Caddie a.k.a. "Looper"
What is a caddie, where do they come from and what do they do?
The Rules of Golf describe them as “one who assists the player in accordance with the Rules, which may include carrying or handling the player’s clubs during play.”
A caddie can be many things. Part time psychologist, part time player, part time swing coach, a good listener and one smart enough to say nothing at the appropriate moment.
Caddies are usually independent contractors and not an employee of the club. Many times they may be a friend or acquaintance who volunteered their time to carry the bag. On the professional tours, they may make a very good living as top notch green readers, golf strategists, friendly conversationalists or someone who can calm the nerves. On the other end of the spectrum, the player’s credo to the caddie may be “Show up, keep up and shut up.”
There’s not a lot of glory in being a caddie. If something goes wrong, it’s usually his fault. Mostly likely, the caddie gave a bad club or yardage to the player resulting in a bad score (at least that’s what all the players tell you). However bad it gets, caddies tend to be optimists. After all, generally they are working for tips.
A good caddie can give you tips on playing the course as well as tell you some of the good stories associated with the club making for a very enjoyable round of golf. Conversely, a bad caddie can be a hindrance in slowing things down, talking when he shouldn’t, standing where he shouldn’t and just not connecting with you.
The player is responsible for his caddie. If a caddie infringes a Rule of Golf, the player is the one who incurs the penalty. A direct correlation in the size of the tip!
Caddies perform many tasks besides carrying the player’s clubs and raking the bunkers.
Other acts the caddie may perform (Decision 6-4/10) include:
- Searching for the player’s, opponent’s or fellow competitor’s ball
- Place the player’s clubs in a hazard
- Repair old hole plugs and ball marks
- Remove loose impediments on the line of putt or elsewhere
- Mark the position of the ball, without lifting it
- Remove movable obstructions
Take a look at the caddies at the US Open this weekend. They are the top notch ones who work seamlessly with the players in doing their job. Blending in as if non-existent but playing a big role with the players and the Championship.