AskDefine | Define caddy

Dictionary Definition

caddy n : a can for storing tea [syn: tea caddy] v : act as a caddie and carry clubs for a player [syn: caddie]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


Etymology 1

From caddie, from the cadet.


  1. One hired to assist another in playing the game of golf.
one hired to assist another in playing the game of golf
  • Finnish: mailapoika


  1. In the context of "intransitive|golf": To serve as a caddy, carrying golf clubs etc.
to serve as a caddy
  • Finnish: toimia mailapoika

Etymology 2

From kati.


  1. A small box, can, or chest to keep tea in.
Derived terms


  • Online Etymology Dictionary
  • Online Etymology Dictionary

Extensive Definition

In golf, a caddie (or caddy) is the person who carries a player's bag, and gives insightful advice and moral support. A good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it. This includes knowing overall yardage, pin placements and club selection. A caddy is often an employee of a private club or resort.


The word "Caddy" is possibly derived from the French word "cadet".

Types of caddying

Traditional caddying involves both the golfer and the caddie walking the course. The caddy is in charge of carrying the player’s bag, with the caddie out in front of the player. This is the most common method used in golf clubs and is the only method allowed in the PGA (Professional Golf Association) and LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association).
Fore-caddying is a type of caddying where the caddy is always ahead of the golfer, marking the golfer's shots where they land. The caddy will start out a hole by running to the landing spot of his/her golfer’s tee shot. The job of the caddy is to mark the ball with a towel, stick, etc. so that the golfer does not have to waste time searching for it. If the hole is long and requires multiple shots before the golfer can reach the "green" (the putting surface at the end of each hole), then the fore-caddy will go ahead to the next landing area and mark his/her golfer’s ball until the ball reaches the green. Once the golfer is on the green, the fore-caddy maintains regular caddy duties like raking sand traps and taking the pin out of the cup. After the golfer is finished putting on the green, the fore-caddy returns to his/her duties and heads out to the next hole’s landing spot. This routine continues for the remainder of the course. The main purpose of this type of caddying is to let the golfers ride in carts if they are unable to walk the course with a caddy.
Cart-caddying, a type of fore-caddying, consists of a caddy carrying putters for the golfer, while he is driving a cart for the entire round of golf. The main job of the caddy is to stay ahead of the driving golfer and mark the golfer's ball before they get there. This job is easier due to the fact that the caddy is only carrying 4 putters. The caddy will also rake traps, and tend the flags.


The main duty of a caddy is to carry the player's bag and find the player's ball. Other common duties include:
  • cleaning clubs and golf balls
  • raking bunkers and sand traps
  • obtaining yardages
  • replacing/repairing “divots” (chunks of the fairway)
  • tending and removing the flagstick
  • making small talk
Other duties which caddies are obligated to do if experienced enough are:
  • reading greens
  • helping with club selection
  • keeping track of any "salts" made by the golfer
Caddies must be alert at all times. Any penalty caused by the caddy is added on to his/her golfer’s score. The caddy should be aware of his surroundings at all times, especially when players are hitting. Standing in other golfers’ lines of putting or lines of sight while they are hitting a ball is strongly discouraged. Also, the caddy is expected to know the rules and point out any rule-breaking on the part of the golfer, such as knowing the maximum amount of clubs a player is allowed to carry. A caddy on the PGA Tour, Miles Byrne, became famous when he forgot to count the clubs in Ian Woosnam's bag (only 14 allowed) before the final round of the British Open. His mistake cost Woosnam two strokes and possibly the championship.

Caddy Ranks

At many clubs, caddies are ranked as Pro, Honor, A, and B. "Pro" and "Honor" caddies are the most experienced, carry two bags, and are generally considered the best caddies. "Pro" and "Honor" caddies are generally given the privilege of caddying in club tournaments such as member guests, most notably 4-Days, team matches, or team competitions. "A" caddies carry two bags and are less experienced than the Pro and Honors. "B" caddies carry a single bag and are the least experienced and youngest caddies.


