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Do pros rely too much on their caddies?


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So I was just watching the latest Euro tour event, and the guy in the lead (by 3 shots) had an easy pitch to the green on 18, but for some reason, found it necessary to consult with his caddie.  What the hell could they possibly have been discussing?  All he had to do was pitch it onto the middle of the green.  Likelihood he would 5-putt from anywhere on the green had to be nil.  To me, one of he quickest ways they could speed up the game is to allow rangefinders/gps and allow caddies to consult only on putts and chips.  I mean, it's just ridiculous to me that a pro golfer would need to consult with his caddie on a pitch to the last hole with a three shot lead.

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Tiger could have had Stevie Wonder as a caddy, and his career would have been way better than Pavin, Boros, and Watkins combined. 

I have to say this.  Please don’t take any personal insult from it. But.    the idea that you cannot understand what a pro in the lead is talking about , isn’t a shock.     and I must as

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29 minutes ago, jordan2240 said:

So I was just watching the latest Euro tour event, and the guy in the lead (by 3 shots) had an easy pitch to the green on 18, but for some reason, found it necessary to consult with his caddie.  What the hell could they possibly have been discussing?  All he had to do was pitch it onto the middle of the green.  Likelihood he would 5-putt from anywhere on the green had to be nil.  To me, one of he quickest ways they could speed up the game is to allow rangefinders/gps and allow caddies to consult only on putts and chips.  I mean, it's just ridiculous to me that a pro golfer would need to consult with his caddie on a pitch to the last hole with a three shot lead.

 

Possibly, but they are very dependent on caddies for yardage, layout, and club selection now. 
 

I saw this Golf Films show on GC and they were interviewing Steve Williams. He said during a tournament on Sunday he would see TW getting more and more pumped up and hitting it farther and farther.
 

He would actually start to give TW “fake yardage”. Like tell him it was 155 yards to pin instead on 165. In one example, it was an approach shot over a green side bunker that, had it been short, would have left TW scrambling instead of a birdie opp.

 

This was on Sunday on the back nine of a close PGA Championship as I recall.

Edited by bscinstnct
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Mmmmmm. Routine? Wind concerns? Tough pin? Guy in the group before found the drink, guy in his group found the drink on his second from 165.

 

He said they played with a 2 1/2 club wind today.

 

Maybe he just wanted to settle himself and not screw up and win the tournament, which he did.  That group played in right after the group ahead got off the green on a good pace, in fact they played so fast I didn't have time to run out and microwave my coffee that had gone cold watching the last few holes.  

 

And he had a one shot lead, not three - hole wasn't over.

 

There was nothing ridiculous about it, IMO.

Edited by Hawkeye77
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Player wants to put the caddie through his paces so the next time they are in a similar position but the lead is 1 then they are better prepared to work together in the situation. 
 

I also don’t understand the hand wringing over tour golf pace of play. Are we wanting the guys on TV to play faster?  If so - What for?

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NO. Winning is hard. Even the best need help in one form or another. 

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The player may not always know how much of a lead they have either. A lot of pros talk about not watching the leaderboard and playing their own game no matter the circumstances, which they should all do. 

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14 minutes ago, jordan2240 said:

Maybe not watching the same tourney, as the winner won by 4 strokes ultimately.

LOL, got Crocker and Schaper transposed so yes, leading by three looking at a shot to a tough pin, over water, 2 1/2 club wind, chance for huge win in his career and he had a brief exchange with his caddie before hitting his approach.  So what's your point?

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3 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

I have to say this.  Please don’t take any personal insult from it. But. 
 

the idea that you cannot understand what a pro in the lead is talking about , isn’t a shock.  
 

and I must ask.  What’s the hurry?  If I’m 5 clear pitching on the last , I maybe having a conversation about lunch with  my caddie. Or what ballgame is on tonight.  
 

I find it hilarious that in today’s cart golf world , pace of play by pros on TV is a concern.   

Yep, or something you say or do tips off your caddie he or she needs to step in and get you breathing, etc.

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51 minutes ago, golfandfishing said:

Player wants to put the caddie through his paces so the next time they are in a similar position but the lead is 1 then they are better prepared to work together in the situation. 
 

I also don’t understand the hand wringing over tour golf pace of play. Are we wanting the guys on TV to play faster?  If so - What for?

