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Unpopular opinion: Pro caddies are extremely overrated


4thand11
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10 hours ago, jsixman said:

As I poorly prefaced before, you would obviously need to know golf.  In my case, I know golf well, I'm a good golfer or maybe used to be, I've played many tournaments, I can read greens, wind, weather, read yardage books, etc.  In good shape to walk the whole course with a 50 lb. bag on consecutive days.  Give me a couple days to prepare with the player, and yeah, I think I'm good to go.  They're all saying their so important because in most cases the caddy and player are close, often childhood buddies or met through an acquaintance, college roommate, etc, and they pay them handsomely.  What's a player supposed to say? No, they're not really that important. 

 There's so many cases where this happens; Rory, DJ, Patrick Reed, Lee Westwood.  Yeah it's low percentage wise, but there's still a lot and the vast majority I'm sure we haven't even heard.  Who actually knows all the player/caddie combos on tour.  

I don't know, I've always wondered about this and have just concluded in my mind that their importance is really overrated. 

You know what, you are right. Caddying is so overrated and the guys dont really do anything at all. I hold my hands up. You’ve got me.
We just try to make it seem like we do something, say a few ‘key’ things while the cameras there. All that’s needed to caddy is half decent golf knowledge. 

Tell you what, next PGA tour event near you, head on down, tell some of the players your views. I’m sure they’ll agree and ask you to caddy for the week. Tell them you’ve got some decent golf knowledge and I’m sure you’ll be hired on the spot 👍

Let us know how that works out for you

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8 hours ago, Mark_Crossan said:

You know what, you are right. Caddying is so overrated and the guys dont really do anything at all. I hold my hands up. You’ve got me.
We just try to make it seem like we do something, say a few ‘key’ things while the cameras there. All that’s needed to caddy is half decent golf knowledge. 

Tell you what, next PGA tour event near you, head on down, tell some of the players your views. I’m sure they’ll agree and ask you to caddy for the week. Tell them you’ve got some decent golf knowledge and I’m sure you’ll be hired on the spot 👍

Let us know how that works out for you

At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. 

1. I never at all said caddies don't do anything.

2. I'll go to the next tour event and share my knowledge with some pros 😐

3. They already have caddies. 

 

You aren't understanding.  Just explain these: Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Brooke Henderson, Jessica Corda, Rory Mcilroy, Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Stricker, Jordan Spieth. 

Garcia won the 2012 or 2014 Wyndam with some dude he never met until he got there, so did Kuchar.  If I made the tour tomorrow, I can tell you the first person I would hire is my buddy, who knows my game better than anyone and has never caddied. 

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2 minutes ago, jsixman said:

At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. 

1. I never at all said caddies don't do anything.

2. I'll go to the next tour event and share my knowledge with some pros 😐

3. They already have caddies. 

 

You aren't understanding.  Just explain these: Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Brooke Henderson, Jessica Corda, Rory Mcilroy, Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Stricker, Jordan Spieth. 

Garcia won the 2012 or 2014 Wyndam with some dude he never met until he got there, so did Kuchar.  If I made the tour tomorrow, I can tell you the first person I would hire is my buddy, who knows my game better than anyone and has never caddied. 

So he would be the best caddie for you.  It’s not just the idea of a top notch tour tested caddie is a help.  The right caddie is though. On your list above you have DJ.  By all accounts his brother started off very green but he is currently one of the better caddies and one of the absolute bests on tour at green reading.

Or are you saying it doesn’t matter who the caddie on the bag is it doesn’t matter and the golfer would perform the same either way? Now that would be daft!

 

PS…it’s Korda not Corda.

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I think it depends on the player. A few might just want the caddy to carry the bag, others rely on the caddy for any number of things, e.g., yardages, green reading, club selection, etc.

 

On a side note, I don't understand why caddies can't carry stand bags. When it's 95º the difference between 40+ pounds versus 20+ pounds is probably significant. 

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9 hours ago, Mark_Crossan said:

You know what, you are right. Caddying is so overrated and the guys dont really do anything at all. I hold my hands up. You’ve got me.
We just try to make it seem like we do something, say a few ‘key’ things while the cameras there. All that’s needed to caddy is half decent golf knowledge. 

Tell you what, next PGA tour event near you, head on down, tell some of the players your views. I’m sure they’ll agree and ask you to caddy for the week. Tell them you’ve got some decent golf knowledge and I’m sure you’ll be hired on the spot 👍

Let us know how that works out for you

Agreed, can't wait for that one....LOL!

