How to Be a Good Caddie - A 5 Step Guide to a Great Round of Golf

Caddie Statue (wgaesf.org)

How to be a Great Caddie


Being a caddie can be a very rewarding job. You get to meet some very interesting people, you get to see some beautiful courses, and you get to participate in one of the greatest games of mental toughness, Golf. In one of my previous posts, I gave a small list of some of the duties of a caddie. In this post, we’ll go deeper into what it really takes to be a caddie. This is my personal guide of how to be great caddie in 5 easy steps.

5 Steps to Becoming a Good Caddie


Step 1: Get in Shape

As a caddie, you are expected to walk alongside your player for at least 18 holes. I know, what you are thinking: “it’s only 18 holes,” right? Yes, but 18 holes can make for a very long walk. Let’s consider the average length of an 18-hole course.  If we say that the average 18-hole course is about 6,500 yards, we can expect to walk at least 3.6 miles. This walk doesn’t account for carrying the golf bag and looking for balls hit out of play. Some courses are also hilly which can make it seem a bit longer. A great caddie always arrives at the ball before the player, ready to offer expert advice. Therefore, being in shape is crucial for becoming a great caddie.

Step 2: Understand the Rules of the Game

Knowing the rules of the game is a vital part of a caddie’s role. Caddies that know the rules are great assets to the players they assist. In times of uncertainty, a player will often turn to the caddie to see what the correct ruling is. A good understanding of the rules of golf is critical to players, especially when playing in match or tournament play. To be a good caddie, get a good understanding of the rules of the game, it will set you apart from the rest.

Sep 3: Know the Course

Knowing the course, is another very important, part of every caddie’s duty. In most rounds of golf, there will be at least one player that will be hitting a blind shot. This is where your knowledge of the course comes into play. Knowing the course thoroughly allows the player to commit to an advised shot without fear. If you’ve ever watched a professional golf tournament, you’d notice that some caddies keep a small notepad on them. This notepad contains all the important information the player should know before he or she hits a shot. This information includes yardage to hazards as well as what it will take to carry, or come short, of a bunker or another hazard. Caddie like the pros by knowing your course through and through.

Step 4: Be Encouraging

As a caddie it is your duty to make sure the player keeps his or her head in the game. Golf is a game in which one shot can change the entire course of the game. A simple bad shot can easily discourage any player. This is where the motivational push of a caddie is critical, especially in match or tournament play. Sometimes, simply saying: “It won’t hurt you,” can help the player to forget that shot and focus on the next. Far too many times players will allow one bad shot to send them into a downward spiral, resulting in a poor round. As a caddie, you can prevent such a calamity on the course. Encourage your player and you will both be off to an enjoyable round, regardless of the score.

Step 5: Play a lot of golf (As much as you can)

One of the great perks of being a caddie is the ability to play golf at that course for free. If you want to be a great caddie, take advantage of that wonderful opportunity. From my experience, when you compare two caddies, one that plays golf and another that does not, the better caddie is usually the caddie that plays. When you play golf, you get to understand the game through the lens of a player. Playing also helps with your decision making. The tougher positions you put yourself in, when playing, the better you get at course management. Think about it, would you prefer to be coached by someone who plays basketball or someone who doesn’t? The same applies to caddying. Get out there and discover your game out on the course. You never know, you may have what it takes to be a scratch golfer.

 So, How Do You Become a Great Caddie?

Being a great caddie is simple. Just remember these 5 steps: 
  1. get in shape
  2. Understand the rules of the game
  3.  know the course
  4. Be encouraging
  5. Play a lot of golf. 
Follow these steps and you are sure to take your caddying to the next level. Not only that, but you will make the round a lot more enjoyable for the player you caddie for. What are some principles you think help to make a good caddie? If you think there is something I missed, leave a line in the comments below.



Check out Previous Posts: Caddy vs Caddie; The Original Rules of Golf

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