a very nice old money club for about a decade. Having my own caddy for a round is a bucket list item for me., so hopefully someday I'll join a club or play a fancy course that has loopers.

Also if anyone wants to play 'ask a caddie' you can drop me questions in the thread.

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I caddied some as a teenager, but I haven't played with a caddy myself (yet). Even though I've done it, it would be hard to get used to - I'm not good enough. I still get a little uneasy on the first tee in a crowd of friends, can’t imagine having a stranger watching every shot up close, even a clearly well intended stranger like a caddy.

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It's sublime.

I caddied as a kid and loved it as a way to make some cash.  As an adult with an income, it's a rare treat and I would equate it to eating at a fine restaurant.  

If money were no object and I belonged to a club that had them, I would take a caddy nearly every time.

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47 minutes ago, bens197 said:

It's sublime.

I caddied as a kid and loved it as a way to make some cash.  As an adult with an income, it's a rare treat and I would equate it to eating at a fine restaurant.  

If money were no object and I belonged to a club that had them, I would take a caddy nearly every time.

 

... I play with a guy out here in Phoenix that moved from LA and his wife caddies for him every single round. She loves the game but gets very frustrated playing so she pushes Ricks cart, cleans his clubs, gets his yardages and replaces his divots. She likes the exercise and enjoys being outdoors. One day as we were getting ready to tee off I handed her a $100 bill and said she would be caddying for me today. Rick just laughed and said "Trust me, she costs a LOT more than that!"  🤣  I thought I had it made walking with a remote cart but having your wife caddy for you and enjoy it is about as good as it gets. 

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Just twice, and I did enjoy it! The courses mandated the use of caddies, so I didn’t have a choice, but both guys were really good, and really fun.

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Have not played one but really want to. Just for the experience anyway.

Should be getting out to TPC this year and I believe they have them there

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4 hours ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

 Just relax, enjoy playing here (Pinehurst No. 2).    And on my first hole, I hit a beautiful 7 into the middle of the green.  I started to walk away and he said, "Wait, you're going to need this" as he handed me the putter.  That became what I say to this day, the best feeling in golf is walking down the middle of the fairway with your putter in hand.

I didn't mention that in my original post, but each time I hit the green, he would hand me my putter and tell me, "Keep that shot in mind as you walk to the green like a pro."  Jeez, you cold have seen my smile from Eugene each time.

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  • 1 month later...

I have several times and really enjoyed each experience.    Well worth the money.   One of the more enjoyable times was having a LPGA caddy go around Fallen Oak in Biloxi, MS with me for two rounds.   His girl was not playing that week and he went over to Fallen Oak to make some money.    The stories I heard about his years as a pro-jock alone were worth the price.   

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First time ever in May on my Scotland trip with @GolfSpy Barbajo and a cast of thousands (okay six others...) mostly from this forum.  (Don't know all the usernames, my bad.)  The first day we didn't have caddies, but the second day was North Berwick, and of course we did.  My guy was just "eh", not terrible, but not exactly Jim Mackay either, and when we were done and I'd paid him 100 pounds I though "That's it?".  A little underwhelmed.  The next day we played Dunbar, and I was paired with this beauty.  He was wearing bib #6 (my fav number) and when I asked him his name he replied "Alan".  That's also my name.  Love at first sight, and we had a great day.  All of our caddies after that were wonderful, including Stevie who forecaddied for us at the Castle course in St Andrews and caddies in the Summer at Oakland Hills.  "It's a caddies' life for me!!"  I also was apprehensive about having a caddie along, judging my swing, etc. but as has been said, they've seen better and worse, and their object is to make you play as well as possible and have a great day.  Can't wait to do it again.  John:  When are we going back??

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On 5/9/2022 at 1:46 PM, DiscipleofPenick said:

Also if anyone wants to play 'ask a caddie' you can drop me questions in the thread.

