by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Golf Australia Express : GA Express 290
NICKLAUS’ CADDIE COMMENTS FROM A DIFFERENT AGE R ESEARCH has found people’s lifelong musical tastes are all but set by the age of 24 and some controversial comments by the game’s most decorated player suggest there may be a similar phenomenon in golf. Hosting his annual Memorial Tournament in Ohio, 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus unintentionally whipped up a storm of controversy during a guest stint in in the TV commentary booth. Harking back to his own playing days, Nicklaus told Golf Channel hosts Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo he was a believer in the three ‘Ups’ for caddies: ‘show up, keep up and shutup’. The Golden Bear said his main requirement of long-time looper Angelo Argea, a taxi driver from Las Vegas who “couldn’t break 90”, was to “confirm” yardages. Club selection, shot shape and all other decisions related to the playing of the game were, according to Jack, his responsibility alone and he seemed less than impressed with much of the interaction he was seeing between players and caddies on the screen. Not surprisingly, in an age where former Tiger Woods bag man Steve Williams was once New Zealand’s highest paid sports personality, not everybody was pleased with Nicklaus’ stance. Several people took to Twitter to express their disagreement, Justin Rose’s caddie Mark Fulcher and Austin Cook’s man Kip Henley among them. Both are well regarded in the game, Fulcher among the best in the business, and Henley was particularly vocal in his disdain for Nicklaus’ commentary remarks. Regardless of where one stands in this debate what cannot be questioned is that the pressures of the game at the top level have changed significantly since Jack was the main man. As money has poured into the game at an unprecedented rate over the past 20 years everything has undergone transformation, including the role of the humble caddie. Where they were once little more than labourers their ranks are now much more professional, even including several former players, and with literally hundreds of thousands of dollars potentially riding on each shot over the course of 72 holes the pressure on player and looper alike is at an all-time high. Complicating the issue further is the sheer volume of information and data players have access to, much of which the caddie needs to understand and be capable of interpreting. From Trackman and Shotlink data to the – hopefully soon to be outlawed – modern green reading book, which is filled with military grade topographical information of each course’s putting surfaces, there is an awful lot more involved in carrying a bag on the PGA Tour than at any time in history. All of this is, of course, in addition to all the roles caddies have historically been associated with, from on course coach and psychologist to friend and counsellor in moments of pressure. For Jack Nicklaus, and many others, the role of the caddie is just like the music of their youth. The way it was in their formative years will always seem somehow better than the way it has developed in more recent times. But the golfer of today and tomorrow, like their musical equivalents, will continue to march to the beat of their own drum whether previous generations like it or not. VIEW THE ROD MORRI is an award-winning writer and podcast presenter. He hosts The iseekgolf.com Podcast weekly. CLICK here to listen. Caddies have to do more these days than the loopers of Nicklaus’ era.
GA Express 289
GA Express 291