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Golf With a Caddie or Forecaddie

"A Special Experience"
Norm Blandel PGA Master Professional

The luxury of playing a round of golf with a caddie or forecaddie is something that most golfers will never experience.

The PCA(Professional Caddies Association) is working to change that. The goal of the PCA Worldwide is to bring back Caddies to the game of golf

In the early beginning of golf, caddies were men from hard backgrounds and limited economic resources. Most of these men lived from hand-to-mouth. They also had a sense of craft that was handed down through generations. That's what separated them from someone who just carried clubs or served as an attendant. They employed knowledge of wind, ground, distance, and of how conditions affect what route to take. They quickly learned the way you hit the ball...and they would take you around the golf course like a guide instead of some sort of packhorse. Many clubs would also make use of a "Forecaddie". The forecaddie was sent ahead to sight and spot the flight of the ball.

Over the centuries the duties of the professional TOUR caddie, as well as, the duties and responsibilities of caddies and forecaddies at the club level have changed. Today, the role of the TOUR caddie has evolved into that of the player's partner and right hand. As an important part of the team, caddies can help a golfer in many ways. They help set the overall game plan, and plan of attack to each hole. They help manage the player's game, provide important knowledge of exact distances to various golf course targets and obstacles, give psychological support and steady a player through the myriad of thoughts that can play in a golfer's mind and create tension.

Today's tour caddie often experiences golf and life experiences that many people consider priceless. I would dare to say that Mike "Fluff" Cowan, who has caddied for Tiger Woods and other tour professionals wouldn't trade his life as a caddie for anything.

Private and public/resort golf facilities use caddies. Time has been kind to the golfer. However, while there are still job opportunities for elite caddies on the pro Tours, the club caddie has all but vanished on the club level throughout North America. Caddies employed for public play are rare indeed. Some say most golfers don't like the idea of paying someone a fair wage to caddie or forecaddie, and most would only have or request a caddie as a once in a lifetime extravagance.

Throughout my career as a golf professional I have met so many successful people that have attributed their involvement in the game of golf, whether from playing, caddying, or working, or merely from association and the people they have met through the game of golf, as an important factor in their success.

The opportunity to be a caddie or forecaddie is a matter of choice. Golf is a wonderful occupation. It is a people business, and the people playing the game are, for the most part, seeking fun and exercise, friendship, and learning wisdom for a more rewarding and fulfilling life. Caddie programs can teach the games core values of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, dedication, commitment, positive thinking, relationship building, and respect for other people.

The PGA of America is dedicated to promoting the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf and support programs that contribute to the growth of the game. Non-golfers, or people new to the game interested in attending or participating in a caddie apprenticeship school such as one offered by the Professional Caddies Association have a wonderful opportunity to learn and become involved in the game. These self-study courses are designed to educate participants about caddying and course management; and to give a golfer a better understanding of the game through the eyes of a caddie. The knowledge you will gain from this, or similar programs may enable you to become a caddie on any tour, or qualify you to become a caddie or forecaddie at a golf facility near your home, or assist you in becoming more prepared in taking up or playing the game yourself.

Various stages of the program cover such topics as:

1. History and perspective of the game
2. Introduction to caddying
3. Team Work
4. Forecaddying
5. Responsibilities on the course
6. Yardage book, pin sheets and signals
7. Course management & maintenance
8. Rules of golf
9. Golf terms
10. Health and nutrition

Caddies and forecaddies can improve the quality of a golf experience, speed up play, provide encouragement and share in the excitement of a great shot or stroke of good fortune, and add to the endless fascination and quality of life that the game of golf offers. Golf is a game that once we experience it, most of us are hooked on it and enslaved to it forever. I encourage golfers and especially junior golfers interested in more information on caddie programs or opportunities to contact

The Professional Caddies Association at:

PCA Worldwide.Com 770 Greens Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789 e-mail: phone: (407) 629-4500 fax: (407) 647-8686 or contact:

Norm Blandel, PGA Master Professional Director of Golf The Dragon at Gold Mountain, PO Box 880, Graeagle, CA 96103 phone: 1-800-446-5368 or 530 832-0880 e-mail: or on the web:

I look forward to sharing more information on our involvement in offering Caddie Apprentice and Certification programs at The Dragon at Gold Mountain and taking part in preserving the tradition of the game, as we move toward the scheduled opening of our new resort golf course in the summer of 2000.

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