MAS­TER­ING THE CADDY ROLE

The Cut - - ASK STEVE -

QSteve, you were caddy for a num­ber of golfers and I won­der how dif­fer­ent they were as peo­ple to work for. How easy is it to adapt to work­ing for some­one new? You had a few long stints with some of the golfers so ob­vi­ously you worked well to­gether but when that ended and you moved on, how easy was it? I am sup­pos­ing ev­ery golfer has in­di­vid­ual things about their per­son­al­ity and the way they ap­proach their golf you have to a) find out about and b) get used to.

J An­der­son, Welling­ton

Hav­ing been for­tu­nate to caddy for some great play­ers, it’s in­ter­est­ing com­par­ing them. Each player has a dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­ment, dif­fer­ent val­ues and dif­fer­ent ideas on the game. When you en­ter into a new part­ner­ship there are so many things you need to learn about the player, which takes some time. You have to learn all their ten­den­cies: How do they re­act un­der pres­sure? What sort of shots do they tend to hit un­der pres­sure? Are they a morn­ing per­son or not? You need to know when they like to be ag­gres­sive and when they pre­fer not to be.

The list is long, but to be a suc­cess­ful team you have to ex­pe­ri­ence many dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions more than once and note the out­come for fu­ture ref­er­ence. A player might want the hon­est truth on how you feel he is play­ing whilst an­other wants pos­i­tive feed­back only, noth­ing neg­a­tive.

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween a player and a caddy is in­depth and quite unique, and whilst it takes time to adapt to a new player it’s im­por­tant you earn their trust in your judg­ment im­me­di­ately. The player re­lies on the caddy for so much and expects their judg­ment to be cor­rect from the get-go. You even have to work out what is the best pace for the player to walk at, where he can mentally pre­pare for the next shot with a best thought process.

As far as mov­ing on, as a caddy it’s gen­er­ally very easy. You know there are no guar­an­tees or con­tracts in place and you can be fired at any time, which is part and par­cel of be­ing a caddy.

It’s easy to get stale with a player, or for a player to want a dif­fer­ent voice or opin­ion, and you have to re­spect that. It’s in­ter­est­ing, you gen­er­ally have a feel­ing when your time is up with a player so it comes as no sur­prise when you’re let go.

Gen­er­ally, there is no ill-feel­ing when cad­dies are fired or in the case of when a caddy leaves a player. How­ever there are some ex­cep­tions when it ends on bad terms, which I can at­test to.

Email your ques­tions to Steve at gallery@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz

Steve shares his knowl­edge with top golfer Adam Scott.

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