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Is Joe LaCava Tiger's Best Choice of Caddie?

Joe LaCava  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. Please read the first post, and then answer the question: Is Joe LaCava Tiger's best choice of caddie?

    • Yes
      34
    • No
      35


115 posts / 15368 viewsLast Reply

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2 hours ago, MSchott said:

I think the point is that caddies should be inconspicuous. Stevie is definitely not that. The golfer is the star not the caddie. It's the same reason Tiger fired Fluff Cowan. Jack Nicklaus said last week that he thinks players count far too much on caddies these days. Maybe he's out of touch with the modern game but back to the point of this thread, LaCava is known as a great caddie.

And back in the day people thought Jack relied too much on the pre-measured yardages in his yardage book.  Times change, practices change, but human nature stays the same.

I think most players would rather win 13 majors with a caddie who is not inconspicuous than not win any with a Casper Milquetoast.

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On 6/8/2018 at 2:18 PM, iacas said:

Says who?

And Tiger had great success with Stevie. He's had limited success with Joey… and made mistakes that you didn't often see him making with Stevie.

The reasons go beyond that, according to some of the things I've heard and read. Tiger would have fired Stevie if it was just about that.

That doesn't mean he's a great fit for Tiger Woods.

I've never been one, whether it's basketball, football or golf to put much blame on anyone except the players. Obviously there are reasons other than LaCava that Tiger has not played well since Stevie left. So I feel it's all about the player and not the caddie. Stevie had Tiger in his prime. LaCava has had him older and injury riddled.

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6 hours ago, MSchott said:

I've never been one, whether it's basketball, football or golf to put much blame on anyone except the players. Obviously there are reasons other than LaCava that Tiger has not played well since Stevie left. So I feel it's all about the player and not the caddie. Stevie had Tiger in his prime. LaCava has had him older and injury riddled.

All beside the point. Do you want a coach who is a great fit for the team or a bad fit for the team?

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6 hours ago, iacas said:

All beside the point. Do you want a coach who is a great fit for the team or a bad fit for the team?

Are caddies swing coaches? And it's not beside the point Erik. It is the point.

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Just now, MSchott said:

Are caddies swing coaches? And it's not beside the point Erik. It is the point.

I didn't say "swing coach." You brought up other sports like basketball and football. Those sports have coaches. Yes, the players are responsible for playing, but the coach in those sports can ultimately affect the outcome, and if you had a choice between a coach who was a good fit for your team and a coach who was a bad fit for your team, it would not only affect the mentality of the players, but their general feeling and some decisions.

Just like a caddie in golf. They can affect the outcome. The ultimate responsibility, glory, and blame go to the player(s), but the players know they're a team on the course. They rely on their caddies. Like teams rely on their coaches.

I think Joey is a poor choice of caddie for Tiger right now.

You think "Joey is a good caddie." I've never debated that. I just don't think he's a good fit for Tiger. I think Tiger's always excelled when he has a challenge facing him.

I think Joey is too meek, a wallflower. A baggage carrier.

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I was wondering what if Joey was Tiger caddie through the glory years and now we have Stevie on the bag. Would everyone be saying that Stevie is not a good fit for him or would we all be saying Tiger needs to pull it together mentally? 

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2 minutes ago, hillis11 said:

I was wondering what if Joey was Tiger caddie through the glory years and now we have Stevie on the bag. Would everyone be saying that Stevie is not a good fit for him or would we all be saying Tiger needs to pull it together mentally? 

Sigh....impossible to know...but still not the point. We’re talking about a better fit for Tiger right now. Yes Stevie had Tiger in his prime but we’re not talking about ball striking. We’re talking about club selection, course management, mood, etc. We’ve stated before for example Tiger on 16 at the API. Tiger admitted he ‘didn't commit to a shot.’ These kinds of things are what a more involved caddie like Stevie would help prevent. 

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7 minutes ago, hillis11 said:

I was wondering what if Joey was Tiger caddie through the glory years and now we have Stevie on the bag. Would everyone be saying that Stevie is not a good fit for him or would we all be saying Tiger needs to pull it together mentally? 

I don't know that Tiger Woods would have won 14 (13 with Stevie) majors. I think he'd have won less.

Your post here doesn't do anything but double down on speculation, while I feel I'm basing my opinion largely on what's actually happened, things I've actually seen happen, and am simply speculating on whether Joey is the best fit now, not completely ignoring what has happened and doubling up on the speculation with a Joey-then-Stevie cycle.

@Vinsk phrased it a different (better?) way while I was typing this response.