Many professionals working in the golf industry started as a caddy. Employment Resource

Psychological Duties

A duty of a good caddy often overlooked is the ability to keep their golfer focused and not waver psychologically from the task at hand. This is clearly the toughest of all caddy skills to learn and it requires a great deal of experience and understanding of the game of golf. A caddy that can positively impact the psyche of their golfer, especially if the golfer is not consciously aware of what the caddy is trying to do, can be extremely valuable. Golf arguably relies on mental aspects of the body more than any other sport in today's world and if the mind is not comfortable, calm, and focused, disaster is likely to occur. A crucial factor in performing the psychological duties of a caddy is that to be as effective as possible, the caddy must know the golfer very well. This is typically only possible if the caddy is on the pro tour, a family member/friend, or works regularly for the same member at a country club. Psychological caddying can be as simple as distracting the golfer as you walk down the fairway after a poor tee shot by talking about something the caddy knows will make the golfer be happy or laugh. While this may sound superficial, it can have an amazing effect on the mental state of the golfer as they enter into their next swing. The caddy might also try talking out exactly how the golfer wants to hit the next shot because positive visualization can be the difference between a birdie and a bogey.
Other psychological duties that a caddy may partake in would be slight swing corrections. Obviously out on the golf course is not the time to completely change a golfer's swing but if the caddy has seen the golfer shoot multiple rounds under par and multiple rounds in the 80's, it is likely that there are slight tendencies that change within the golfers swing which drastically effect their scoring ability. If the caddy is skilled enough, discussing these changes can often make the golfer aware of something they did not even realize they were doing. Good examples of slight changes in a golfer's swing that could make an enormous difference in their score would be the speed of their take-away, early hip movement, a shoulder dip, too much wrist action, a retraction of the arms, poor balance, and a rushed or sloppy follow through.
It should be noted that all psychological duties should only be acted upon by the caddy if he/she feels very comfortable with their golfer and believes that their knowledge and experience is sufficiently reliable.

Weekly schedule

Caddies are most frequently employed at clubs on weekends, when the majority of country club golf takes place. Some (but usually not as many) opportunities to caddy exist during the week, as well. Additionally, caddies are often allowed to play the course at which they caddy for free, usually on a Monday (the day that most private clubs choose to close their course for maintenance). On pro golf tours, professional caddies accompany their player to all events, which usually take place from Thursday through Sunday. Additionally, the player may hire their caddy to carry their bag for them during training sessions and practice rounds.

Pay scale

At most clubs, caddies are paid at the end of the round by cash, or receive a payment ticket for which they can redeem their wages in the clubhouse. Generally, the player will tip the caddy based on their performance during the round, with extra money given for exemplary work. Most American club caddies earn between $40 and $60 per bag, though newer caddies will often earn less and more experienced caddies or caddies working during a tournament, high-stakes match, or 4-Day member-guest will often earn significantly more, upwards of $100 per round, per bag, at times. It is considered acceptable to ask a professional at the course what the average pay for a caddie is, as courses differ.
In a professional golf tour setting, a player often pays their caddy a percentage of their winnings, which can be as high as 10%. A common pay scale is 5% for making the cut, 7% for a top 10, and 10% for a win. The caddy also usually receives a salary, as the player may not be guaranteed to win money at every tournament the player enters.


  • Collared shirt
  • Khaki shorts or pants
  • Gym shoes or golf shoes (lots of walking and standing)
  • Smock
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Divot tool
  • pencil, scorecard, and pin sheet
  • small amount of sand (used to fill in divots)

Alternative names for a caddy

  • B-Jock (B caddies)
  • Bagger
  • Bag-carrier (sometimes used pejoratively)
  • Jock
  • Looper
  • Lugger
  • Noonan
  • Weekend Warrior
Note: Caddy is used near the southern border of the United States and in Mexico in reference to a person that is very lazy.


caddy in German: Caddie
caddy in Spanish: Caddy
caddy in French: Caddie (golf)
caddy in Indonesian: Caddy
caddy in Dutch: Caddie
caddy in Norwegian: Caddie
caddy in Romanian: Caddy
caddy in Russian: Кедди
caddy in Swedish: Lista över golftermer#Caddie
caddy in Thai: แคดดี้
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