How to thrive as a summer caddie at a country club
I’m sure this title might imply that I think becoming a country club caddie is somehow hard. But to be able to call yourself a country club caddie is honestly pretty easy.
The difference is becoming a successful country club caddie requires a little bit more work. Most kids in high school or college could most likely find a caddying gig if they looked hard enough, but we’re here to explain how to caddie and absolutely kill it this summer.
Caddying can be a lot of fun, but it requires a certain level of dedication. As I mentioned in a previous piece, caddies are lucky to be outdoors making good cash rather than stuck behind a desk. The other end of the stick is that most of our buddies can enjoy their Friday and Saturday nights while we have our busiest days of the week ahead of us.
Waking up at 5:30-6 a.m. on the weekends is the price caddies pay for having an otherwise perfect gig. Not many 17–21-year-olds would necessarily be happy about this unfortunate reality, but coming from someone who has dealt with the lousy wake ups, I promise every single one of them was worth it. Most caddie masters are aware that the caddie yard at 6 a.m. is the last place you want to be and they notice the dedication from those that do show up.
Outside of the waking up part, there are many other things you can do to succeed as a country club caddie. One of the greatest parts of being a caddie is the people you meet, and that includes your fellow caddies. Being able to form relationships with these other caddies is important for a ton of reasons.
Country Clubs are often notorious for having very affluent members and usually not having a ton of diversity, but as a caddie you meet people from all walks of life. I was able to form relationships with fellow caddies and I speak to some of them year-round. Learning how to form amicable relationships or ultimately friendships amongst your fellow caddies is a life skill that goes beyond this job. For the rest of your life, you are going to need to work with people and learning how to do so at a young age, despite any differences with your co-workers is so valuable.
Showing up as a new caddie, especially a new caddie without a ton of golf experience, can be humbling. Messing up on the course your first few loops can be overwhelming and it is inevitable. Immediately, you are humbled by the difficulties of this job that you probably did not expect. Similarly, the days you do not work and only a select group of caddies get work can be humbling as well. This is yet another life lesson that comes with caddying. Being humble in the caddie yard, especially in the beginning, warrants respect and if you remain humble people will notice.
Once there is a certain level of respect, most of the guys in the yard are pretty willing to help out younger caddies. Whether you know a ton about golf or nothing at all, the master caddies will teach you local tips specific to your club. These tips can include, “Drop your bags over their buddy,” “go fix that ball mark on the green over there,” “Nah this putt does that, this green is weird.”
My first year caddying I heard something similar to one of those lines every loop, allowing me to become a better caddie each day. The mistakes you make start to go away and your golfers will eventually become pretty happy with the job you did, which leads to a lot more work down the road.
On the surface, caddying probably seems like a simple job that could be done by anybody, which is true, but the commitment required for this job is something a lot of people are not up to. Caddying successfully can teach kids so much about work ethic, respect, customer service and communication. And if none of these reasons to become a caddie are appealing, you become a much better and much smarter golfer, if that’s something anyone’s in to.