Caddie Confidential: Pace of play stories that made a caddie laugh — or their blood boil
Welcome to the fifth installment of our “Caddie Confidential” series, with monthly, inside-the-ropes perspective from dozens of Tour caddies on rotating golf topics. Up this month: we tackle pace of play and all things related to it. Do the caddies think it’s an issue?
If there’s one thing we love about golf, it’s that there’s always a good story.
And, when it comes to caddies, well — they have the best stories.
To put a bow on this month’s Caddie Confidential covering all things slow play, we had one last question to ask the caddies:
Do you have any stories related to pace of play – either funny or a time when your blood was boiling – you’d like to share?
Check out this selection of responses from caddies (we promised anonymity to get YOU the best answers possible):
Bryson and his over-analysis.
The first time our group was put on the clock while working for a certain player, I picked up the pace on everything I was doing. After a hole of doing that he said, “slow down. I don’t change anything I do when I’m on the clock, because I’m not slow.” That caught me a little off guard because everyone I’d worked for prior had sped everything up. Fortunately, he truly wasn’t slow and we never changed our pace anytime we were on the clock.
Timing groups on the 18th hole really gets under my skin.
At The Amex in La Quinta California this year, we might have been paired with a cucumber of a player that was taking so long as the third player to hit on almost every par 4 and par 5. Because they are much longer than average for the PGA Tour, I just started walking up the fairway when it was their turn to hit rather than stand there for over a minute (often times 2 minutes) waiting for them to hit their shot. Later in the round, with six holes to play, the group was given a warning. With three holes to go, the group was placed on the clock. During our 18th hole of play, the one player in question was told he had a bad time. That player lost his mind and told the rules official he wanted to speak with him after they finished in the scoring tent. I went up to that rules official while he was waiting for said player to come out of the tent and complain about receiving a bad timing. I told the rules official that the player was right: he should not have been charged with one bad timing … he should have been charged with 20 bad timings on the day!
What gets my blood boiling is when you are put on the clock and you know 100 percent it isn’t your player who is causing it, but he tries to speed up, and the player(s) who ARE causing the group to fall behind couldn’t give two shits about it and continue with their ridiculously slow pace and routine.
A player had a sandwich stuck in his throat for about two holes one time and couldn’t swallow — fell behind a full hole.
Timing a player a minute, 40 seconds to hit a 17-foot putt.
My player is a relatively fast player who always plays ready golf. In the past, when the whole group would be warned that they were falling behind, he would gruffly tell the rules official, “I’m going to slow down now!”
I know a player that carried a chair around during a tournament because it was so slow.
Only time it really bothers me is when you are playing with someone who is oblivious to how slow they actually are.
I used to work for one of the slowest players on Tour and it was frustrating at times trying to speed him up.
Too many times an official will come up and say your group is out of position only to end up waiting on the group in front of you a few holes later.
Just the time on TV when Rory Sabatini walked up to the green at Congressional on 18 when Ben Crane was still in the fairway.
Ben Crane vs Sabbatini was epic.
Interested in more from our May 2021 installment of Caddie Confidential? Be sure to check out whether or not caddies think pace of play is an issue, as well as what one change caddies would make to speed up rounds.
You can view all the results from our entire Caddie Confidential by clicking here.