T-Time Podcast // Ep. 8: Inside Look at Being a Country Club and Professional Caddy
Today on the show, Tori is excited to be joined by two special guests: Michael Martin and Tara Bateman. The theme of today's show is the fascinating world of being a caddy. Our guests will take us on an inside look into the experiences and challenges of being a caddy and provide valuable insights and tips for those who aspire to pursue this profession.
But before diving into the main topic, Michael and Tara will share their personal stories on how they got into the game of golf and the journey that led them to become passionate golfers. They will share their experiences, struggles, and achievements in the sport, providing a unique perspective on the world of golf.
So, stay tuned for an informative and engaging show that will give you an in-depth look into the world of being a caddy and the game of golf. You don't want to miss it!
How Tara & Michael Became Golfers
Tara Bateman grew up in Arizona and played golf at Xavier High School, where she earned a scholarship to Baylor University. She played for four years at Baylor and was successful in state opens. Her coach encouraged her to turn pro, and she qualified for the LPGA Q-School finals. She did not advance to the final stage and returned home to play on the Cactus tour. She returned to the Futures tour and almost earned a top-10 finish. After not making it through, she caddied on the LPGA tour for Sherry Turner and Megan Fela overseas.
Michael started playing golf at the age of six. His family would often drop him off at the local golf course, where he began playing. He continued to play in college at Belmont University in Nashville and attempted to play professionally after that. He played on the Dakota Tour in South Dakota for two summers before becoming an amateur golfer. He stayed in Arizona because he loves the weather and stayed in the golf industry.
He is working a lot and doesn't have much time to play golf. He tries to practice three days a week at the range and hits Wiffle balls into a net at his home for an hour a day. He's been working with Riley Andrews, a coach from Elite Golf, for about two months and feels his swing is improving. Michael is also a caddy at Silver Leaf Country Club and is busy during the season from now until the end of April.
A Caddy's Job and the Difference Between Being at a Country Club & a Professional
The primary duty of a caddy is to find the player's ball and give yardages, rake bunkers, fill divots, and clean the ball. On the green, a caddy's duty is to fix pitch marks, read putts, and give strategy to the player. A caddy's job at a country club is typically to double bag or ride in the back of the cart, while at a professional level, the caddy carries the bag and acts as a mule for the player. They should avoid over-caddying and instead let the player trust their instincts while giving them confidence where they need it. Caddies are, also, responsible for helping maintain the pace.
Advice to Players on How to Get Better at Golf
Don't let your ego get in the way; remember that getting angry doesn't help. The key to improving on the greens is mainly about speed and eliminating three putts. As a caddy, if you have a putt over 15 feet, it's a low percentage to make that putt, so it's best to lower your expectations. Tell your player to aim for a two-putt, which will save you lots of stress.
Payment of Caddies
Caddies at Silver Lake are independent contractors, while at TPC, they are part of CMI Caddy Master Incorporated. This caddy network trains caddies and operates at 15 clubs around the country. To get paid, caddies should ask questions at the pro shop. They will be paid a base plus tip or the club charges a base rate and the player tips afterward. The rate and payment method may vary depending on the club.
It is also important to note that the payment of caddies can vary depending on the level of play. On tour, there is usually a base pay for the week with the player. At clubs, they may charge a set amount for a caddy. It is also important to tip based on the quality of service provided by the caddy. Caddies should ask the golf shop for advice on what a good tip or minimum tip would be and consider that the tip may vary depending on whether the player is a member of the club or not.
Tara & Michael’s Advice to Someone Trying Caddy for the First Time
Advice for golfers trying caddying for the first time is to have fun and ask other caddies all your questions, especially if it's a course you've never played before.
Caddies can be a valuable resource, so don't be afraid to ask them which way a putt is breaking or where to hit a shot. Remember to use them, and don't be embarrassed by your swing or skill level, as caddies have seen it all. Just play fast and enjoy the experience.
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