Catriona Matthew. Image: Getty
Let's call it my version of multi-tasking. Besides giving hopefully interesting and enlightening copies for this website during the upcoming Vic Open, I'm going to do some caddying. That is nothing new. Over the years I have done a lot of bags for a variety of friends and family members. And, to be honest, my slabbility data far exceeds my relatively little impressive ability when wearing my own clubs. Before this week, I "edited" the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the Walker Cup, the Open Championship, the Australian and British Senior Opens and the Tartan Tour in my native country of Scotland.
After this week I can add the LPGA Tour to that list. Well, assuming my last "employer", European Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew ("Beany" to her friends) will not fire me before we even start Thursday. Beany and I are old friends, both from East Lothian in the southeast corner of Scotland. She is from North Berwick; my birthplace West Barns is maybe 12 miles from there.
So what kind of caddy can she expect from me? The real truth about carrying a golf bag for another person is somewhere between the delusion of New Zealander Steve Williams – "I won x tournaments during my career" – and the old saying that you only have to do is " Show up, stay up and keep quiet. " In other words, while whispering sage advice in the ears of players does indeed have the potential to change game, at the end of a round the man / woman carrying the bag does not touch one ball or make putt.
Anyway, the caddy that Beany wants me to be this week remains unclear. But I would do well to listen to the advice of someone who has seen almost everything while working for people like Thomas Bjorn, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Tiger Woods.
"Over the years we have seen a lot of girlfriends, wives and partners who are caddying for players who have won," says Englishman Billy Foster, who achieves more than 40 global victories on his caddying CV and is currently working for Matt Fitzpatrick. "If a player plays well, the caddy might not be as important as people might think, but in the course of a season, saying the right things at the right time, being trustworthy and doing your best, it makes a difference. little on the navigator who is sitting next to a rally driver
"Good caddying is not really about attracting the glory club – it's about eliminating mistakes – the less mistakes you make, the better you'll do for your man, but the biggest thing is to play with the player. if you do not, you get a divorce If you are together for 30 weeks a year, it's like you're married, players and caddies see each other more than their husbands, so you have to go further. "
A sense of humor also helps. Especially on the European Senior Tour. How can you not love a circuit where the after-round scorer table is decorated with three pairs of reading glasses for the not-so-young-as-she-in-the-making competitors? A few years ago Kiwi Greg Turner and Santiago Luna from Spain brought the jokes of the senior moment & # 39; to a new level. After marking their cards after the opening round of the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in Germany, the couple discussed back and forth whether or not Luna had made a hole for a four on the tenth hole. However, it was not an argument. The problem was that no man could remember. Eventually a caddy had to be called to confirm what actually happened
Then there was the time I caddied for the former European Tour player Mike Clayton, whose convincing words you will read here this week. On the fifth hole of the Australian Senior Open at Royal Perth, I gave Mister Clayton the yardage for his second shot. He did not agree with that. I disagreed with his disagreement. But he went on with his club choice and flew properly with the green. It was not until he discovered that he was using the pin-sheet of a tournament in Spain three weeks earlier that I finally got the blame.
How things are going this week is of course still to be seen. Let's hope that my sometimes ugly lumbar region and my calculation work on the task. And that Beany has this week's yardage book in her back pocket. Stay tuned.