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Tour Caddies

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Do you think that the interaction between a player and their caddie should be minimal? Shouldn't the player be responsible for assessing and making decisions during a round as this can make the difference between a good score and an average score, especially on the putting green. Don't even get me started on caddies lining players up!
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No. Other sports have coaches, trainers, and teammates for players to interact with. I don't have any problem with players getting advice or information from their caddies. They still have to execute their shot.

I'll concede that tennis is a notable exception, but tennis is much more of a reactive sport. The court conditions don't change from serve to serve, so there isn't a lot of pre-shot information to be dispensed.

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But don't you think that a lot of the skill in golf is being able to read a putt or judge the wind to select the correct club? Why should they have help with that? You don't get it in your monthly medal. It's not a team sport, the caddy's name doesnt go onto the Trophy next to the players name.
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I'm on the fence with this question.  Ultimately it comes down to how much influence does a caddie have over a professional golfers performance.

Is Phil's success related to having Bones on his bag almost his entire career?  Is part of the reason Tiger hasn't won a Major in five year because Stevie doesn't work for him anymore?  Is Stevie that much better of a caddie than Joe, or does Joe just not know Tiger well enough to keep Tiger focused on Saturday and Sunday like Stevie did?

I've used caddies at my club and they do make the game easier.  They know the course, they tell you the best shot to hit, they read the putts so basically the golfer has execute the shot the caddie tells them (which isn't easy) but not as hard as having to figure it all out for yourself.

All I can say is the times I have used a caddie my scores were lower than when I haven't.  The guys at my club all know who the best caddies are so the club has resorted to a random assignment system to assigning caddies during tournaments so everyone has an equal shot at getting the best ones.

If I'm representative of the impact caddies have, then I'd have to say the interactions should be minimal if you really want to limit the competition to the abilities of the golfers.

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The Rules of Golf allow one to use a caddy.  In a sense, it is a team game from the standpoint of discussing conditions, potential shots, etc...  If the rulesmakers had wanted to limit the input from a caddy, they would have written a prohibition related to providing advice.

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The Rules of Golf allow one to use a caddy.  In a sense, it is a team game from the standpoint of discussing conditions, potential shots, etc...  If the rulesmakers had wanted to limit the input from a caddy, they would have written a prohibition related to providing advice.

I don't know if I agree with that 100%.  Caddies were originally employees of courses and pro's were assigned course caddies when they played in a tournament.  Today the caddie is an employee of the pro and does much more than the course caddies of the early days.

While I agree that overall the Rules of Golf cover their use, the role of caddies has certainly evolved since their inception.

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The Rules of Golf allow one to use a caddy.  In a sense, it is a team game from the standpoint of discussing conditions, potential shots, etc...  If the rulesmakers had wanted to limit the input from a caddy, they would have written a prohibition related to providing advice.


I agree. From USGA Rules Section II - Definitions

Caddie

A “caddie” is one who assists the player in accordance with the Rules, which may include carrying or handling the player’s clubs during play.

From my own experiences, a caddie can offer suggestions, but it is ultimately up to the player to make the final decision and hit the shot.  Tom Watson is the best example of this.  Watson never credited his long-time caddie, Bruce Edwards, for his famous chip-in on the 17th hole of the '82 U.S. Open at Pebble. But he loves to tell the story of how his caddie told him to "get it close," and how he one-upped him.  Likewise, Watson was in contention for the 1984 British Open at St. Andrews. His second shot on 17, the Road Hole, found the road. He said, "I hit the wrong shot with the wrong club at the wrong time." He never blamed his caddie, Alfie Fyles, for pushing a two-iron on him. He subsequently bogeyed the 71st and 72nd holes and lost to Seve by 2 strokes.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by billchao

No. Other sports have coaches, trainers, and teammates for players to interact with. I don't have any problem with players getting advice or information from their caddies. They still have to execute their shot.

