According to the PGA Golf Dictionary, Glossary and Golf Terms, a golf caddy is “a person hired to carry clubs and provide other assistance.” The duties of golf caddies are mostly the same: carrying golf bags and handing golf clubs to the golfer. Apart from these two most obvious duties, there are usually more responsibilities. Below we’ve made up a list of a few main tasks of a golf caddy.
Carrying golf clubs
The main job — possibly the most commonly known job — of a golf caddy is to carry the golf bag and to hand the golfer the club s/he requests for the golf swing and then put it back in the bag after the golfer hits the shot.
Giving advice on club selection
At some time, the golfer may need the golf caddy’s opinion on what club to choose on a certain shot. This requires the golf caddy to have sufficient knowledge regarding golf clubs, the course and the particular situation, which is not an easy job. A good caddy who does a great job on assisting the golfer with club selection actually makes a big difference in the game, such as Steve Williams who is best known as the Tiger Woods caddie from 1999 to 2011.
Tiger Woods and Steve Williams. Source: Golfweek
A golf caddy is also responsible for cleaning the golf clubs after each shot and the golf balls on the green and before each tee shot for the golfer s/he is caddying.
Caddies are expected to rake the sand trap and the bunker after golfers finish their shots there, making the disturbed area revert to the original form, like no golf ball and no one was ever there.
Determining the distance
It is the golf caddy’s job to know the distance between the golf ball and the green and to keep the golfer informed. An automatic range finder can be used to determine the distance; if there is no range finder, caddies need to know how to find the nearest distance marker and measure yardages on their own.
Fixing divots and ball marks
When the golfer leaves a divot after striking the ball, it’s the golf caddy’s duty to replace that divot, either placing the missing chunk of grass back if retrievable, or filling the spot with sand if the missing piece cannot be found. When on the green, the golf caddy is expected to fix all the ball marks left by the golfer’s ball after marking it.
Fixing a Divot. Source: https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/articles/2019/05/divot-repair–why-and-how.html
Tending the pin
Caddies are also expected to tend or remove the pin after golfers hit the ball onto the green. When the golfer cannot see the hole, the caddy needs to hold the pin and remove it once the golfer makes the putt. Once all golf players finish the hole, the caddie must put the pin back in the hole.
On top of what we’ve listed above, some work regarding psychological skills are also very important for a golf caddy: reading the golfer’s mood and needs, keeping a positive attitude and knowing how to get the spirit back up when the golfer is down, for that golf can be a pretty stressful and dispiriting game sometimes even for professional golfers.