Being the traditionalist as I am... I wish more courses/clubs offered the opportunities for young people interested in golf to earn some money, and being exposed to the game.  Interesting that I happened upon this thread today... just yesterday I was thinking about developing a caddy program at my club.  It isn't something that the club would take on (I don't think) but maybe they would let me manage a small group of willing, and strong backed young adults to give our members the caddy experience.  Anyway, it was a fleeting thought yesterday, but now I'm thinking about it again.

So... DoP - being an experienced caddie... what would you suggest to make an ad-hoc program like this successful?  What are the good's and bad's that you experienced in your years looping?

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I just had my first loop with a caddy. It had some Pros and Cons. I was given a caddy that had senior stitched on his bib which I assume meant  he passed what ever tests he had to take or had enough rounds under his belt.  Our foresome was riding carts and the caddy gave us tips on where to place shots, gave us yardage, lay up spots, ran ahead and tracked balls, and found them in the rough for you. The hard part was watching someone else rake the traps for you and fix your divots. This was all great but!

I was better at reading putts. I listened twice and it cost me two strokes. At that point I checked the confirmation ask off my list.  The next issue was layup yardage. Once he gave me a distance to trouble and said hit your 150 club. I did and it went into the pond. Should have played 140. The second time he said hit 200 yards off the tee. I hit my 5 wood 200 yards. So I hit it and it wound up in deep stuff at the end of the fairway just before the creek. So from then on I deducted 10 yards from all his suggestions and was fine. He was a great kid but I think someone more seasoned would have been better considering it was my first time with a caddy.

I think one caddy for four people might not be good for some caddies. You can't really learn your player not to mention 4 players at the same time. Maybe some might be better than others but who knows your game better than you do.

For a high end course I never played it was good to have a caddy. Course knowledge is great to have at your disposal. Got to hear some stories about the course and what the tour players did from certain locations which was nice. 

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Played with a caddy at 3 US Open venues and I would not say I enjoyed it. While they were very helpful, I was a bit nervous and the entire time I felt like they were judging every shot and thinking to themselves "How the hell did I get teamed up with this guy?"

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16 hours ago, Tiftaaft said:

Being the traditionalist as I am... I wish more courses/clubs offered the opportunities for young people interested in golf to earn some money, and being exposed to the game.  Interesting that I happened upon this thread today... just yesterday I was thinking about developing a caddy program at my club.  It isn't something that the club would take on (I don't think) but maybe they would let me manage a small group of willing, and strong backed young adults to give our members the caddy experience.  Anyway, it was a fleeting thought yesterday, but now I'm thinking about it again.

So... DoP - being an experienced caddie... what would you suggest to make an ad-hoc program like this successful?  What are the good's and bad's that you experienced in your years looping?

There's a few things the club can do to make sure there's a successful caddy program. I'll just bullet point things to keep it simple. And there's no particular order to these as I'm just writing them as they pop into my head. Also the course I caddied at had a long standing caddy program. My dad actually caddied at the same course in the 50s & 60s.

-Have a proper caddy shack for guys to hang out in. Sat & Sun morning we all congregated at the first tee because everyone got a loop on weekend mornings. But on slower weekday's there needs to be somewhere out of sight of the members. Our shack was in the woods off the 15h hole which was just down the hill from the clubhouse. We also had our own separate parking lot there.

-Make sure there's a place for guys to get a snack/drink and use the bathroom. Obviously not allowed in the clubhouse, but we could use the patio/halfway house bathroom and at least get a hot dog and nuts/chips/cookies from the patio grill. The course only charged us $1 per item cash. 

-The pros need to support the program as much as the members. Caddies take away from their cart revenue, but if the pro is seen using a caddy, members will follow suit. With that being said, encourage all the membership to use caddies. Outside of the invitational & club champ, I very rarely caddied for the women. But when I did I actually liked it. They didn't hit the ball far enough to lose it, I didn't have to hustle to forecaddy on most holes, and they took the game less seriously so they would joke more with me.

