FAQ: What’s on the list of things a PGA Tour caddie does each week?
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Before the first shot is struck to begin a tournament on Thursday morning, there’s a ton that PGA Tour caddies are doing to get ready and have their player as best prepared as possible. Here, PGA Tour caddie Tim Giuliano explains what goes into that all-important preparation.
What’s on the list of things a PGA Tour caddie does each week?
Giuliano: Everyone is different. It’s all player dependent and caddie dependent as well. Weekly routines vary and the part of the week that stands out to me is BEFORE the tournament begins. There is a lot of preparation on both sides of the bag before we peg it up in competition and I can tell you how mine usually plays out.
I work for Brandon Harkins and Monday is typically a travel day, very rarely a pro-am, but I usually use it to register for the tourney, get some course work done, refresh myself on the course, and if need be talk to the guys in the equipment trailer to have something prepped for Bran come the next day.
Tuesday and Wednesday are practice days and usually I am out there all day. I like to be prepared for anything, and as a result, spend a lot of hours walking the courses, shooting numbers, and double checking any notes I may have made in my book the previous year. This was instilled in me by David Frost on The Champions Tour, the first pro I really caddied for week in and week out. He was a great guy, but on the course extremely particular and demanding. He expected you to have all the information he needed and let you know when you didn’t. I walked a lot of courses with Terry, Bernhard Langer’s caddie, who is probably the most prepared looper period; I had to learn and adapt.
As a result, I became a note taker during tournament rounds and it helps me to prepare for the next year. If a sprinkler head seems off, if we get tricked on the greens, or if we find ourself in a particular spot each day that I didn’t expect, I will make notes to have info from those areas next season. Some caddies have told me that I do too much in terms of preparation on the course, but to each his own. I don’t agree. I think the work you put in is what gives you the confidence come game time and I also feel that walking the course as much as I do makes it seem as if I have been on these holes more than I have. I get what is necessary and relevant to my player and then some. I can only think of one time where I was really stumped on a number or answer and that was during the final round of The Safeway in Napa in 2017.
We started on the back Sunday and it was the year of the fires, the wind was howling and we were having an amazing round despite the extreme conditions. Bran bombed a drive on the par-5 ninth and we had just over 200 yards to the flag. The wind was blowing so hard downwind though that we knew we could not hold the putting surface and so club decision became difficult. There is a cluster of pine trees way beyond the green and then OB, something that under normal or even in “difficult” conditions would never be a thought.We were between 8 and 9 iron. “How far to the OB?” Bran asked. I just remember looking at my book a few times, looking at the trees, and then at Bran, and before I could say anything he smiled and said, “I stumped you. Finally a number you don’t have.”
We laughed, he went on to birdie and a back door top-10 in his first event as a PGA member, and now I have the distance between the green and the trees way beyond it in my yardage book. Funny enough, we played with Ollie Schniederjans that round and his ball bounced over the green and was within a yard from being OB. I took that as a learning experience to think outside the box when I do my coursework and to be prepared.
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