FAQ: What is the biggest difference between an amateur and a professional?

The best golfers in the world spend the bulk of their practice time working on shots from 100 yards and in. Credit: Michael Madrid-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. 

We all know someone who thinks they have what it takes to get to the highest level of professional golf and play on the PGA Tour. The key word there is “thinks.” Sure, there are fine amateur players and loads of great country club players. But there’s a big difference between those levels of golf and the PGA Tour, which boasts the very best of the best in the entire world.

What is it that separates the PGA Tour player from high level amateurs?

The biggest difference between amateurs and professionals, ultimately, is the short game factor — 100 yards and in. Many amateurs are capable of becoming great ball strikers with enough range time, but it’s the short game that separates the two… massively. All you need to do is spend a little time watching players on the driving range and around the short-game areas at PGA Tour events to instantly gain an appreciation for just how much time and effort is spent dialing in those shots from short range.

Long drives are cool, of course. But the best of the best are getting their scoring done from 100 yards and in.

Do you have more caddie questions? We have more caddie answers. From “Do caddies ever repair ball marks on the green?” to “Where should you stand when a player is swinging?,” our pros have you covered with loads of answers to these FAQs – just click here.


  1. From my experience it’s. 1.) How many checks have you cashed. 2.) can you take your game on the road. 3.) can you do it in front of cameras when it counts.
    People have told me to that I should have turned pro when I’d shoot a couple down at my home track. I’d laugh out loud. I’ve played many rounds with tour players and got hammered. There is a huge difference. Play a course you don’t know. Fly across the country and do it. Sleep at a hotel. Drive a rental. Eat different food. Have no family with you. Oh and know that you have bills to pay for from the tournament you’re at. Also, be ready to get multiple texts from friends and family each night wanting to know why you didn’t make the cut.

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