First things first, is it Golf Caddy or Golf Caddie? The correct spelling is actually caddie. Although the spelling caddy has made its way into numerous publications, the preferred spelling is caddie. If you are seeking a job working as a Golf Caddie it's important to use the correct spelling otherwise your future employer may think you are looking to be a serving tray. Now that we have some of the formalities out of the way let's take a look at what it takes to secure a job as a Golf Caddie and how to turn the job into a profession.
I imagine many people might think a caddie just lugs a golfer's clubs. In reality a Golf Caddies role is much more involved than that. As a caddie it's imperative that you understand the sport inside and out. Any professional golfer will be looking for a caddie with experience and having a background of time spent golfing yourself is a perfect first step. Even if you're not looking to become a professional golfer, having played will help you make decisions and provide valuable suggestions to the golfers you do work for. You should also spend time familiarizing yourself with the rules of the game. When a golfer questions the rules, a Gold Caddie is going to be the first person they look to for an answer. The more knowledge you have the more valuable you become to the players.
To get your start, volunteer to carry your friend's or co-worker's clubs when they play a round. While you may not be getting paid initially you will be able to gain experience in the other aspects of the job. A good Golf Caddie will need to be able to read the greens and offer support or suggestions to a golfer to help improve their game. A Golf Caddie job will often require working with a variety of different personalities. Not only do good interpersonal communication skills help but also being flexible enough to adapt to the golfers style that you may be working with. Learning how to talk and interact with these different individuals is an important part of the job.
As you gain some experience you can talk with local golf courses to offer your services to their customers. Be sure to follow both professional and amateur golf tours. This is another excellent opportunity to volunteer and possibly even work for some of the top golfers in practice rounds. All the while you should be networking with everyone. If you're caddying at a local course make friends with the golfers and hand out business cards. Get to know people at the clubhouse and pro shop. Let them know you are interested in working as a caddie. Over time your hard work and networking will hopefully lead to more jobs and building a nice resume of experience.
Another option for gaining experience is to attend a professional Caddie Training Course and obtain a certification. While not necessarily a requirement there may be employers that prefer to hire individuals with a certification. These programs are often short in that they may only last a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on the program. Some of these Caddie Certification Programs will also work with local courses and golf tours which can lead to potential jobs.
Working as a Golf Caddie also requires you to carry a set or two of clubs and will require you be in good physical condition. Other responsibilities of a Golf Caddie include cleaning the clubs and balls. You will also need to fix divots in the course, rake the bunkers and track down balls that may have veered off course. You should also study the course and be familiar with the yardage for each hole.
Although there is no definitive guide on a Golf Caddie's salary, an individual can typically make $100 or more per bag per 18 holes, plus tips. With a well-established list of clients, a full time Golf Caddie could make between $20,000 to $40,000 a year. For Caddies that work with professional golfers they often receive a set salary and then receive a percentage of any earnings won by the golfer. Working for the top golfers can be very lucrative. To get those positions you will really need to put yourself out there and make a great deal of contacts. At that level it's not so much what you know but rather who you know. Like any job it will take time and hard work as you move up the ladder.