Two tips I received from tour caddies… They might sound simple, but might well help you lower your score!
Throughout my life I’ve had a passion for golf and, for many years I also had an inner drive to improve my game.
I practiced, I sought out renowned teachers for lessons and I read books with subject matter covering all aspects of the game.
Given all of that and, although profoundly simple, I think the two most helpful tips I ever received came from individuals who (at the time) were earning their living as caddies on one or more of the professional tours.
Pro Tour Caddie Tip #1— Keep it in the fairway… even at a cost of distance.
This one came to me in a story form from a PGA professional named Tom Murphy. Tom was a Canadian who, in the early stages of his career (1950’s and 60’s), caddied on PGA tour for fellow Canadian professional Al Balding.
The story Tom told me was about Doug Sanders who was known for his flashy dress, a short backswing and as a big gambler. It seems Doug had a standing wager that he would play anyone… for any amount of money with no more than a 200 drive. The only stipulation was that on the par fours and fives Doug could place his ball, but NEVER MORE THAN 200 yards from the tee.
Not one of Doug’s fellow professionals ever took him up on that wager!
The real meaning of Tom’s story is the importance of keeping your tee shot in the fairway can never be over emphasized. If need be hit less than a driver; if your in the fairway the distance you sacrifice will be a good investment toward a lower score. Just think of short swinging Doug Sanders.
Pro Tour Caddie Tip#2—Always hit enough club… ALWAYS.
This one came to me from Barrington, NH native Rocky Wynn. Rocky now lives in San Diego and caddies on every tour out there… PGA, Champions, LPGA and the Web.Com. He’s also an accomplished ball striker who has that innate ability to trap his irons.
On one of his visits back to his native New England Rocky and I played a round of golf together. As we stood on the tee of a par three, and after shooting the distance at 174, he asked me what I planned to hit.
“I’ve got a five-iron. What do you have Rocky?”
Given Rocky’s ability to trap and deloft, he was always a full club longer than me – I fully expected him to say six. But, to my astonishment he said five.
I then asked what I thought to be the obvious: “Have you lost distance?”
The pro caddie tip was in his response.
“No, but caddying for professional players has made it obvious that I never used enough club. You see Peter, tour players almost always pull a club that if struck perfectly will end up ten yards past the flag.”
My next question: “Tell me why they do such a thing”?
“Two reasons: (1) seldom does any golfer, including the tour players I caddie for, make the perfect strike that would go ten yards beyond the flag; and (2) 90% of trouble surrounding a green is in the front third of the putting surface.”
Sounds simple, but a practice that too many of we golfers DO NOT FOLLOW. Stop under clubbing.
You might try this… be like Rocky Wynn and add an extra club to every approach. The best players in the world do it!
There you have it. Two simple tips I learned from tour caddies.