Common sense would dictate that if you're playing for millions, you'd want the best on your team.....a good caddy is in high demand on the PGATOUR and do not stay unemployed for  long. A good caddy wears a lot of  hats these days.....IMO

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39 minutes ago, jsixman said:

At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. 

1. I never at all said caddies don't do anything.

2. I'll go to the next tour event and share my knowledge with some pros 😐

3. They already have caddies. 

 

You aren't understanding.  Just explain these: Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Brooke Henderson, Jessica Corda, Rory Mcilroy, Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Stricker, Jordan Spieth. 

Garcia won the 2012 or 2014 Wyndam with some dude he never met until he got there, so did Kuchar.  If I made the tour tomorrow, I can tell you the first person I would hire is my buddy, who knows my game better than anyone and has never caddied. 

Touring Pros pick caddys for different reasons....comfort and trust is most prevalent. While on the road  for 60% of the year I'd think these would be top priority.....wives, brothers and friends make wonderful additions to the team....

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1 hour ago, Chunkitgood said:

Looks to me like caddies do the technical, intellectual, calculating stuff for pro golfer that would put the golfer out of the proper mind set to see and hit the shot.

 

Contributes to a technical sort of game I find less interesting to watch.

Less interesting to watch than?  Old golf?  The one where Trevino had Herman Mitchell on the bag for decades? The one where Watson had Bruce Edwards on the bag for 20+ years?  Do you think they had them on the bag for years and then paid medical bills if all they did was show up on time and carry the bag?

 

Its funny….guys have posted for years things like “id like to see an event where these guys have to schlep their own bag and get their own yardages” as if ALL of the pros didn’t do that on their way up through the amateur ranks.  

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Forgive me in advance for these simplistic thoughts.

 

1. If a Tour player straps his bag to his dog and wins, how do you know that he wouldn’t have won more times and won more money with a regular caddie? You don’t. That’s some pretty basic logic.

 

2. Why would anyone care who a Tour player chooses to be his caddie? How does this affect anyone else but the player in any way?

 

And kudos to the people who know the word is caddie, not caddy.

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On 5/25/2022 at 7:58 PM, 4thand11 said:

No offense intended.  I freely admit that I may be wrong.  However I suspect JT could win the PGA without Bones on his bag.  In fact, he already did, a few years back.  Not to mention JT was a great golfer in college also, with no caddie at all. 

 

On 5/25/2022 at 9:23 PM, lowheel said:

Anyone whos played on any tour knows a good caddie saves you 2-3 shots per 3-4 day event. 


This is the key IMO and i'm not reading through another 5 pages to see if anyone else pointed it out, lol. 

The margins are the highest levels of any sport really, and especially golf, are SO slim that you need every little tiny advantage you can possibly get. 

I'd also add that in order for someone to consider something "overrated" they would need to know the extent of what is involved, and if the last several years have taught us anything it's that people without a decent working knowledge of the topics they are commenting need to do a helluva lot less talking and a helluva a lot more learning. 

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33 minutes ago, Valtiel said:

 


This is the key IMO and i'm not reading through another 5 pages to see if anyone else pointed it out, lol. 

The margins are the highest levels of any sport really, and especially golf, are SO slim that you need every little tiny advantage you can possibly get. 

I'd also add that in order for someone to consider something "overrated" they would need to know the extent of what is involved, and if the last several years have taught us anything it's that people without a decent working knowledge of the topics they are commenting need to do a helluva lot less talking and a helluva a lot more learning. 

Yep, Especially when the Grand prize in a particular event is $18M.....I'd rather have a great caddy that I can trust.....but that's just me.

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41 minutes ago, Valtiel said:

 


This is the key IMO and i'm not reading through another 5 pages to see if anyone else pointed it out, lol. 

The margins are the highest levels of any sport really, and especially golf, are SO slim that you need every little tiny advantage you can possibly get. 

I'd also add that in order for someone to consider something "overrated" they would need to know the extent of what is involved, and if the last several years have taught us anything it's that people without a decent working knowledge of the topics they are commenting need to do a helluva lot less talking and a helluva a lot more learning. 

 

I think a person like Ted SCott, who caddied for Watson all those years, or whoever caddies for Matt Wallace, earn their keep simply by not telling the player to F off at moments that most caddies would.  Looking at their behavior on course, it takes a special kind of person to deal with that and not get into it right there and wreck the round for the player.

