Become Your Own Pro Golf Caddie
Most of the pro Tour and mini-tour players with whom I work do not have their own regular caddies. They usually employ a local golf caddie at week’s event These players are constantly forging new relationships with new caddies. Some weeks it works, some weeks it doesn’t.
A golf caddie is a critical element in performing well at a professional tournament. In addition to giving yardages and taking care of the player, a caddie can also be a coach, confidant and counselor Beyond the classic adage, “Show up, keep up and shut up,” a good caddie has to be continually in the head of the golfer. The caddie has to know when to say something, what to say, how to say it and, as importantly, when not to say anything at all.
One technique we have developed with touring players is to have a 4-by-6-inch index card that explains what the golfers want from their caddies during the tournament. Instead of explaining what the golfer wants at the beginning of each week, the player simply gives this index card to the caddie. On the card is what the player wants the caddie to do, what to say and how to say it.
The index card is really a compilation of how the player can perform well. Many of my players have reported that this index card was even more valuable than just a caddie briefing. Even though I never originally intended to be so (I am not that smart!), this index card represents the key elements in the player’s formula for success.
Frequent1y, the players read their cards again and respond, “Oh yes, that is what I need to do to play well.” Some of them regularly use this index card as a reminder for themselves as well. Let’s take this concept of the caddie card one step further. Answer this question: If you were to become your own golf caddie, what would you tell yourself about how you perform best? What are the key elements to your personal formula for success -especially under pressure? What things do you need to emphasize, de-emphasize and ignore? What would you like to say to yourself and in what manner?
|Answer this question:
If you were to become your own golf caddie, what would you tell yourself about how you perform best? You may be surprised at what you write down
Pretend you are becoming your own caddie and educate yourself about you. Write out a caddie card for yourself. You’ll quickly discover that it is not as easy as it first appears. Not only do you have to determine what to say to yourself but also how to say it. Any formula – such as this formula for golfing success – has to be precise for it to be of any consistent value.
As an example, the following is the caddie card I wrote up when I last played The Old Course at St. Andrews. I usually do not like to use caddies, but sometimes they are a treat. Knowing for me that caddies can be as much of a hindrance as a help, here is what I wrote:
I am a quiet focused and creative player. Give me just enough information about a hole so I can figure it out by myself. I like making my own decisions and mentally rehearsing each shot.
Since I shape many of my shots and hit them at various speeds, please don’t recommend or pull a club for me. Quietly support me. No pushing or exhorting me. Sincerely compliment me after a good shot and find something positive to say after a poor shot. In everything you say and do, be positive about it.
When I am becoming too (in)tense, lighten me up by pointing at the scenery or telling a funny story. When I am angry don’t say anything. It will pass quickly. Just have me focus on the shot in front of me. When I am battling, support my fight. When I am playing well don’t say much and just keep me calm.
Since I read my putts by imagining the hole as a clock, if I ask you for help tell me at what hour and minute; (such as 4:30) you see the putt going into the hole. Until you understand this concept, just confirm what I say. Let’s go settle into ourselves and throw ourselves into this round!
You may want to write up your own caddie card. You will certainly have to revise it a couple of times. And you may very well be surprised at the final result. What you come up with is really your unique formula for success. Read it and become your own golf caddie.
“Tom is our secret weapon for competitive golfers. He both calms us and inspires us. It sometimes gets lonely and confusing out there. Tom is our refuge for us to come back to our best performances.”
Frank Roberson, Touring Professional
Dr. Tom Kubistant has been called “The Master of the Intrinsic.” He maintains the entire bibliography on the mental game of golf…and has read it all! Nobody is more experienced than Tom. He continues to work with professional and average golfers every day.
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Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.