Caddie golfer relationship trust

caddie golfer relationship trust

And once they've registered and clipped their player medallions over thing is clear: in the eyes of many players, the USGA can't be trusted. Professional golfers trust their caddies like no one else, with some relationships between the two lasting longer than many golfers' marriages. The golfer says it's been a traumatic year, but former caddies say he brings be more settled in building a relationship and trust with a caddie,”.

USGA-player relationship at a breaking point? By June 18, at 4: They set up shop at one of the premier courses in the country, and line it with grandstands and white hospitality tents as far as the eye can see.

The players arrive, first at a slow trickle and then at a steady pace. How this time around, be it in a Washington gravel pit or on a time-tested piece of land on the tip of Long Island, the USGA will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That the process of identifying the best players in the world will not veer into the territory of embarrassing them.

Like a college sweetheart in search of reconciliation, the powers-that-be preach a changed attitude and a more even-handed approach.

USGA-player relationship at a breaking point?

Then, inevitably, they commit the same cardinal sins they promised to avoid. So year in and year out, the scar tissue builds. Charlie Brown keeps trying to kick the football and, for most of the players not named Brooks Koepka, he ends up on his butt in a cloud of dust and fescue.

I refuse to watch it because I know what the outcome will be. Mike Davis and his crew could ruin Christmas. Open who got swept away this week during a crispy third round en route to a T finish. And they disrespect it, every aspect of it. But this was not an isolated case.

These, and other anecdotal accounts e. Other authors in the popular press have described caddies as counselors, dieticians, secretaries, crowd controllers, and amateur physiologists Mackenzie,; Plimpton, ; Reinman, The available literature has also revealed some of the particular characteristics of the relationship between competitive golfers and the caddies who work so closely with them.

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The average round of competitive golf also takes approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes, covers miles, and involves the caddie picking up the bag in the region of 50 times Bruce, Other technical facets of the role of the caddie include cleaning the golf clubs, providing information on shot selection e.

Many caddies also spend time with their players before and after a competition during warm-up and post-round practice sessions. Although the golfer is the one who actually executes each golf shot, anecdotal evidence suggests that golfers and caddies work together during the available down time in planning the task s that need to be completed prior to the shot Mackenzie, ; Reinman, Interestingly, many of the anecdotal accounts have focused on the psychological facets of the role rather than the technical e.

caddie golfer relationship trust

In an unpublished study, Lavallee has also found evidence suggesting that caddies play a role in assisting golfers with maintaining motivation, confidence, attention, appropriate arousal levels, positive thinking, and an appropriate mental state in order to play optimally.

In this study, five elite-amateur male golfers and four male caddies in England were invited to complete a survey interview on the role caddies play in golf1. In addition to the technical and organizational tasks previously identified in the literature cf. Despite the vast range of interpersonal relationships that exist in the world of sport, there are few direct comparisons from which elements of the relationship between golfers and caddies can be extrapolated.

Sports in which athletes perform a number of independent skills separated by times in which they can consult with a coach or other figure e. The difference with the golfer-caddie partnership is that, as opposed to providing information about a number of challenges that are ahead and then letting the individual go on alone, golfers and caddies move through a round of golf together.

In this sense, a cox in certain rowing events is also in a position to play a role similar to that of a caddie. However, we know of no published research that exists on this particular relationship. The closest comparison to the golfer-caddie partnership is perhaps the relationship between a rally car driver and their navigator. Exploratory research by Roberts and Kundrat examined this relationship by studying what they referred to as the expressive style among rally drivers and navigators.

Their initial results suggested that drivers and navigators in an optimal pairing tend to possess certain expressive styles during competition. It was also proposed that these styles allow the driver to remain in control of the physical skill of driving, while at the same time allowing the navigator to be less disturbed by what the driver is doing, and thus be able to concentrate on their own tasks. In summary, despite a wealth of anecdotal discussions on the important role of the caddie in golf, there has been little formal research conducted on this role, or on the relationship between the golfer and the caddie.

Thus, the purpose of our investigation was to use in-depth interviews to identify a framework that describes the characteristics of the golfer-caddie partnership. All participants were either playing, or caddying for a player, at a major tournament on the tour.

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The criteria for inclusion of players was that they were playing, or attempting to qualify for, the majority of events on the Australian PGA Tour calendar. Four caddies were full-time professional caddies at the time of the study, one was semi-professional, two did annual caddying i. There were two golfer-caddie partnerships i. However, little emerged from these two pairings that was demonstrably different from that found in the study generally.

Interview guide An interview guide was used to elicit information from participants. Based on a review of the available literature and the experience of the second author as a caddie to a professional golfer as outlined in the Procedures belowtwo different forms of the guide were developed; one for the golfers and one for the caddies. The content of both guides was similar in that only the wording of some questions varied slightly to make it more appropriate for the target group.

There were seven basic themes in the interview guides: Each theme was introduced in a way that prompted a descriptive response.


The interviewer then asked further questions to gain as much information as possible about the situations and issues that arose.

Procedures Prior to recruiting participants and conducting the interviews, a period of time i. This initial phase was critical to the overall study for several reasons. First, it allowed the researchers to become familiar with the language and jargon of both caddying and professional golf.