 

My guess is,  'wanting the guys on TV to play faster' is simply because there's a heck of a lot of weekend warriors out there emulating the guys on the tube with their KPMG,  UPS,  WheelsUP logos taking 7 minutes to get their blue and red lines matched up from putter to golf ball (oh soo accurate) towards the target line.  

 

I shouldn't talk though.   I get impatient with Top Ramen.

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38 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

LOL, got Crocker and Schaper transposed so yes, leading by three looking at a shot to a tough pin, over water, 2 1/2 club wind, chance for huge win in his career and he had a brief exchange with his caddie before hitting his approach.  So what's your point?

My point is simply, should the golfer be more responsible for his shots?  I personally like the idea of the golfer having to make strategy decisions, as I see it as part of the skill required to be a professional golfer rather than simply becoming a ball-striking machine.  I think that it would not only speed up the game (which, while not a concern to some, has certainly been discussed by the major golf organizations), but it would add an extra dimension to it that I'd find enjoyable.  

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2 hours ago, jordan2240 said:

So I was just watching the latest Euro tour event, and the guy in the lead (by 3 shots) had an easy pitch to the green on 18, but for some reason, found it necessary to consult with his caddie.  What the hell could they possibly have been discussing?  All he had to do was pitch it onto the middle of the green.  Likelihood he would 5-putt from anywhere on the green had to be nil.  To me, one of he quickest ways they could speed up the game is to allow rangefinders/gps and allow caddies to consult only on putts and chips.  I mean, it's just ridiculous to me that a pro golfer would need to consult with his caddie on a pitch to the last hole with a three shot lead.

Obviously some of the posters can't read......but anyway, as TW always say "You want to finish the tournament the right way" you don't want to boggy your way home so you stick to your routine even if the lead is 10 shots.

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17 minutes ago, jordan2240 said:

My point is simply, should the golfer be more responsible for his shots?  I personally like the idea of the golfer having to make strategy decisions, as I see it as part of the skill required to be a professional golfer rather than simply becoming a ball-striking machine.  I think that it would not only speed up the game (which, while not a concern to some, has certainly been discussed by the major golf organizations), but it would add an extra dimension to it that I'd find enjoyable.  


The player is already 100% responsible for their shot. They can talk and strategize all they want, but it is solely the players responsibility to execute whatever the decision was that they made. Limiting what a caddy can do would be similar to limiting a coaching staff in any other sport. Sure the caddie isn’t the head coach, but he’s 

a position coach. 

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1 hour ago, bscinstnct said:

 

Possibly, but they are very dependent on caddies for yardage, layout, and club selection now. 
 

I saw this Golf Films show on GC and they were interviewing Steve Williams. He said during a tournament on Sunday he would see TW getting more and more pumped up and hitting it farther and farther.
 

He would actually start to give TW “fake yardage”. Like tell him it was 155 yards to pin instead on 165. In one example, it was an approach shot over a green side bunker that, had it been short, would have left TW scrambling instead of a birdie opp.

 

This was on Sunday on the back nine of a close PGA Championship as I recall.

 

Steve Williams was probably the greatest caddy who ever played the game.  I think without Steve - Tiger would have won a lot fewer tournaments.   Tiger would have had more of a Corey Pavin, Lanny Watkins, Julius Boros type career.

 

The pictures of Steve jumping on the green after Tiger or Adam major wins are iconic.  Steve was always there for Tiger too.

 

 

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1 hour ago, jordan2240 said:

My point is simply, should the golfer be more responsible for his shots?  I personally like the idea of the golfer having to make strategy decisions, as I see it as part of the skill required to be a professional golfer rather than simply becoming a ball-striking machine.  I think that it would not only speed up the game (which, while not a concern to some, has certainly been discussed by the major golf organizations), but it would add an extra dimension to it that I'd find enjoyable.  

Except this particular situation and player/caddie exchange isn't an example that would support that notion - nobody was playing slow. 

 

You really think pros are "simply ball-striking machines" and it's their caddies who are making the strategy decisions?  I'm guessing most pros, and the few pros/caddie I've discussed caddies with, would disagree with that 100%. Some caddies have the various skills required to be involved in "strategy", but not necessarily involved depending on the player, some relationships are more collaborative, but overall pros aren't ceding the responsibility of strategic decisions to caddies. 