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If Tiger is smart he should get Steve back if he can.  Steve's strong work ethic is very similar to Tiger's. Being in New Zealand I've met Steve Williams and played golf with him and he's one of the finest people I've ever met. Both Steve and Tiger know you have to work at it to get results. They made one of the finest duos in golf competitions and I hope we all see them together again. 

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On 4/14/2018 at 4:07 PM, iacas said:

I didn't include an "I don't know" in the choices in the poll above because that's the only answer any of us should choose. Hell, even Tiger and Joe himself don't necessarily know if he's the best choice - Tiger just uses the available information to arrive at a decision.

But I've been thinking for awhile now that LaCava may not be the best for him.

Stevie Williams was, of course, Tiger's caddie for 13 of 14 majors. He split off from Tiger not too long after the Thanksgiving night stuff in 2009. One of Stevie's best qualities, IMO, was that he didn't take shit from Tiger, and he'd step up and let himself be heard when he had something to say. He made Tiger hit a 60° wedge instead of (IIRC) a 56° wedge on the 18th at Torrey Pines in 2008, going so far as to say something like "I know how much this means to you, and if you don't hit the shot you want, fire me on the spot, but I feel that strongly it's a 60 here."

The recent Tiger Woods biography pointed out that LaCava stood by and did virtually nothing while Tiger was walking around and surveying his options and ultimately dropped in the wrong spot on the 13th hole at Augusta in 2013. In fact, I've almost never seen Joey LaCava step in and talk to Tiger when the situation may warrant it - to cool Tiger down when he's running hot, to get him to focus when he's getting sloppy, etc.

Williams could be seen doing these things - and more - all the time. He'd engage. He'd put his opinion out there. He'd tell Tiger - again this is documented in the book - to get his head on straight and to pay attention, or whatever.

Joe just seems to be a bag carrier.

Maybe that's what Tiger wants. Maybe he has lost some of his drive and passion and just wants to be a happier, less focused guy on the course. Maybe he doesn't want to have a guy getting in his face demanding something during his rounds.

I don't know. None of us do.

But the poll intentionally only has "yes" or "no" as possible answers.

So vote.

I voted "no." I think Tiger needs a more forceful, direct, in-your-face type of caddie. I think he needs to be challenged more, I think he needs to be held in check more, and I think he needs someone who can slap him around a little bit when he starts to get off track.

Do we know how many times Stevie gave Tiger the wrong stick?

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1 hour ago, Herkimer said:

Do we know how many times Stevie gave Tiger the wrong stick?

I didn't even really talk about that.

My reasons for voting the way I did have nothing to do with clubbing, and more to do with the attitude, the interactions, those types of things. Whether the caddie argues for one club or a different one, the player ultimately chooses a club.

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I voted no. Like @iacas said the answer is ultimately I don't know but given the choices for me it's a no. I have always been a big Tiger fan. He disappointed the hell out of me with all his shenanigans but the man flat out dominated like I've never seen. I believe the Steve Williams type of caddy is perfect for Tiger. He wasn't afraid to back down and argue what he thought was the right way to go. 13 majors tells me he was on to something.

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Tiger and Steve were an excellent winning team. Tiger was a mess being ostracized by society norms and got rid of Sreve, in my opinion, by an ill thought out knee jerk reaction to sponsors, etc  getting rid of him. Perhaps Tiger will get his winning team back together if he,s smart.

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TigerWoodsCaddieJoeLaCavaMasters2019.jpg

After a three-putt bogey at No. 5, Tiger Woods’ caddie Joe LaCava pulled him aside. ’I just listened,’ Woods said.

Finally, news of Joey doing something to give Tiger a kick in the ass. I feel like Tiger plays best when he's challenged. Joey needs to challenge him more, perhaps. Good things seem to happen.

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Stew w was the best match for Tiger in my opinion. An amazing accomplishment from going from a severely injured spine to putting on another green jacket. What a  amazing and almost unimaginable accomplishment! Hope we see more!

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La Cava is the first caddie in almost 11 years to help Tiger get a major. Well done Joey.

Edited by MacDutch

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Ideally the option of "too early to tell" should be there.  Given it is missing, I would have to vote "NO".  Simple reason being the number of majors and tourney wins under Stevie.  Over time we may come to appreciate Joe more and he may help Tiger's game, but currently he is not, though that is based on our memory of Tiger as a dominant force who won 14 majors.  If he hadn't done so and was just a journeyman golfer, then Joe would get a bit more respect for helping Tiger win a major

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37 minutes ago, MacDutch said:

La Cava is the first caddie in almost 11 years to help Tiger get a major. Well done Joey.

🤦‍♂️

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