The Caddie Toolbelt
//How caddies stock up pre-loop//
Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. If you’ve ever set off on a long day hike without the right supplies—water, sunscreen, boots, trail beers—you’ll know how painful the experience can be. Blisters bubble, resentment builds. Caddies have a similar live-and-die by the supplies relationship with their craft. Same goes as with the day hike: you could probably get through a loop with none of your tools, but it’d be a pretty lousy experience for all involved, and it could affect your day’s earnings. We don’t want that.
A crucial step in the final moments before caddies thrust themselves out for a loop is ensuring that their kit is stocked up. Loops should last four hours. Most take longer. So it’s up to the caddie to have everything they need to set sail and deliver. There are three categories of supplies that fall under the caddying umbrella: the must-haves, the nice-to-haves, and the cherries-on-top.
Good shoes. “Good” is subjective, but in my book it means running shoes with solid ankle support. Hoofing double bags earns you about seven miles of walking per loop, so you’d better have some shoes that’ll last. Everyone’s got their preference, though: I knew a 20-year vet named Greeley, who wore nothing but black leather boots on the course. Greeley also kicked cancer in the teeth a couple times to my knowledge, so he could handle any discomfort from those boots.
Large, clean towel.
Sun protection: sunnies, hat, sunscreen.
A can-do attitude.
Range finder. You have to move quickly under the straps of two bags, so getting quick yardages is a must. Ain’t nobody got time to be pacing shit off.
Extra tees, ball marks, and divot repair tools. For the players who run out, and for you to get wedge grooves all nice and clean-like.
Extra scorecard, pencil. Comes in handy when there’s high-stakes money games on the course.
Smokes (of any description).
Extra balls. If one of your players runs out of balls and you have a spare, you’ll look like an absolute champ. Not to mention, if you’re in a pinch and can’t find one of your player’s shots, it’s a good opportunity to “find” one of your own plants. You’ve just gotta make sure it’s the same brand.
Rain gear. There is no chance in hell that I’m bringing out the rain jacket, rain pants, and umbrella on every loop—that stuff weighs you down in a big way. But every good caddie will have rain gear in their car. If threatening clouds are rolling in pre-loop, grab that gear and stash it in one of your bags. Plus, if you show up to the first tee with an umbrella and neither of your players has one, you’ll look like an absolute legend.
At the end of the day, all of these supplies depend on something crucial: who you’re caddying for. If I know I’ve got a couple hacks coming my way for the next five hours, you can guaran-god-damn-tee I’ll be stashing extra balls to drop conveniently when I’m tired of chasing the errant shots. Similarly, if I know I’m about to carry for a “friendly”—someone you know well, and who is relaxed on the course—maybe I’ll have a couple drinks in tow. The emphasis here is on the pre-loop routine—getting prepared the right way for the right players. Anything to get that bonus tip.