-Have defined roles between the caddies and the other club staff. Our veteran caddies would get a little testy if bag boys or valets would try to come down to the yard on their off days. There is politics in the caddy yard, you gotta prove yourself to the other guys. Not just on the course working with them, but also being a decent guy to hang out with while waiting for a loop. You can get a bit of an education in the yard if you have good people.

-Carry over days. The caddy master didn't institute this till my last few years, but it was a great help during the week. So on weekends, our master made sure the top guys got out first. But during the week, it was first come, first out. We knew most loops wouldn't be till after lunch starting around 1, but guys would start showing up at 10ish to get their name on the top of the list. But let's say you got there a little late on a Wednesday and missed the loop. Your name would go to the top of the list for Thursday. It was nice to know that you could take a little more time, or sleep in, or go golf yourself, show up around noon, and be guaranteed a loop that day. It really balanced everything and kept loops equal.

-Don't do caddy grades. Our club tried this and got rid of it after one season. A bunch of guys got graded lower than they thought because "we can't have everyone be AA caddies". So now their stuck making less per bag than other guys and it's kind of arbitrary or unfair. That and members don't really pay attention to it.

-Make sure members know how to use caddies and work with them. If I had one guy in the fairway and another in the woods, it would drive me crazy when the fairway guy would hit his second shot but not let me hand him his wedge or putter and then went and stood next to the green with his hands on his hips waiting for me while I search for balls and/or help the other player take 3 more shots to get out of jail and up to the green. And if there's a longer walk on a forecaddy hole, let the kid get out there before you tee off. Don't complain about lost balls when you don't give the caddy a chance to see your tee shots.

-A pet peeve of mine was when I was the only caddy in the foursome, the other two guys on a cart. And they expected me to rake their traps, clean their balls, get their yardages etc. And if I didn't do that all the time they would complain to the caddy master or not tip me. #1 I'm not carrying your bag you're not my responsibility. #2 I'm still tending the flag, watching your drives, giving you yardages on par 3s or when I can. And yea, I would take care of your trap if I had a chance. Don't refuse a caddy then expect me to have time to take care of you as well. Cart chasing a 4some was different, then you were expected to take care of everyone. But that wasn't as hard because I wasn't carrying bags. You just had to stay in front of the group.

 

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21 hours ago, MGoBlue100 said:

First time ever in May on my Scotland trip with @GolfSpy Barbajo and a cast of thousands (okay six others...) mostly from this forum.  (Don't know all the usernames, my bad.)  The first day we didn't have caddies, but the second day was North Berwick, and of course we did.  My guy was just "eh", not terrible, but not exactly Jim Mackay either, and when we were done and I'd paid him 100 pounds I though "That's it?".  A little underwhelmed.  The next day we played Dunbar, and I was paired with this beauty.  He was wearing bib #6 (my fav number) and when I asked him his name he replied "Alan".  That's also my name.  Love at first sight, and we had a great day.  All of our caddies after that were wonderful, including Stevie who forecaddied for us at the Castle course in St Andrews and caddies in the Summer at Oakland Hills.  "It's a caddies' life for me!!"  I also was apprehensive about having a caddie along, judging my swing, etc. but as has been said, they've seen better and worse, and their object is to make you play as well as possible and have a great day.  Can't wait to do it again.  John:  When are we going back??

Dunbar_Alan.jpg

 

@MGoBlue100- I'm ready already. That's the thing about Scotland - as soon as you leave you can't wait to get back. I'd go back to the Ducks in a heartbeat and hit Dunbar, North Berwick and the Renaissance again in a heartbeat. 

