Kinh Doanh

The art of caddying: What makes a good golfing companion?


Caddy never leaves the limelight and has a unique perspective into the world of professional, elite sports.

“(Eddie’s) effect on my game, I can’t overestimate.”

Francis Ouimet and his caddy, Eddie Lowery, play golf at Brookline in 1913.

There’s a treasure trove of caddy stories out there, like the teammate unexpectedly responsible for the name of the 10th hole – known as South America – at the British Open Women’s host course, Carnoustie.

Legend has it that he passionately boasted that he had migrated to the distant continent the next day, only to be found in the morning sleeping in the blue upstairs.

And so the hole got its unique name.

Veteran caddy Billy Foster – British who worked with Gordon Brand Jr., Seve Ballesteros, Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods at the 2005 Pres President Cup and now Matt Fitzpatrick, has almost proven ants all 40 years of caddying.

He recalls what a career was like in the 1980s – sleeping in tents, buses and even in the bushes on a French highway one night, living without a cell phone or credit card. , had no notebook and even stood in the middle of the driving range. Catch another player’s ball trying not to get hit.

He told CNN Sport: “The goalposts have changed a bit.

“There were no gauges back then, so you had to go there on a Monday and draw your own ruler with a wheelchair. That took seven to eight hours alone.”

Sunesson, like Foster, told CNN in 2018 that she uses caddying as a means to travel and see places.

“There was no thinking after that about monetizing any games,” added Foster, who said today former players are considering career options.

Even three-time Grand Slam tennis champion Andy Murray is interested in the idea of ​​running – despite being a perfectionist, there may be an aspect of his job that can help him stay on track. operate at night.

Sunesson with only Nick Faldo in one round.

Fifteen Club Nightmare

Caddying for Clarke when he finished in third place at the 2001 Open in Royal Lytham and St AnnesFoster recalls finalist leader Ian Woosnam was given a two-shot penalty for leaving two drivers in his bag, the “sadest” moment he can recall in his entire career. .

To this day, Foster even wakes up several times a year in a cold sweat that panics about 15 clubs, more than once more than the legal number introduced in the 1930s.

“You try to get the sticks out, and then three more come out, then there are 18 sticks in your pocket, you throw them away and five more come out! It’s a caddy’s worst nightmare.”

Masters champion Miles Byrne, former Woosnam Masters champion, passed the news on to his boss as he sat at the top of the leaderboard.

“I felt immediately for Miles. It was a fundamental error, and it happened quite a few times. It could be at the French Open or the Spanish Open, but to make it to the last group, to lead the Championship. Enemy expansion… that’s a horrible, horrible thought.”

Foster recounted how fate worked against Woosnam and Byrne that Sunday, from the Welshman bringing a backup driver ahead to adjust his game to rumors of a gets into the tee – first par-three.

“Woosie played all that week with just one truck in the bag, one head scarf. You’d think it might take a bit of work to have two headscarves.

“But Woosie flushed it in range, and his coach Pete Cowen told Woosie to hit a couple of six before he teered because of the unusual Lytham started with a par three.”

Ian Woosnam (right) stands with driver Miles Byrne as he explains his error during the 2001 Open Championship final at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

As they made their way to the first hole, the last words that seemed to be uttered from Cowen to Byrne were “Don’t forget to put the backup driver in the locker” before all was cleared up.

“What’s the first thing you do on the first tee? You take off your hijab,” Foster said.

“But the first game at Lytham was par 3. So Miles got the pin, gave it to Woosie yardage, he hit a six-iron again, dead kick, birdie.

“He’s currently leading the Open, at 43, his last chance for real, and I know Miles took two steps off the first tee and saw two riders. And wanted to get sick of it. . He was about 10 meters short of the first tee and said, “Woosie, you’re going ballistic.”

Then there was a picture of Woosnam angrily dumping the club in the bushes, while Foster said he jumped a fence onto a nearby railway line.

“I lay there waiting three hours from Lytham passing by and leaving.

“It’s got to be the most horrible feeling, you’ll never get over it, and to this day, I bet Miles never had and neither did Woosie.”

‘I thought so, but I didn’t say it’

It’s not always a bumpy road. Long-term partnerships like Jim “Bones” Mackay and Phil Mickelson have grown for 25 years, winning five major titles between 2004 and 2013.

Or the unlikely Andy Sutton and Ben Curtis pairing at the 2003 Open – the duo met a week before American Curtis became the first man since Ouimet to win a Major on his first try.

Major three-time winner and European Ryder Cup 2021 captain Padraig Harrington and Ronan Flood is another partnership that has stood the test of time, while American Chad Lamsback is noted for his ants. Local knowledge, his Japanese skills and a cool head in 2021 National Women’s Augusta Amateur winner Tsubasa Kajitani.

“Today’s caddy’s name is Chad, and Chad learned some Japanese before,” said the 17-year-old. “That’s why we just trust him.”

Mickelson hugs Jim

Some players have hired family members or friends as caddies since the coronavirus pandemic, and even before that, Rory McIlroy brought his friend Harry Diamond to his pocket. Dustin Johnson’s brother Austin has won both of the 37-year-old’s major titles.

Mickelson’s brother Tim stood with the American as the 51-year-old became the oldest champion in May, and Brooke Henderson’s sister Brittany stepped on the track with the big winner. Canada.

A year ago, Sophia Popov’s professional golfer boyfriend, Max Mehles, carried the German’s bag for her memorable AIG Women’s Open win at Troon, a favor that Popov enjoyed return in March when Mehles competed in the PGA Tour Canada Qualifiers.

Former European Tour Caddies Association president and owner of The Tour Caddies, Sean Russell, who campaigned for multiple winners Kenneth Ferrie and Diana Luna on the Ladies’ European Tour as well as at the 2009 Solheim Cup, said the rules Covid’s stalemate is an obvious factor in the guard’s change.

“If you’re going to spend a lot of time with someone, you’re better off with a friend,” he told CNN Sport.

“I think Covid has accelerated the previous trend: having friends, husband, wife. caddie – he’s really good. Lee Westwood and Helen too, I defy people saying they don’t look right.

“I always say you can teach someone to be a caddy but you can’t teach them to be your life partner.”

Russell has four key principles that he always follows as a caddy: do the basics well, be adaptable, can get along with anyone, and have the ability to get through anything.

“I think caddies have pretty thick skin, some more than others,” he says.

“When I used to be a caddy, the first question I asked players would be ‘Do you hate caddy or do you hate caddy doing?’

Jack Nicklaus and his caddy celebrate a birdie on the 15th hole on their way to winning the 1966 Masters.

“The answer is always varied from something like the caddy saying, ‘I’m thinking that but I’m not saying it’ or another player saying he doesn’t want the caddy to be too defensive. For example: ‘If it’s different’ Six feet to the right of the green, we’re at the peg. Do not let me play left. ‘”

Foster has one key piece of advice: choose your golfing partner carefully.

“It’s 30 weeks a year, it’s more of a relationship than a marriage, so you need to be able to move on.

“The art of caddying is to be active and committed to your answers. When a player asks a question, be ready for it. I know pretty much the answer before they ask the question.”

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