The Caddies and Fore Caddies in Golf

Although these job titles are often thought to be synonymous, each has quite different responsibilities. Since these guys and girls are paid by the golfers—usually to the tune of $100 minimum per round – it’s important for you to understand their roles and put their services to proper use.

A caddie carries the bag, walks with the golfer, and assists an individual or a twosome in the play of the course. This person offers advice on club selection, strategy, and putting. A good caddie can improve your score by several strokes, particularly on a course you haven’t played before.

A Caddie’s Responsibilities:

Carry your bag—or push it on a trolley.

Be your “partner” throughout the round by helping with strategy, club selection, and green-reading.
Provide occasional levity or inspiration, as needed.

Do all of the housekeeping.

A fore caddie works for the entire group to watch for wayward shots, manage the housekeeping chores, and help maintain an acceptable pace of play. Don’t expect a fore caddie to improve your performance. Instead, a fore caddie should enhance your enjoyment of the course by handling most of the on-course etiquette responsibilities, so you don’t have to.

A Fore caddie’s Responsibilities:

Hustle and stay ahead of the group.

Watch wayward shots and help find the lost balls.

Provide yardages to the pin and other landmarks.

Clean all clubs periodically throughout the round, but not necessarily after every shot.

Clean all of the golf balls once they’ve been marked on the green.

Repair pitch marks and divots, and rake the bunkers.

Give brief descriptions of each hole to golfers who haven’t previously played the course

Tend the pin and provide general advice on the green.

A fore caddie shouldn’t tell each player which club to use or attempt to read every putt – there simply isn’t time.

Playing with a good caddie or fore caddie enhances the golf experience. However, feeling stuck with a chatty or lazy one, can suck the life right out of the group. Remember, you’re paying for the service. Confidently take control of the situation and inform your employee if you’d like to see more or less of a particular behavior. Believe me, they want you to be happy and will gladly adjust their focus to suit your expectations.

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