FAQ: How do caddies get yardages?

One of the most important tasks for a caddie is getting a good number for his or her player. Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Through our readers and social media followers here at The Caddie Network, we often receive questions related to the caddie profession. We’ve collected the most frequently asked questions from our readers and followers and tasked actual PGA Tour caddies to serve up the answers based on their experiences. Here are the answers — from PGA Tour caddies — to the questions we most often receive from you.

Have you ever wondered what kinds of things caddies need to do to get yardages for their players? Here, PGA Tour caddie Tim Giuliano explains how it works.

How do caddies get yardages?

Giuliano: Everyone has a different process and that all stems from what your player looks for. However, I would say that the general rule of thumb would be:

  1. Pace off the distance to the front
  2. Add the distance that the pin is on to give your total yardage to the flag
  3. Calculate any other numbers your player may need like cover numbers (over bunkers or obstacles), back edge, ridges or tiers, etc.

The only time I deviate from this is when the angle is weird and I find it may be more accurate to use the back edge or a cover number and add/subtract the distance between the edge of the green and the flag (paced off in the previous round). The back left pin location on No. 13 at the Waste Management is a great example of a shot that requires a different calculation. When going for it in two, if you use the front number and add the pin you will get a number that is 5-8 yards longer than what it really is. You see a lot of guys go long there as a result. Having those extra numbers and pacing the dot the officials place on the green to indicate the next day’s location really pays off. A lot of time these “extra numbers” are not found in the basic yardage book and it is up to the caddie to measure them on practice days.

Do you have more caddie questions? We have more caddie answers. FromWhat should a caddie wear?” to “What are some quick tips for being a good caddie,” our pros have you covered with over 20 FAQs – just click here.

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