Importance of the Golfer-Caddie relationship

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Understanding the Quality and Functions of the Golfer-Caddie relationship

Provided by: HSBC & Loughborough University

There is ample anecdotal evidence to highlight the important role of the player-caddie relationship. The relationship has also been at the centre of media attention as its subject-matter can easily provide splashy headlines, sensational stories, breaking news – all of which can grab an audience’s attention and hold it. The player-caddie relationship has been regarded as a key ingredient in the performance of many golfers. For example, Matt Majendie for CNN on March 2014 published an article entitled “Inside the mind of a caddy: The bag men behind the world’s top golfers” ( ). He provided an overview of what the relationship is like while illustrating successful partnerships. The relationship between golfer and caddie was described as a marriage where understanding how the golfer thinks and feels, what makes them tick, being patient and friendly, managing potential conflict effectively, taking different roles including coach and psychologist, as well as supporting were all deemed important relational properties. Perhaps it is these relational properties that make these partnerships long-term and successful: Steve Williams with both Adam Scott and Tiger Woods (which is considered the most successful partnership by many as Woods achieved 13 out 14 major wins with Williams), as well as Terry Mundy with Laura Davies and Ian Poulter. Poulter recently said, “Your relationship with your caddie is very important every day, not just practice days. Terry has been with me for seven and a half years and we get on great – we’ve got the same sense of humour…You need to be able to rely on your caddie at certain times to be able to give you the right information.” (IMG, interview dated May 2013).

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