An active involvement in caddying also gave the interviewer a measure of credibility with the players and caddies who were later interviewed. The knowledge gained on the administrative side of tournament golf allowed the interviewer to arrange access to both the course and the players and caddies for the interview phase.

Finally, during this phase the interviewer was able to develop contacts that facilitated recruitment for the interviews. During the interview phase of the research, players and caddies were approached and invited to take part in an interview about caddying in professional golf. The interviewer knew six of the eight players and four of the caddies who agreed to be interviewed from his five weeks on the Australasian PGA Tour.

Participants initially completed an informed consent form that included an explanation that the interview was to be audio-taped and transcribed for analysis. Interviews took between 30 and 90 minutes depending on the interviewee and the time available to them. One interview was only half completed due to time constraints during the initial interview, and thus, a time was set to complete the interview. However, the player of this caddie unexpectedly missed the cut i.

All interviews were conducted by the same person second author. The audio-tapes were transcribed verbatim prior to analysis. Data analysis The data was analyzed following the guidelines suggested by Tesch for interpretational qualitative analysis. The two primary phases of the data analysis were the identification of categories or parts, and then the identification of the relationships between them. Completion of these phases involved the following steps as adapted from Tesch The verbatim transcripts were read several times to get a sense of the whole.

Meaning units were tentatively established, and then revised and refined by making several more cycles through the transcripts Jacob, A meaning unit summarizes a main idea being expressed and is initially tagged with a provisional name describing the topic.

These properties were named according to the common feature that they shared. For example, all the meaning units to do with reduce player workload were grouped together. The properties were compared and grouped into broader structural hierarchies that helped display the underlying concepts. This allowed for dimensions and subtleties to emerge. The final step, once the meaning units and the resulting hierarchy had been formalized into a model, was to consider the credibility of this model.

Thus, the model was discussed in detail amongst the authors and with several other golfers who had experience of both playing and caddying. These discussions indicated that the model had a high degree of face validity in their experiences. Results and Discussion Analysis of the interviews revealed a four-component model that was able to describe the role of the caddie in the golfer-caddie partnership.

As outlined in Figure 1, the components included in the model were the basic structure of caddying, decision-making, moderators of the partnership, and goal setting.

These components are heavily interdependent, yet sufficiently distinct to warrant separate description. The choice of order in which they are presented below is based on the order in which they emerged during data analysis. Due to the limited extant literature in this area, and the exploratory nature of this study, the results and discussion have been integrated under headings corresponding to each of the four aforementioned components.

A conclusion section highlighting applications of the results and providing suggestions for future research is then presented.

This structure could almost be considered a job description for a caddie, yet it is valuable as it provides a structure and context for deeper exploration of the relationship.

This structure was derived from the reasons given for using a caddie, or the benefits obtained. The basic structure was found to consist of three broad facets that explain why players use caddies. The first two, which were identified as technical and psychological, were apparent from previously published anecdotal material Dabell, ; Donegan, The third facet was termed environmental.

For a task to be included as a technical facet, it was determined to be a physical or tangible service provided to the golfer. This included many of the routine tasks performed by a caddie and could be broken down into two elements: At its most elementary level it requires minimal specialized skills e.

Examples of physical resources are carrying the bag, cleaning balls, and tending the flagstick when a player is putting. Examples of organization resources, which tended to be more salient to caddies than to players, include crowd control, ensuring that everything required is in the bag prior to teeing-off, and keeping the distance book up-to-date.

The second element of the technical facet is providing the player with the information required to play the shot which confronts them. This was found to be more complex than simply completing a task for the player. The most fundamental information required by a player are the parameters of the shot e.

This may include alternative options to consider or knowledge of the rules of the game that can assist the player in getting the best result from the situation. The psychological facet of why golfers use caddies is less tangible than the technical one in terms of specific and visible benefits to the player.

caddie golfer relationship trust

Two specific elements were identified within this facet, with the first being ensuring that the player is at an optimal mental state at the time of playing a shot. A round of competitive golf typically takes over 4 hours to complete and the player has to contend with a number of varied situations such as waiting to play, playing a shot, and walking to the next shot. As one golfer noted: This facet includes the tradition of having a caddie, it being seen as more professional to do so, and in some cases tour rules requiring that players use a caddie.

Decision-Making Another important element involved in the golfer-caddie partnership is the decision-making process which occurs on the course. The objective is to give the player the best possible chance of playing a good i. In practice, this means assisting the player to be confident enough in the decision to fully commit to its execution.

The subsequent stage of the model is dependent on this evaluation, as well as the length and strength of the golfer-caddie partnership. If the caddie agrees with the player, then they simply reinforce it. If they disagree or are uncertain, they face a more difficult scenario.

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Realistically they have only two options, and they must choose instantly to either support the initial decision or attempt to change it. The latter appears to be the more precarious approach, but the way either is implemented can potentially have a major effect on the player. If the caddie is uncertain or feels that despite believing the decision to be wrong that for some reason they are not in a position to suggest a change, then they tend to reinforce the initial decision.

The player often senses any hesitation or doubt, and this can subsequently have a deleterious effect on their confidence, commitment, and the outcome.

Specifically, they must have reasons to back up their thoughts e. As one caddie discussed: You have got to back yourself up.