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1 hour ago, Steele47 said:

 

My guess is,  'wanting the guys on TV to play faster' is simply because there's a heck of a lot of weekend warriors out there emulating the guys on the tube with their KPMG,  UPS,  WheelsUP logos taking 7 minutes to get their blue and red lines matched up from putter to golf ball (oh soo accurate) towards the target line.  

 

I shouldn't talk though.   I get impatient with Top Ramen.

True.  I often find it amusing how guys will seemingly emulate what they've seen on television, only to have the same result they likely would have if they had just walked up and hit the ball.  But I'd also much rather sit in front of the television for 4 hours than 6 on a given Sunday afternoon (yeah, I know it's my choice, but you either have to watch what they're giving you or just stick to the highlights later).

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8 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

Except this particular situation and player/caddie exchange isn't an example that would support that notion - nobody was playing slow. 

 

You really think pros are "simply ball-striking machines" and it's their caddies who are making the strategy decisions?  I'm guessing most pros, and the few I've discussed caddies with, would disagree with that 100%. Some caddies have the various skills required to be involved in "strategy", some relationships are more collaborative, but overall pros aren't ceding the responsibility of strategic decisions to caddies. 

It might not be an example of slow play, but it's the sort of thing that happens all the time, and does contribute to slow play.  I'm well aware that the pro ultimately makes the decision.  If they actually let us hear what was being said, that might be quite interesting.

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3 minutes ago, jordan2240 said:

It might not be an example of slow play, but it's the sort of thing that happens all the time, and does contribute to slow play.  I'm well aware that the pro ultimately makes the decision.  If they actually let us hear what was being said, that might be quite interesting.

 

I see the replay is on later today, I'll try and catch the last couple holes again and focus more on that last approach and what they were up to.

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In earlier days Tour caddies made relatively little money and their role was well known to be show up, keep up, shut up.

As Tour  prize money has increased so has caddie income, to the point where several now earn $500K or more per year.

However the role of the caddie is still the same, that is to carry the bag and provide yardages. It is rare that a caddie can actually make a materially significant contribution to the score of a player. Two remarkable cases were DJ's caddie not knowing the definition of a bunker at Whistling Straits and Jim Mackay not handing Phil a 3-iron on the 72nd tee box at Winged Foot. 

 

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3 hours ago, bscinstnct said:

He would actually start to give TW “fake yardage”. Like tell him it was 155 yards to pin instead on 165. In one example, it was an approach shot over a green side bunker that, had it been short, would have left TW scrambling instead of a birdie opp.

 

This was on Sunday on the back nine of a close PGA Championship as I recall.

 

This is probably another story about how good Steve Williams thinks Steve Williams is. My money says Tiger could tell the difference between 155 and 165 with his naked eye.

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You never want an I.K. Kim, or van de Velde (or Phil) moment on your way to what you hope is victory.  Part of the caddie's job is to step in and stop them from doing something stupid.  Calm them down, think it through and make them go through the routine.

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29 minutes ago, Socrates said:

You never want an I.K. Kim, or van de Velde (or Phil) moment on your way to what you hope is victory.  Part of the caddie's job is to step in and stop them from doing something stupid.  Calm them down, think it through and make them go through the routine.

Well, we had those moments and they had caddies (apparently not ones that were very good or that they listened to), but those are EXACTLY the types of moments I think make the game more interesting.  In Van de Velde's case, he's unknown without that blow-up, and he's seemed to have suffered no worse the wear for it.

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49 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

 

I see the replay is on later today, I'll try and catch the last couple holes again and focus more on that last approach and what they were up to.

Honestly, I just caught the tail-end of it, just in enough time to see the end of the conversation and the announcer say that he wasn't able to translate it, but it made me wonder what they were even discussing at all (assuming it had something to do with the shot) given it was a pitch from the fairway with a 3-shot lead.  But I've seen other instances (aka Bryson D.) on both the PGA and LPGA tours where some significant conversation takes place over what looks to be pretty obvious choices.  But I don't expect it to change - just wondered if anyone else felt as I did.

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This kind of relates to the rangefinder forum I just replied to. Short answer is currently subjective to the player, but in the long run, NO! A player is responsible for knowing the course and understanding what shot to hit when. A caddie is there for yardage, bag carrying, second opinions, moral support, and course knowledge, all of which a player should be capable of harnessing him/herself! If rangefinders were implement across the professional circuit, caddie's responsibilities would go down by 1/2.

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