If you’ve ever stumbled across a televised golf tournament while channel surfing, you will likely have seen a caddy in action. A common misunderstanding about this interesting profession concerns their job description as many casual observers assume the caddy’s sole duty is to lug a golfer’s equipment across the course. However, there is much more to caddying than meets the eye.

The word, “caddy,” was derived from the French “le cadet,” a term used to describe errand boys. This phrase was especially favored by the Scottish. In Scottish society, caddies were originally hired to deliver water to houses and businesses before the modern marvel of indoor plumbing. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that caddies were exclusively confined to greens and fairways. These early caddies were often young boys only responsible for carrying a golfer’s clubs. Because the golf bag had not yet been fashioned, caddies had to carry all of a golfer’s clubs in a bundle.

As the game evolved, so did the role of the caddy. Once a specialized porter, caddies began to assume additional responsibilities. Today’s caddies are entrusted with a plethora of responsibilities. They clean a golfer’s equipment, offer advice on which club to use, and measure how far away a golfer is from the hole. Caddies also replace divots and rake the sand comprising a course’s bunkers.

In order to serve more efficiently, most caddies are proficient golfers themselves. While postsecondary degrees are often optional in the field, an aspiring caddy should try his or her best to better their own golf game. Taking private lessons and frequenting driving ranges helps a caddy not only improve their own abilities, but allows them to offer superior advice to the pros.

A caddy’s salary largely depends on where and who they work for. The average Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) caddy makes roughly $1,000 per week. In addition to their basic salary, caddies are usually paid 5-10 percent of their employers winnings if the duo should happen to win a tournament. In 2007 alone, Steve Williams, caddy to Tiger Woods, earned $1.27 million.

An exciting career with ample opportunities for travel and self-growth, caddying is a century-old occupation with a bright future ahead.


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