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I know that I'm old fashioned, and I did caddy my way through college back in the 60's, but I sure wish more courses had caddy's. Some of my best rounds, and surely most memorable, were played with a caddy, most notably at Pinehurst #2. For me while a caddy, I was on a course and watching and learning. A good caddy knows your game in a few holes and helps you to get your best score with your skills which pays off in a tip for your services. From a business viewpoint golf carts contribute to profitability more so than caddy's . I just wish that I had a choice. What's your opinion, would you walk and use a caddy if available?
Golf carts also defeat the purpose - exercise. They don't speed up play on a crowded golf course. I believe in playing golf the old fashioned way - walking and slinging the bag on your shoulder and I am 56.
I caddied between 1972-1973 (an hour's drive from the infamous Indian Country Club, on which the movie "Caddyshack" was based).
I learned a lot of my golf (what to do and what NOT to do) by caddying since I got a mix of scratch golfers, women and hackers. Most of the men didn't take golf tips from teenaged caddies but found that a lot of the women would ask for advice. Granted that quite a few of my cohorts were on the school golf team and played par golf. The other benefit of caddying was free golf every Monday morning because they closed the course to members.
I think one thing that is probably death to caddying is a lightweight stand bag. The caddy used to hold your golf bag up so you could select a club.
A lot of golf pros got their starts by caddying.
Funny you should mention this. Ledbetter or McLean recently wrote in one of the golf magazines that American development of players can be helped in 2 ways. When the writer was at Doral, he gave playing time to junior playes late in the afternoons Christie Kerr was one. The other included a reference to 10 year old Eddie with Francis Oiumet as the caddie. With child labor laws and that there are now adults competing for caddie postions - not to mention cart rental income and overly long green to tee distances in golf courses in housing units, the opportunities are going down.
If walking was a reasonable option, I'd pay a little more for a caddie rather than a cart. And if it was no more than a college player, preferably a high school player. If we were to go back to that world.
Allen, great topic you bring up. I was also a caddy for most of my younger days, not always by choice. I can remember my father saying get out of bed and lets go. I could not stand the fact that I was being dragged to the course for 4 hours only to listen to, at the time, old guys moan and complain about what a bad break they just got, or how that putt should have gone in.
Now that I am in my early 40's and I know have a son. I look back and reflect on all of the times I caddied and really what my Dad was actually trying to teach me. Real life "on the course" lessons. Not just grab my bag and stay with me, but respect, admiration, and the true appreciation of spending some time with Dad.
Over the last couple of years, I have tried to introduce my son, now 11, to the game I have come back to and now truly love. He was not to keen on the ideas of being dragged along to the course, similar to my earlier experiences, so I let him make the decisions as to whether on not he wanted to go. Over the last year or two, he has also started playing and now enjoys coming to the course with me.
Here is the caddying point. We no longer have caddies at our course, and my son will typically drive the cart while I walk. He has started to turn into a mini-caddy and by that I mean he is now taking pins, raking bunkers, placing drivers on the tee boxes for par 4's and 5's when he knows they will be used, and addtional will carry clubs brought to the greens from other guys in the groups back to their carts.
He is also starting to view the shots being made, why I try and hit targets on greens and not just smash the ball down the hole. But most of all, he is understanding that quality time with me and sometimes, my Dad is important. He is becoming my little caddy and is starting to appreciate the learning lessons he listens to and views on the course. It has given him a sense of responsibility, when to listen and when to speak, but most of all, appreciating the true gentlemans game that golf is.
I am hoping that in the coming years, he will actualy say, can I carry the bag and walk with you. Our caddymaster is an old school gentleman. He was elected to the Golf Hall of Fame a few years ago and each time we are there, he always kids with my son, saying "Patrick let me know when you are going to be on the bag and I will make your father take out some weight out of his bag for you."
I can't wait for that day to come. Thank you for the post and the topic and play well.
I have never used a caddie but, I would like to use a caddy one of these days.
"Indian Hill CC".