Jump to content
IGNORED

Caddied in Symetra Tour Tournament


WUTiger
 Share

Recommended Posts

This is several days old, but June 14-17 I got to caddie in The Decatur-Forsyth Classic, an event in the LPGA's developmental Symetra Tour. Held in Decatur, IL, the Classic is the oldest continuous event on the Symetra Tour.

I got to caddie for Grace Na, from Alameda, CA. A four-time All-American from Pepperdine University, this is her second year as a pro.

Because Symetra prize money is not that high, most of us locally sourced caddies volunteered for free. Likewise, Decatur host families housed many of the tournament golfers for the week.

Caddies are quite a mix: Some of the women golfers have regular caddies they use from week to week, either a relative or a steady hire, while others use on-site volunteer caddies. But, some of them just go it alone with bags on pull trolleys, and a few even carried their own bag during the rounds.

Most of the players use stand bags. During the rounds, a golf cart accompanies each group. Players can put umbrellas and orange whip trainers and clothing into the cart to lighten their bags. But, it's penalty strokes if either the player or caddie ride in a cart during the round.

Most Symetra tournaments are 54 holes - with a cut after 36. In Decatur, Grace needed a birdie Saturday on the 18th hole to make the cut, but missed a 20-foot putt.

Grace rebounded this week at the Island Resort Championship in Michigan, tied for 28th. She shot -3, and got $1,270 in winnings. The course is in the Upper Peninsula at the town of Harris.

Michigan played out a bit differently from Decatur. The ladies went from high humidity in the 90s in Illinois to blustery weather in Michigan. Second-round photos from this weekend showed the golfers playing in warm-up trousers and windbreakers. (I just followed online; Shirley and I did not go to Michigan.)
------------------------
For Decatur, the caddie assignment process was confusing. The caddie master didn't announce "who's your caddie" until Wednesday. Word originally was that you would meet the golfers Wednesday, and caddie in a practice round on Thursday.

Reality: Most of the golfers played practice rounds on Tuesday, a pro-am on Wednesday, and then rested on Thursday. I helped Grace practice on Wednesday, but didn't actually plant a bag for her on-course until money time on Friday.

The golfers said they usually get several days notice on their caddie, so the two can touch base and go over mutual expectations.

Still, Decatur was a fun experience - I just worry that Grace might have been able to sink that Saturday putt if we had worked together more.

Edited by WUTiger
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Everybody was pretty good-natured. Not nearly as tense as a PGA tour event.

Grace is pretty self-contained as a golfer. She does her own yardages and green reads, and marks down what club she used on a given shot.

Part of the challenge was that country club caddying (my background) is different than pro tour caddying. In tour caddying, it's OK to carry the bag onto the green on your back (just don't set it down). The country clubs don't encourage this on the grounds that the extra weight damages the greens. If your player is first on green, it's nice to be able to walk up and clean the ball for them before setting bag down - it saves a lot of steps.

Also, at country clubs, if caddie B is tending the pin, caddie A will move both bags to the next tee. This is discouraged on tour, because the golfers are competitors rather than pals out for a fun day. Don't mess with my stuff atmosphere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Interesting stuff.  Thank you for volunteering -- I knew there was a developmental tour, and I knew the money wasn't anywhere near what even the web.com tour has, so I was wondering about how housing and caddying work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Was your lady any relation to Kevin? Couldn't help but notice the last name.

Had a friend who would sign up as a local caddie when the LPGA had an event in this area, and he got to carry several times. He always prayed he wouldn't be asked to help read greens!

One year he had a lady pro who he swore had a sack of bricks in her bag! It was heavy as hell! He couldn't wait to shrug it off anywhere he could!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 hour ago, Buckeyebowman said:

One year he had a lady pro who he swore had a sack of bricks in her bag!

Wasn't a problem - almost the other way. It was a very light Ping bag, and a couple of times on a slope the legs didn't deploy properly - not enough weight in bottom.

The bag had the dual straps, but when going uphill I could take larger strides with just the right-shoulder strap.

Also, we had that cart with each group: the cart carried umbrellas, and warm-up tools not used in the round.

Fear not - I got a good workout in the 95*F heat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

10 hours ago, DeadMan said:

Too bad this tour doesn't come to Colorado, because that is something I would like to try out.

Not to Colorado, but it does come to Garden City, KS, about 300 miles east of you. In case you're interested:

September 7-10**
Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes
5685 S US Hwy 83, Garden City, KS 67846
Purse = $150,000

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 minutes ago, WUTiger said:

Not to Colorado, but it does come to Garden City, KS, about 300 miles east of you. In case you're interested:

September 7-10**
Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes
5685 S US Hwy 83, Garden City, KS 67846
Purse = $150,000

To put it politely, I think I would prefer not to spend a long weekend in Garden City, Kansas. :-D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • 1 year later...

