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Masters Caddies -- then and now


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Not too long ago, Players at the Masters used local Augusta National caddies.  That meant the players would typically have a caddy that knew the putts perfectly,  Then at some point, the regular tour caddies became the norm and one seldom sees a local caddy any more. They are still there of course, toting bags every normal day.

I wonder about that because the local caddies work as a team under a senior caddy who knows the greens with precision.  Anytime a caddy mades a questionable read, it is like a special called meeting of the UN committee on international affairs.  The caddies gather around the master caddy who rolls balls by hand to show exactly how the putt should have been read.  Understand, the normal way these Augusta caddies give instructions is to point out the line and a second thing is to point to a place which is the distance one should try to stop the ball.  This allows the player a very useful amount of information to putt those nearly impossible greens.  This method works great on greens at Augusta that run faster than the greens are running this week so the time factor is not really an issue.  The locals seem to me to have an advantage.

The caddy I've used the most on my old home course was extremely good, but there is no way he could have been as good as the caddy masters at Augusta when playing there.

So, indeed I wonder how a non-local caddy could possibly be as astute at reading the greens as those that are reading them every day, and every year with each new change?

Perhaps some regular tour caddies would be preferrable over locals, but I think at least some of the locals would still be great choices for some players.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I think knowing the personality and overall game of your guy outweighs any marginal improvement they could make to the reads.


And caddies aren't used that much to read greens by a lot of players.

The players can read the greens, it's the speed that knocks them around.

A local caddy will help a player new to the course know which quadrant of the green to aim for the first couple of times around, but that's pretty much it. They  aren't relying on caddies to read greens.

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I understand and agree with the points made, but I still think first time or infrequent players are going to make miss-reads that seasoned, every day Augusta caddies would not.  Everyone has the charts and knows the low point of Rae's Creek, but there are putts that simply defy and suspend your sense of sanity.  Usually the read might be correct as to direction of break, but the not always, and there are a lot of miss-reads that are associated with the increase or decrease of speed as the break kicks in.  We have all seen putts break late, then take off down a slope.  I think no matter the reading skill of the player/caddy team, the first few times at ANGC will yield baffling putts.  My guess is the practice rounds provide a lot of educational time rolling balls -- they would have to.

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I understand and agree with the points made, but I still think first time or infrequent players are going to make miss-reads that seasoned, every day Augusta caddies would not.  Everyone has the charts and knows the low point of Rae's Creek, but there are putts that simply defy and suspend your sense of sanity.  Usually the read might be correct as to direction of break, but the not always, and there are a lot of miss-reads that are associated with the increase or decrease of speed as the break kicks in.  We have all seen putts break late, then take off down a slope.  I think no matter the reading skill of the player/caddy team, the first few times at ANGC will yield baffling putts.  My guess is the practice rounds provide a lot of educational time rolling balls -- they would have to.

My understanding is that when they play practice rounds in the weeks before the Masters, they often do pay a local expert, or even the head greenskeeper, to accompany them.

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It's good they got rid of it. Augusta had a racist attitude towards caddies

A vile calumny. Augusta has always welcomed black caddies. IIRC Cliff Roberts said that as long as he was alive, the players would be white, and the caddies would be black.

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Originally Posted by brocks

A vile calumny. Augusta has always welcomed black caddies. IIRC Cliff Roberts said that as long as he was alive, the players would be white, and the caddies would be black.



How do you not see how that is racist, especially the bolded (and yes he did say it)

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