I'll concede that tennis is a notable exception, but tennis is much more of a reactive sport. The court conditions don't change from serve to serve, so there isn't a lot of pre-shot information to be dispensed.

But don't you think that a lot of the skill in golf is being able to read a putt or judge the wind to select the correct club? Why should they have help with that? You don't get it in your monthly medal. It's not a team sport, the caddy's name doesnt go onto the Trophy next to the players name.

A caddie gives a player some of the same info as a gps/laser device. Based on my thread about these devices Everyone uses them so I cant see  how anyone could begrudge a caddie helping a player.

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A caddie gives a player some of the same info as a gps/laser device. Based on my thread about these devices Everyone uses them so I cant see  how anyone could begrudge a caddie helping a player.

I think most professional caddies would be quite offended by your assertion.  GPS devices I have don't read greens, suggest clubs or shot strategy, report wind conditions, or provide emotional support.

Some pro caddies on the LPGA Tour do everything on the green but swing the putter.

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I think most professional caddies would be quite offended by your assertion.  GPS devices I have don't read greens, suggest clubs or shot strategy, report wind conditions, or provide emotional support.

Some pro caddies on the LPGA Tour do everything on the green but swing the putter.

if you read my post it says SOME of the same info. I caddie gives yardage to the pin, front of the green, to bunkers

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This is my point really. I don't mind them giving yardages and carrying the bag, after all, I have a GPS and an electric trolley that do that. What I do object to is the other help they give which I think should be the sole responsibility of the player. A good friend of mine is a scratch golfer and is very good at reading greens, I'm not great at green reading when there isn't much in the putt (I always seem to want it to come a little from the right hand side)so whenever we are playing as a team and I'm unsure, I will always ask him to have a look. I feel I hole a lot more putts with him reading the tricky ones for me. This is fine as a team but I don't think I should have any help in an 'individual ' tournament because if my name goes on the trophy and it's someone elses skills that have probably made that one or two shot difference, that would feel wrong to me.
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I don't have a problem with caddies assisting their respective player and helping read the greens - but when I see a caddy on the green standing behind their player helping align them - that just doesn't seem right. Heck why have a putting coach in the first place!
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What's the difference between reading a putt and lining someone up though? Surely they're part of the same skill?
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Also, my new law would stop idiots like Steve Williams bragging about how many majors 'he's' won! So it's worth the R&A; and USGA looking at it for that reason alone :)
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I see this on the LPGA - caddy on green standing behind their player lining them up with their target - that's different than reading the green.
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I some discussing it and pointing fingers at potential lines but wouldn't go as far to say their caddies are making the actual decision. Those ladies can flat out play.

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I've been to several LPGA events and have seen fluid swings that could make anyone jealous, yes the girls have definitely got it going on. But I've also seen a player re-adjust their putter alignment due to the caddies trained eye (from behind player).
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Quote:

Originally Posted by billchao

No. Other sports have coaches, trainers, and teammates for players to interact with. I don't have any problem with players getting advice or information from their caddies. They still have to execute their shot.

I'll concede that tennis is a notable exception, but tennis is much more of a reactive sport. The court conditions don't change from serve to serve, so there isn't a lot of pre-shot information to be dispensed.

But don't you think that a lot of the skill in golf is being able to read a putt or judge the wind to select the correct club? Why should they have help with that? You don't get it in your monthly medal. It's not a team sport, the caddy's name doesnt go onto the Trophy next to the players name.

I'm not sure how putting a caddy's name on a trophy is relevant.

That said, yes, those are important skills. So is making a sound swing. So is making a good putt. So is performing under pressure. Sorry for the bad analogies, but I feel you're just drawing an arbitrary line and saying anything beyond it should be the sole responsibility of the player. Why shouldn't players carry their own bags, then? Or rake their own bunkers? Make their own yardage books or walk off their own yardages? I don't know how you decide that these things are okay for a player to have someone do for them, but not others. I have to make the shot or putt. Doesn't matter if someone points me in the right direction, I still have to make that shot. Isn't that the point of golf?

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