A Good caddie is of material aid to the player. We have not been playing sufficiently long in this country to have developed the real article indigenous to the famous Scottish links, where the caddie grows up with the player, very often plays a really good game himself, and has, by virtue of years of experience, not only a full knowledge of the game, but also knows pretty thoroughly the exact limitations of his employer's game. And it is doubtful whether we shall ever be able to raise a crop of this kind. As golf continues to be played, so will the standard of our present corps of caddies be raised somewhat. But it is well to remember that, as a general rule, the player has a great deal to do in the making of a good caddie, and until players, as a body, apply themselves to the proper education of the boys, there is little hope for any general improvement.
As between a good caddie and a poor one, it is better to have none at all. The poor one is never up with the player, but lags behind chronically, not realizing that he has the same number of steps to take anyway; has either a much-imposed-upon expression, or else one of profound indifference to the game or anything relating to it; will insist upon getting back of your ball when you are making a stroke, even going out of his way to do it; delights apparently in rattling clubs or something or other, or in moving or talking when you are putting; always requires to be told to remove the flag; never can tell the distance of any hole, in whole or in part; invariably hands you the wrong club; never, or very rarely, pretends to look where your ball goes; has a peculiar faculty of never being able to find a lost ball; never knows how many strokes you, or your opponent, have played at any hole; neither knows nor cares whether you are two up or three down; will insist on standing close up to the hole when the ground is very moist - sometimes, be it said in favor of the boy, in obedience to the player - and thereby making the hole akin to one of those impossible, in - door, practice - putting holes - inverted saucers with a hole in - and adding largely to the profane vocabulary of the most piously inclined; keeps the pin in the hole and allows the ball to strike it and lay dead - always when your opponent is putting; runs, actually runs - of course, the only time he shouldn't - on a very soft putting green; loses, or - new balls from the ball-pocket of your bag; sticks the point of the hole-marker in the ground on the green; fails to properly set it in the hole, thereby breaking the sides; talks about his achievements at baseball or how he is saving up his money to buy a bicycle or something; runs off after butterflies or apples; tells you all about the wonderful shots A brought off the day before; hasn't the faint est idea of how to make a tee; never takes your ball out of the hole; never thinks of cleaning it - short, he does every conceivable thing which he should not do, and leaves undone everything which he should do.
A Typical Caddie
The majority of boys employed as carriers of clubs are guilty, more or less unconsciously, of many of the faults referred to. And, after all, the boys themselves are not wholly at fault, as they have never been properly and systematically educated as to their legitimate duties. Certainly the individual player cannot be expected to undertake the job. The best plan, perhaps, would be for each club to draw up a summary of the qualifications of a good caddie and post it up where the boys may read it - and have the caddie-master or the professional expound it in detail and read the Riot Act to known offenders.