I was happy with my caddies at each stop. Mike at North Berwick was a great guy and kept admiring my Pebble Beach putter head cover and told me he played it on his honeymoon many years ago. So in addition to his tip I wound up giving him the head cover (it gave me a reason to buy a new one from North Berwick). He sent me a nice email afterwards - so I hope we can hook up again when we go back. Mike C from our group was lucky enough to run into Steve as he was getting ready to tee off at the Old Course Friday and arranged to team up with him for the round, which worked out great. And spending two days with the incomparable Laurence Gray (one round with Mike, one round with me) and listening to his stories was one of the highlights of the trip. He had many NSFW stories about Greg Norman!!

I'd say the caddies we had a Streamsong were so-so, and one guy was very much upfront about what he expected for a tip. We had excellent caddies at Sand Valley and the caddie I had at Pebble could read greens like no one I've ever seen. Will be visiting Whistling Straits in July, so we'll see how they stack up. 

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What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  :titelist-small:TSi3  
FW Wood: PXG Gen4 2-wood
Hybrids:  PXG Gen4 18-degree
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*
Irons:; PXG 0211; :Hogan: Pro Combo; :benhogan-small:FTX Combo;:benhogan-small:'99 Apex Plus; :benhogan-small:'99 Apex blades; :macgregor-small: 2010 VIP irons; :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; 

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: RTZ ZipCore: :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60
Putter: :scotty-small: Newport Special Select;  :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8; :wilson-small: Buckingham; MATI Monto

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X; :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV; :wilson-small: Triad

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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I just got back from my bucket list trip to Pebble.  We played Spyglass, Pebble and Spanish Bay and I used the same caddy for all 3 rounds.  Definitely was worth the money, just from the local knowledge, green reading, shot placement etc.  Made a great experience even better and I know I scored better due to Paddy the Caddy.  I'd highly recommend using a caddy for any special rounds such as mine at Pebble.  I've had caddies at other courses such as Bluejack outside of Houston, Champions in Houston, etc and have always enjoyed it and benefited.  

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SIM2 autoflex 505

Ping G410 5 wood

Ping G410 7 & 9 woods 

Titleist T100S 6-gap

Vokey SM8  54

Sub70 JB low bounce 58 or SM8 58*

PXG Operator H 

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I played Pacific Dunes in Bandon and had a mini-tour player (off season) as my caddy.  He was awesome.  Read my greens and was spot on (sadly, my putt wasn't always up to the task but his read was excellent).  He quickly knew my yardages and gave me great advice for club selection, aim point, wind, etc.  He was actually carrying two bags, mine and a playing partner's.  My playing partner was a mid 20s handicap player, I was an 8.  Although the caddy was there for the other player, it was evident that he was paying closer attention to my game as he led me to shooting a 78 for the round.  I was ecstatic with my round and I know there was no way that I could have shot even within 5-10 strokes of that score without his guidance.  It was a guy's trip to Bandon with 24 or so players.  I was the medalist for the day and won most of the bets that day.  (Day 2 of our trip was rained out, so we only got in the one round). I tipped the caddy very well!

More recently, I played Lochinvar Golf Club in Houston and we had a fore-caddy for our foursome for 3 days of play (2 of the 3 rounds was the same caddy). He would ride out ahead of us each hole to watch for our balls and then would assist us on the greens.  It was not near the experience that I had at Bandon so many years ago, but it was helpful on the greens.  He was very familiar with the slope, grain, and speed of the greens.

 

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Driver: :callaway-small: Rogue ST Max (10.5* set at N) -- Mitsubishi Tensai Blue 55g R shaft

Fairway: :callaway-small: Rogue ST Max 3 wood (16.5*)-- Mitishibishi Tensai Blue 55g R shaft

Hybrids: :taylormade-small: M6 3,4, and 5 -- Fujikura Atmos R shaft

Irons:  :callaway-small: Apex CF19 6-9, PW, AW -- KBSTour Graphite  70g shafts R +1/2 inch 3* up

Wedges: :cleveland-small: CBX2  56* and 60* True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge shaft

Putter: :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7S

Ball:  Maxfli TourX

Golf Bag: :ping-small: Pioneer 

:Arccos: 

My Photography can be seen at Smugmug

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