ABOUT YOUR CADDIE Golfers coming to Thailand for the first time may never have experienced playing with a caddie. This adds a whole new dimension to the game. Courses in Thailand provide each golfer with a caddie. The caddie will be wearing a uniform and be a local Thai person. An additional cost to you will be a tip for the caddie (about the same as the caddie fee in the pro shop usually around 300 Baht The amount is up to you and paid in cash to the caddie at the conclusion of the Round – don’t expect change from the caddie! When you arrive at the Golf Course a Course Controller and caddies meet your vehicle.
A caddie is then assigned and takes control of your bag and clubs and loads the buggy. Some golfers arrange to book the same caddie each round they play. However another point of view is that sharing the income between different caddies means that no caddie is being financially advantaged or disadvantaged.You will then have time to relax and do whatever you need to do before play commences. It’s easy to find your caddy and clubs before moving to the first tee. Caddie duties include driving the buggy, marking and cleaning the golf ball, handing you the required club, taking care of the flag stick, marking the ball on the green, raking the bunker and giving you advice.
This advice may include the best line for the shot, distances, how to avoid trouble, club selection and most importantly reading the putt. The slope of the green is often hard to gauge without Course experience! Caddies are typically experienced, knowledgeable and friendly. Although their advice is usually very good it is only an opinion – the decision is always yours! The caddie’s knowledge of the Rules of Golf may be limited (perhaps because they learn from golfers!).
Together with your marker, you decide where to drop the ball and when to apply penalty strokes. Some caddies may want to please you by suggesting there is a free drop when the Rules don’t allow for this. If you are playing serious games always check with your marker before accepting this advice.The caddie is likely to want to mark your card (up to your group!). However if you are in competition mode the score recorded and signed for is your responsibility!
Always treat your caddie with respect and good humour! Each caddie’s knowledge of English or other languages varies though is likely to be much better than your Thai! Please don’t get upset about any misunderstandings, suspect advice or if you are just having a bad day! If your caddie becomes quiet and withdrawn you may need to ‘lighten up’! Any form of abuse or harassment is never acceptable! Find out your caddie’s name and introduce yourself before the start of play. Consider buying your caddie a drink when you call into a refreshment station. Getting on well with your caddie may improve your play and will make the Round even more enjoyable! Many Golf Courses have a system for you to rate how well the caddie did their job.
Our advice is take this seriously, be honest and don’t make the judgment based on how well you played. Remember that the caddie and an extended family may be dependent upon this income earned. How well the caddie is rated may determine how often they get work. We heard of one golfer who always booked the same caddie. Somehow another person in the group ended up with the card to place in the box provided. Probably just as a very bad joke he wrote on the card ‘this caddie is shxx!’ The next day the caddie was on the phone asking why this was written. She had just been suspended for 2 months! We will provide more information about caddies in editions to come. They each have a tale to tell and their insights about the game are well worth reading!