 

The owner of another board I frequent is not quick to censor, but he is quick to advise some to read more, post less.  Myself included when I simply spouted.  

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2 hours ago, Shilgy said:

Its funny….guys have posted for years things like “id like to see an event where these guys have to schlep their own bag and get their own yardages” as if ALL of the pros didn’t do that on their way up through the amateur ranks.  

^^^ That has always struck me as hilarious as well. The average PGAT pro likely carried his own bag for at least two or three thousand rounds before they had a tour card in their hands and a caddie on their bag. Anyone that hits that level has paid some serious dues.

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Posted (edited)

Would be interesting to see which players thrive and which players fizzle out without the emotional support of a caddie (and physical support i guess, but cummon, every pro can scout a course, take notes, and get their own yardages and reads, and carry their own bag, let's not be foolish here. It's an extra few mins of work during a practice round and in round lol. Roast me if you want but that's my opinion.)


personally, i'd enjoy and get entertainment out of seeing pros win on their own merits at the highest level possible (the "they did it in college" argument is one dimensional).

having a caddie is kind of a crutch for many, a lifejacket of sorts, where without it theyd probably sink. and it'd be neat to see the players make something for themselves, by themselves. 
 

It's whatever either way though. 

Edited by LifeStory
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2 hours ago, bobfoster said:

^^^ That has always struck me as hilarious as well. The average PGAT pro likely carried his own bag for at least two or three thousand rounds before they had a tour card in their hands and a caddie on their bag. Anyone that hits that level has paid some serious dues.

 

Maybe it's different with the men/boys, but we have a junior heading to a Power 5 school who I don't think she has ever carried her bag.  Her dad caddies every round I see her play.  

 

I don't disagree with the serious dues paid, but I think some have had caddies a lot more than not.  Except for college....

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, LifeStory said:

Would be interesting to see which players thrive and which players fizzle out without the emotional support of a caddie (and physical support i guess, but cummon, every pro can scout a course, take notes, and get their own yardages and reads, and carry their own bag, let's not be foolish here. It's an extra few mins of work during a practice round and in round lol. Roast me if you want but that's my opinion.)


personally, i'd enjoy and get entertainment out of seeing pros win on their own merits at the highest level possible (the "they did it in college" argument is one dimensional).

having a caddie is kind of a crutch for many, a lifejacket of sorts, where without it theyd probably sink. and it'd be neat to see the players make something for themselves, by themselves. 
 

It's whatever either way though. 

You’re 100% wrong on the pre round/ pre tournament work that caddies do. Some courses aren’t readily marked with proper numbers on sprinkler heads every week. That takes about 4+ hours to do on a Monday with a yardage book. Caddies also get obscure numbers that they feel could benefit their player if needed, pros aren’t going out and getting those numbers nor are they going through a book and checking all the correct sprinkler heads 

 

pros also aren’t putting to every single hole location during practice rounds. Sure, the tour tends to use similar hole locations but they always throw some new ones in during the week. It’s about maximizing their time, and your average practice round on a good day takes about 5 hours.

 

As the weeks go on and you’re playing 6-7-8 events in a row Mondays are basically a travel day for guys. That gives them even less time to spend on the course. That’s another reason why having a good caddie who goes to work on a Monday when his boss isn’t showing up is important. The good ones separate themselves from the bad ones 

Edited by Creedo77
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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Mark_Crossan said:

I am actually but unlike most of you in this thread, I have caddied professionally so I know what I’m talking about 

Dude ... I like you, not just because I agree with pretty much everything you say (not a professional caddie, but have been to a lot of Tour events, and have witnessed an incredibly wide variety of pro caddie/player interactions), but because you just say what is real. Not certain why you are getting so much pushback. Happy you are willing to take the time (and abuse) to talk about what the modern caddie is. 

 

Caddied once for a buddy on the KFT as a favor. Am a fanatic amateur golfer, but was totally clueless about how much actually goes on behind the scenes (he sort of slept in one morning - I pounded on his door and got him to the course with few moments to spare). That was a hard freaking week (I was bloody exhausted - drank a lot that Sunday night, slept most of the next Monday - not just physical exhaustion, but mental as well). Way more than just carrying a bag and talking distances. 

