Are caddie positions in danger?

By: July 15, 2014

Today there are 2 kinds of golf rangefinder: GPS and laser rangefinder. My impression is that with the rise of smartphone usage people preferring GPS rangefinders over laser rangefinders since such solutions are available in mobile application version that they can download to their mobile.

1 information is still missing from golf rangefinders: topography and terrain information. What can we do without this insight? Probably there 2 options:

  1. rely on your own eyesight or
  2. on your caddie's eyesight and knowledge of the golf course.

Last week a reseach (“Understanding the Quality and Functions of the Golfer-Caddie Relationship”) came out commissioned by HSBC just before this week's Open Championship.

They tried to find out if there is any relation between the golfer's performance and his relationship with his caddie. The conclusion was the right caddie can add 30% to the golfer's performance during a game:

HSBC The Open Infographic

The research revealed what we have already known namely good golfer-caddie work relation depends on 2 things trust and two-way communication.

Dr Sophia Jowett, Director of Research Degrees at Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Science admitted that they wanted to scientifically evaluate the caddie contribution.

I think in general caddies' role can be categorized in 3 areas: technical, psychological and environmental.  

Technical aspect includes the following roles: decrease golfer's workload and provide information about the golf course (+recommending golf club selection in each every situation). By providing golf course information (see this missing information that I mentioned at the beginning of this post: topography, terrain information +many other relevant information) and short term confidence (psychological aspect) the golfer's decision making is made easier.

The big challenge is how to give the player the best possible chance of playing a good and successful shot.

Both sides have to master communication. In addition to this, caddies should know also how to manage people (see: people management) to gain trust.