My husband surprised me with an unusual gift for our 30th anniversary, a caddy. It was not just a caddy, but a round of golf with a caddy as part of a very romantic getaway. But it was the caddy that threw me for a loop.
As we were walking up to the bag drop area, I quickly texted a golfing friend of mine, asking him what I should “do” with a caddy. He texted back the following: “Make sure he finds your ball, reads the ball for putts, clean your ball and equipment, give shot selection advice, holds the pin and fixes your divots.” Wow, not only did I have to think about my game, but I was going to worry about a stranger watching my every move and then have to figure out how to use him to help my game. And so the round began.
My first hole was a disaster. I was totally distracted by this person carrying my clubs and didn’t like someone in my space watching my every move. But as we went along two things happened. I started consulting with my caddy and, with a few better shots, was gaining some self confidence. As I got to know him, I’d ask his opinion, though he was reluctant to give it (he was a brand new caddy). He shared with me what his coach would tell him if he was in a situation like I was. I started filing away the tips and strategies and found many occasions to use them on the course. The back nine was a much better experience for me. The golfing improved somewhat, but my understanding of the game and ability to work as a team with my caddy made it more fun and rewarding.
For a moment, I closed my eyes to make believe I was on the LPGA tour. And then I opened my eyes and was extremely grateful there was no gallery. I did get a taste of what it must be like to have a close working relationship with a caddy and can see how relying on someone who knows that course and you can be quite valuable. I had only walked 18 holes carrying my clubs once before and remember being very tired after that round. By just walking the course and having someone else carry my clubs left me with more energy to play the game and finish strong. When I was able to ask my caddy which club to hit and have him confidently hand me a club, that confidence rubbed off on me. I had to laugh when he handed me a 7 iron and I was still over 200 yards out, but I’m happy he was honest about my ability and he knew what club I was hitting well.
There are three takeaways from my caddy experience that don’t just apply to golf. First, learn how to rely on others to share their knowledge and experience for a better outcome. Second, let others carry the load for you leaving you with more energy. Third, teamwork trumps an individual effort. It is these three tips, I’ll leave with you and encourage you to find special people to caddy for you in different areas of your life. Fore!