 

You feel like you are in the game with the man you're looping for, but you can't do anything about it. He plops it into the water, and your heart sinks just as much as his does. 

 

And my friend was kind of volatile. Played with him a lot, knew his game (he is much better than me, but fun to play with). Was prone to taking risk/reward chances that I advised against. He had an amazing swing, but (sometimes) seriously bad course management choices. And as a caddie, you just have input, but have to stand helplessly off to the side.

 

He made the cut, but lost badly due to a blow up hole (trying a shot I adamantly told him not to). And I felt that loss probably every bit as much as he did. 

 

Have been fascinated by the LPGA this week. Was really rooting for Kelly Tan. Her fiancé was on the bag. Came down to 18. She was faced with an incredibly difficult shot - but she just needed par to win. He desperately tried to get her to play conservative. She didn't. And she lost. Was heartbreaking to her (could have gotten her into the US Women's Open), but I'm sure was equally heartbreaking to him. 

 

Being a caddie is an emotional rollercoaster, in the strictest sense of that word. You go through all the ups and downs of your player, but have no control over it. All you can do is throw your hands in the air and scream (inwardly). 

 

Anyone that thinks that caddies are "overrated" just doesn't get what a 21st century caddie is. Takes real physical exertion, combined with a serious knowledge of the game (and the course - when I found out I'd be doing this, I played the damn course the month before just to understand it - great caddies have all prepared for anything their players might face), and an understanding of the psyche of your man (or woman). When s/he wins, you feel that victory as your own. When your guys loses, you feel the "agony of defeat" just as intensely. 

 

Ferguson (who I really otherwise seriously respect) says you seem a bit dark and cynical. But I get that. I feel fortunate to have done it once, but I cannot even imagine doing that for a living. I'd be an emotional basket case halfway through the first season - because the reality of golf is that on the average Thursday, 150 or so players start, and on the average Sunday, 149 players lose. And their caddies feel that loss almost as much as the players.

 

Anyone that wants to diminish the role of caddies should try to loop even a single PGAT tourney. It is not what you understand if you only watch brief snippets on TV.

Edited by bobfoster
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4 hours ago, Creedo77 said:

You’re 100% wrong on the pre round/ pre tournament work that caddies do. Some courses aren’t readily marked with proper numbers on sprinkler heads every week. That takes about 4+ hours to do on a Monday with a yardage book. Caddies also get obscure numbers that they feel could benefit their player if needed, pros aren’t going out and getting those numbers nor are they going through a book and checking all the correct sprinkler heads 

 

pros also aren’t putting to every single hole location during practice rounds. Sure, the tour tends to use similar hole locations but they always throw some new ones in during the week. It’s about maximizing their time, and your average practice round on a good day takes about 5 hours.

 

As the weeks go on and you’re playing 6-7-8 events in a row Mondays are basically a travel day for guys. That gives them even less time to spend on the course. That’s another reason why having a good caddie who goes to work on a Monday when his boss isn’t showing up is important. The good ones separate themselves from the bad ones 

100% wrong, alrighty.

Have you played high level junior golf > high level college golf > and are currently trying to make it onto a proper tour / have already made it? 

anybody that fits this description is able to do what you just described with ease, because theyve had to do it their entire competitive career.

they just choose not to because caddies are an accessible part of the game by rule, so why not utilize them and have em do the grunt work? 


nobody claimed a caddie is useless or doesnt work hard, just that theyre overrated, and a case could

be made for that seeing as though the high level player can do all of the caddies duties themselves if it was required, like in the hypothetical instance that caddies are no longer allowed by rule.

 

and i think it'd be interesting to see how a caddieless landscape would unfold. There'd be no murky business, youd really see a player for who he is. the ol "the caddie must have gave the wrong read or yardage and it wasn't the player's fault" would be eliminated from the equation, and it'd be neat to see at the highest level. 
 


 



 

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On 5/26/2022 at 12:58 PM, 4thand11 said:

 

No offense intended.  I freely admit that I may be wrong.  However I suspect JT could win the PGA without Bones on his bag.  In fact, he already did, a few years back.  Not to mention JT was a great golfer in college also, with no caddie at all. 

 

Is it possible a good caddy can help?  Sure.  That does not mean they aren't overrated.  Just like MLB managers are often wildly overrated in terms of their team's performance.  The players are the ones playing the game.

