This has always baffled me. Then again, I'm easily baffled. What on God's green earth would be a valid reason for a professional golfer to fire their caddie other than the few obvious ones. For example, not showing up at the first tee, running out of balls, having two drivers and 15 clubs in your bag at The Open Championship, (Ian). His caddie, Miles Byrne was not fired after the "two drivers" incident. That came two weeks later at the Scandinavian Masters when he failed to show for Woosnam's tee time. Hence the caddie mantra, "Show up, keep up, shut up", and count my clubs, I only have ten digits.
For the most part here's a guy/gal that's willing to schlep your 40 lb. Tour bag for five miles. Up hills, down hills, 30 deg., or 95 deg. Sounds like a freakin' llama. That in itself is a greater athletic feat than the player is going to perform. If it rains they're going to keep you and your bodacious bag dry. Your balls will be laundered, frequently. You'll be encouraged and cajoled with the respect you expect being the prince/princess that you are. You are given precise yardages from all over the golf course property in case a camera click forces you to Captain Kirk your tee ball. (Gone where no ball's gone before). If you win, the caddie played no part. If you lose, he misclubbed you all day. And...if you lose he gets 10% of zilch.
I would suggest that if a professional golfer hires a caddie to begin with, he's probably checked him out. Is he a good caddie? Is he a decent guy? How's his breath? How shiny can he get my balls? That being said, there aren't any valid reasons, other than the aforementioned cardinal sins, for handing them pink slips. Any pro golfer that allows his caddie to choose a club or make a shot decision is a moron. If you going to do that then hand him a club and let him hit the shot. I realize there are long standing golfer/caddie relationships that prosper for many years. Tom Watson and Bruce Edwards come to mind first due to the tragedy they endured and the obvious connection they shared. On many more occasions though it seems like caddies are treated like good luck charms. "Toss that stinkin' ole' caddie and maybe I can start making some cuts."
The guys I golf with would love to have caddies. We'd treat then with the respect they deserve. Shoot, every other round we'd turn the clubs over to them so they could play and we'd caddie. The only thing we couldn't do is pay them. So, next time you watch TV golf pay a little extra attention to the caddies. Without them a professional round would take 8 hours, 2 hours longer than it seems to take now.
MAN BITES DOG
In one of the few instances where a caddie fired his player, Matthew Tritton pulled off his bib on the 16th tee in the 2nd round of the 2007 BMW Championship at Cog Hill. He then rifled the yardage book at Robert Allenby and proceeded to leave the course. Something he said I suppose. There must be a common denominator involved since this wasn't the first time a caddie had pink slipped Allenby.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Posted by Average Golfer at 6:51 PM