So, this year I'll be caddying for Doris Chen on Friday and Saturday (and hopefully Sunday) in Albany for the Fuccillo Kia Classic of NY tournament.

I caddied two years ago for someone else and I just finished caddying a practice round for her.  The young lady I caddied for two years ago didn't really care much about where I stood or anything else provided I took care to mind myself of the etiquette in golf.  Ms. Chen, however, has a particular distance and place she likes me to stand when she's swinging and a few other idiosyncrasies about her.  Might feel a bit more pressure to measure up but I think I can handle it.  Overall, though, she seems like a very nice person and I think we'll get along well.  Should be fun!

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

5 hours ago, RFKFREAK said:

So, this year I'll be caddying for Doris Chen on Friday and Saturday (and hopefully Sunday) in Albany for the Fuccillo Kia Classic of NY tournament.

I caddied two years ago for someone else and I just finished caddying a practice round for her.  The young lady I caddied for two years ago didn't really care much about where I stood or anything else provided I took care to mind myself of the etiquette in golf.  Ms. Chen, however, has a particular distance and place she likes me to stand when she's swinging and a few other idiosyncrasies about her.  Might feel a bit more pressure to measure up but I think I can handle it.  Overall, though, she seems like a very nice person and I think we'll get along well.  Should be fun!

Come back with details after the tournament.    Exciting!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 7/25/2018 at 7:53 PM, dennyjones said:

Come back with details after the tournament.    Exciting!

So, just finished caddying for the tournament.

I caddied for Doris Chen, whose rookie year was in 2016 and was playing her 7th tournament this year on the tour but has yet to make a cut.  Her average driving distance is 238.19, putting her at 146th out of 155 on tour, and predictably, she ranks 117th in GIR at 64.53%.  As a comparison, the player who ranks first in average driving distance averages 292.452 yards per drive and 84.7% is first in GIR on the tour.

Ms. Chen's FIR% is 78.57, 43rd on tour but otherwise, she ranks in the 100s in most categories.

The course plays to a Par 71, with four Par 5's and five Par 3's.

She was supposed to tee off at 2:20 on Friday but tremendous rain storm began around 1:45 which suspended play until Saturday which prevented my player from teeing off on Friday.

My player began her opening round at 11:20 and teed off on the 10th hole.  Her playing partners were Christine Meier, who is from Michigan and had no caddy, and Haley Mills, who is from Texas and whose caddy was her boyfriend who said he agreed to do it because he was getting a trip to NYC out of it :-$.  Both average roughly 260 yards off the tee. 

The round failed to start auspiciously as Mills hit her opening tee shot left, requiring her to take an unplayable, carding at double bogey on a par 5.  Things went slightly better for Chen who hit her opening tee shot down the middle of the fairway but failed to get on the green with her third shot and couldn't convert and up and down, leading to a bogey.  She got the stroke back on the Par 5 dogleg right 12th hole but then dropped a stroke on the next hole, a par 3 with a steep elevation drop from the tee box to the green.  She got the stroke back when she putted from the fringe on the Par 4 15th hole but then dropped another stroke at the hardest hole of the course, the par 4 17th.  She finished her first 9 holes at +1.  She was in the middle of putting for par on the par 5 first hole when the horn sounded at 2:04 suspending play because of lighting.  Another huge storm hit Albany about 90 minutes later which once again drenched the course.  At about 4:30 they notified players that play would resume at 5:30 and the players went to warm up again.  Chen made her putt but then dropped a stroke on both the par 4 third hole and par 3 fourth hole.   She parred every hole after that until the Par 4 9th hole when she made a 10 footer for birdie.  Chen finished the round at +2 with 3 birdies, 10 pars, and 5 bogeys.  Meier finished the round at +1 which included at 3 putt from 6 feet on the par 5 8th hole when she hit a water patch on her second putt.  She had 2 birdies, 13 pars, and 3 bogeys,  and Mills finished her first round at +1 with 3 birdies, 12 pars, 2 bogeys, and the aforementioned double bogey.  The leader after the first round was Kendall Dye who shot a 65, finishing at -6, leading by 1.  The weather delays shortened the tournament from at 54 hole event to a 36 hole event.

Today my group teed off at 9:20 and once again Chen started her round with a bogey on a par 5 after failing to reach the green with her 3rd shot.  She was able to steady the ship and parred the rest of the holes on the front 9 to put up a +1.  Her putting was much better today as she wasn't leaving herself too many difficult second putts.  Although the conditions were better, neither Meier nor Mills were able to take advantage, either, as there were no birdies on the front 9.  Meier shot +2 on the front and Mills went +3 as we headed to the turn. 