 

 

 


One of the most ignorant takes I’ve ever seen, and I don’t say that with hubris. It’s only beaten out by the guy that claimed a low handicapper could make the cut and beat plenty of LPGA Professionals.


I challenge OP to google what Dunning Kruger is and then take a long, hard look at the graph.  

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21 hours ago, Ferguson said:

 

No longer do it?   

You seem bitter about it.   

Why? 

 

 

 

Sorry I had replied to this but for some reason it’s not posted. 
 

I stopped because I was ready to have a family that’s all. I didn’t want to do both. 
 

Im not bitter about it at all, I’m a little blunt with my replies because like I said I’ve been there and experienced it so I’m talking in facts and with clarity and a lot of other stuff from other on here is simple hearsay. 
 

Anyways as for the DJ, Speith, Rory situation. Those boys all have caddies who’d easily walk into another job on tour. Just because they may not have been seen as caddies before, don’t think they haven’t learnt the job and are top class caddies now. If you still see them as just mates/family then you’re seriously mistaken. 

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8 hours ago, Creedo77 said:

You’re 100% wrong on the pre round/ pre tournament work that caddies do. Some courses aren’t readily marked with proper numbers on sprinkler heads every week. That takes about 4+ hours to do on a Monday with a yardage book. Caddies also get obscure numbers that they feel could benefit their player if needed, pros aren’t going out and getting those numbers nor are they going through a book and checking all the correct sprinkler heads 

 

pros also aren’t putting to every single hole location during practice rounds. Sure, the tour tends to use similar hole locations but they always throw some new ones in during the week. It’s about maximizing their time, and your average practice round on a good day takes about 5 hours.

 

As the weeks go on and you’re playing 6-7-8 events in a row Mondays are basically a travel day for guys. That gives them even less time to spend on the course. That’s another reason why having a good caddie who goes to work on a Monday when his boss isn’t showing up is important. The good ones separate themselves from the bad ones 

 

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On 5/28/2022 at 3:37 AM, Mark_Crossan said:

You know what, you are right. Caddying is so overrated and the guys dont really do anything at all. I hold my hands up. You’ve got me.
We just try to make it seem like we do something, say a few ‘key’ things while the cameras there. All that’s needed to caddy is half decent golf knowledge. 

Tell you what, next PGA tour event near you, head on down, tell some of the players your views. I’m sure they’ll agree and ask you to caddy for the week. Tell them you’ve got some decent golf knowledge and I’m sure you’ll be hired on the spot 👍

Let us know how that works out for you

I'm glad you took the time to answer these comments that come from who knows where. Just like every profession there are people that are overpaid and people who are underpaid but to say that caddies don't make a difference for a player is coming from a lack of knowledge of the pro ranks.  I have caddied for a LPGA player ( only on futures tour got bounced when she made the big tour 🙂 ) I know well and a Mini tour player.  I felt i was valuable, for I knew their swings and could spot something quickly if they got off kilter. I know for a fact I saved them a stroke or 2 each time I caddied, but the biggest thing is they were not alone out there. Being on tour is one of the loneliest places , for there are no teammates only competitors.  Other players don't care if you are playing bad or got a bad break. You take a double and everybody in the field wishes it was a triple. Most pros are sharing trainers , swing coaches , psychologists and agents with other pros only the top players have a real team with their own support staff. The caddie, significant other and parents are the only people on their team. That caddie is more than someone giving yardages and maybe helping them pull the right club or see some wind where the player does not. They are a confidant , friend , amateur psychologist , whipping post, lightning rod and much more than a pack mule. A number of people have brought up examples of top players with what they consider amateur caddies. Steve Stricker's name keeps popping up for his wife Nicki knows more about golf than 90% of the people on this board. Lastly the weeks that I caddied for the 2 mentioned earlier I was never so friggin tired at weeks end than I was then. Its a 12 hour day away from home which is draining. All this being said IMHO caddies are a vital part  of a players success when they find the right one.

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I got to page 3 of this thread then skipped to the end.  Has anyone discussed that it totally depends on the player?  I got to attend the Kitchenaid Senior PGA event yesterday at Harbor Shores, and every single player that I saw had a different dynamic with their caddies:  Some were talking and smiling with the caddie all day long, some were simply asking for yardages and shot advice, and some were dead silent the whole time.

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      • 4 replies
    • Ping G430 LST and Max drivers, G430 Max fairway wood & G430 hybrid  – 2022 Shriners Children's Open
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      • 26 replies

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