Caddy

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In golf, a caddy (or caddie) is the person who carries a player's bag and clubs, and gives insightful advice and moral support. A good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it. This includes knowing overall yardage, pin placements and club selection. A caddy is not usually an employee of a private club or resort. He is classified as an "independent contractor," meaning that he is basically self employed and does not receive any benefits from his association with the club. Some clubs and resorts do have caddy programs, although benefits are rarely offered.

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Etymology

The term caddie comes from the gascon Occitan capdèth or capdet, meaning chief then younger boy (become cadet in French and refers to the Cadets de Gascogne, the captains serving in the French army in the 15th century were the youngest sons of the aristocratic families of Gascony). The term caddie or cadie first appeared in the English language in the year 1634.[1]

Types of caddying

Traditional caddying involves both the golfer and the caddie walking the course. The caddy is in charge of carrying the player’s bag, with the caddie out in front of the player. This is the most common method used in golf clubs and is the only method allowed in the PGA (Professional Golf Association) and LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association).

"Fore-Caddying" entails the caddie walking while the players ride in carts. The fore-caddy will give a hole description and then walk ahead to spot the players tee shots. The caddie then gets the players yardage (either with a laser, course knowledge, or sprinkler heads) while the players drive their carts from the tee to their shots. The caddy walks ahead again to spot the golfers next shots. This process is continued until the players reach the green. Once on the green the caddie will read greens (if asked per proper golf etiquette), clean golf balls (if asked), fix ball marks, and attend the flag if asked. The caddie is also responsible for raking traps on the course. Caddies will help with club selection, reading greens, weather variables, and marking balls on the green but should only do so if asked to by the player. More than anything else, the caddy is there to make the player's round enjoyable by taking care of menial tasks, speeding up play, and providing mental support if asked.

Caddy Ranks

Most clubs use a ranking system. Caddies will start as a trainee, and be promoted through the ranks of Intermediate, Captain, Honor, and finally Championship. Championship is reserved for only the best caddies. Many courses start their caddies off at the B level, and after a year move them to A, and on their fourth year (if they have earned it), they will receive the title of Honor caddy. The intermediate and captain ranks can usually be obtained within the first year of caddying, and the honor rank is usually obtained in the second or third year of caddying. Championship takes at least 6 years and often as many as 10 years to obtain. An alternative ranking system often used in the American Mid-West proceeds as B level, A level, AA level, Honor level, and Evans Scholar. Caddies often obtain a promotion in rank once a year, while often Honor takes two years to achieve and Evans Scholar's are only produced by winning the venerable Evans Scholarship for university.

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