Caddie numbers needing a boost
Caddies Required! The call went out in last week’s Mirror publication to boost the numbers of caddies who had already come forward to assist at the NZ PGA, and the response was tremendous. This year’s NZPGA Championship was on the lookout for some 120 caddies to assist in this prestigious event. So good was the power of the press, that Caddy Master Andrew Whiley said that he got over a dozen emails from the story in the Mirror this week. ‘‘I have been overwhelmed in the past two weeks with caddy interest and I am not registering any more caddies,’’ he said A Golfer and His caddy – it’s a bit like tea and toast, wine and cheese, Mum and Dad; one is not entirely effective without the presence of the other. Not only is being a caddie a great opportunity to get as close as you can to the heat of the competition, as a caddy you get to be part of the event itself and experience the hype of an event of this calibre Caddies were required for both the professional field and amateur players.
Approximately 80 caddies for the professional golfers. This generally begins on Tuesday February 26 for the practice round and continues through Sunday provided the player makes the cut.
Approximately 40 caddies for the amateur players. This is over two rounds on Saturday March 1 and Sunday March 2. As the tournament has increased to a Tier 1 event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, it has meant that all players will need a caddy compared to last year’s event which was a state-based championship and players were allowed to carry their own bags or use a trundler. Many of the caddies who signed up early were some returning from the previous year because they "loved the experience" Whiley said. There is no set age restriction in place, with last year, caddies ranging from 16 to 60 in age! Ideally caddies will have some golf knowledge and be physically fit as they will need to carry a tour bag around the course. Arrowtown’s Rob Andrews didn’t need any persuasion to put his name forward to be a caddy for the NZ PGA at ‘The Hills’ in Arrowtown. Rob caddied last year, and so enjoyed it, that he’s keen to be back amidst the action this year. ‘‘It was a great experience last year – something quite different to be involved in,’’ he said. ‘‘You are right up there in the mix of the tournament as a caddy, instead of being behind a rope or watching from a distance.’’ Finding out the requirements of being a caddy is straightforward – you just need to google it Rob advised. ‘‘But you don’t need to be knowledgeable – just be aware and quiet. However googling can also increase your knowledge and inform you about the etiquette expected on the golf course.’’ Last year Rob carried the clubs for Brett McLeod who unfortunately didn’t make the cut but since then Rob has followed his progress in further events and is pleased to hear (as of last weekend) that he was placed 15th at a tournament in Queensland, Australia. Rob said the PGA is really a great event and he is more than pleased to have been part of it last year. As a golfer himself, he enjoy s getting out on the course, but being a caddy at an event as prestigious as this, gives an insight into the sport and also an opportunity which normally would be unheard of. ‘‘All the people I spoke to from Aussie were blown away with the event.’’ ‘‘We are very lucky to have this here right at our own back door.’’