The first birdie was by Chen who once again took advantage of the par 5 twelfth hole as she hit a 6 iron to within 2 feet.  On the next hole, a par 3, Meier put it in real tight to about 2 feet and made her putt.  Chen left herself about a 12 footer.  For the most part I had taken the position that unless Chen spoke to me, I wasn't going to say anything to her so as to not break her concentration.  I'm not sure why but she didn't seem confident to me as she was looking at the putt so I said to her as I handed her her ball back after cleaning it, "the way you've been putting today, it's going in like it has eyes."  It startled her and ask, "what?"  So, I repeated myself as I walked away with her bag and after she went through her routine, she drained the putt.   All three bogeyed the par 4 fifteenth, and Chen parred the par 3 sixteenth while Meier and Mills birdied it.  On the hardest hole of the course, the Par 4 seventeenth which plays about 400 yards to an elevated green that is wide but narrow front to back, Chen hit her tee shot down the middle and then mishit her second shot leaving short on the steep rough.  She pitched it on but left herself a 15 footer.  She seemed annoyed by the fact she left it so far so I decided once again to say something and just said, "you got this."  I felt a few words of encouragement might help and she made the putt.  Now, obviously correlation does not mean causation, but I'd like to think in some small way I helped her make the putt to save par.  All three parred 18, with Chen going -1 on the back, while both Meier and Mills went +1 on the back.

So, for the tournament, Chen shot a 144 going +2 for the tournament and finishing T84.  Meier shot a 146 going +4 for the tournament, finishing at T105, and Mills shot a 147 going +5 for the tournament, T112.  None of the three made the cut as of this posting, the projected cut line is -1 (not sure what the cut is but -1 was T52 and E was T66).  The tournament had 144 competitors, with one withdrawal.  Kendall Dye followed up her performance yesterday with a -4 today, going -10 overall and winning the tournament by 1 stroke.  I actually met Dye about three years ago when I was out to dinner with the player I hosted that week and she seems very cool and down to Earth.  I think she had a medical situation recently which may have sidelined her so I'm happy for her.  

So, anyway, I know this is a longish post but I hope some of you find it an enjoyable read!   

  • Like 2
  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • 2 years later...

So, my players done and shot +3.  She's a long hitter so hopefully she'll make the cut.  I believe the leader is -2 right now and more ppl over par than at and under par.

Here is her swing.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

31 minutes ago, RFKFREAK said:

So, my players done and shot +3.  She's a long hitter so hopefully she'll make the cut.  I believe the leader is -2 right now and more ppl over par than at and under par.

That is cool! Do you read putts or handle yardage or are you just a big mule? 🤣

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • iacas changed the title to Caddied in Symetra Tour Tournament

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    Whoop
    SuperSpeed
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasjun21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

    • Day 53: Did some yardstick putting practice indoors, and some rehearsal/swing mapping with a PW, also indoors.  
    • Day 207.  If you think I hit some 6-iron shots today, you're right!  But I also spent 30 minutes putting on a real green by taking a break to do so;  I didn't do drills, and I mostly hit from 3-12' ; the shorter ones I focused on doing my best to make it, the longer ones I wanted to get close enough to have a chance but, if I missed, to miss them long with a short return putt.  I also spent ten minutes hitting half shots with my 54 degree (indoors, off a mat, real balls). 
    • Mostly firstname lastname.  No titles;  if I did, somewhere between a third and a half of my active contacts would have the prefix Dr. and that would just be confusing.  A few are in there as pseudonyms;  even though no one goes through my phone, it's just in case as I don't think they'd want their personal number getting released through my carelessness.   A few are missing last names, usually if I don't know that information about them for some reason, and a few have reminders if I only sort of know them or if there are two or more people I know with the same first-name last-name combination.   Scrolling through the contact list, I have a ton of people I haven't had any communication with, phone or otherwise, in over a decade.   The only time I have ever known how I'm stored in someone else's phone was back in college when I, at some point, found out that my then-girlfriend had me stored in her phone as "Bozo." 
    • I'm playing Lake St. Clair Metropark (Par-3) again this Saturday. 🙂
    • Mostly First and Last Name. If it's someone I want to remember associated with a business it might be like Jay (Henderson Construction). 
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. AWebb85
      AWebb85
      (36 years old)
    2. grilljm
      grilljm
      (75 years old)
    3. Joe92385
      Joe92385
      (36 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...