Who's Your Caddie?

Full disclosure: I love golf.

I learned to play golf in college after my basketball coach found out I’d played field hockey in high school. “It’s kinda the same, you’ll be fine” she assured me, though the only 18 holes I’d ever played were in mini golf and I never could get it past the Windmill.

Golf is the only sport I’ve ever played where the higher I scored, the worse I was doing. As if that wasn’t strange enough, one day I started doing something completely bizarre…

I started watching golf on T.V. 

What I once thought was the most boring thing one could possibly watch has now become my favorite “reality show”. Gorgeous courses, incredible shots, and everywhere you look there’s pressure pressure pressure. Self-imposed or situational, the mental side of golf is fascinating and nobody navigates it better than the caddies.

Yes, the caddies.

While watching the Presidents Cup recently a few of the players were mic’d which allowed viewers to overhear some conversations between caddie and pro. If you filter out the golf-specific bits (club choice, yardage, wind direction, lie, etc) what you’ll hear is the expert way in which a caddie gives their pro just what they need to succeed. A great caddie offers well-informed choices for course of action, affirms the pro’s decision, and supports their pro through each shot regardless of outcome.     

It’s been said that behind every great player is a great coach – golf is no exception, though in this sport the coach often takes the form of the guy carrying the bag. Mentor, confidant, champion, challenger, support network, friend… Jordan Spieth is the current world #1 and when he talks about success he uses the word “we” giving continual credit to his caddie Michael Greller.

“The Spieth-Greller team is different. It's out of the Japanese corporate management playbook, where there's no boss, no subordinate, just workers with different roles and the same goal.” – Michael Bamberger

Teamwork. Togetherness. Support through the ups and downs. To be successful in any endeavor we all need a great caddie. Some bags are heavier than others, weighed down by what we each choose to carry around but made lighter by those who are along with us for the journey.

Professionally, I caddie for coaches.

Who’s your caddie?