on breaking putts and breaking relationships

Some people may consider that a caddie merely carries a set of golf clubs around the course. However I now realise that there is much more to it than that. A major factor is being able to read the lines of putts. This is not good news for me because I am possibly the worlds worst putter. Now this can be very stressful, and especially, for the novice caddie in front of his compatriots. The worst thing is that my fellow caddies seem to see the lines very clearly and proffer advice confidently. Things like ‘ two inches outside the right of the cup ‘. Now the issue is that everyone else is watching and listening to your advice. So I’ve been taking a rather uncommitted approach and let my player make his own mind up and then confidently affirm it. Of course this can be disastrous and hugely embarrassing. I mean when he reads it left to right and I agree in my most reassuring manner and say ‘ yes left lip ‘ and then the ball proceeds to end up three feet left of the hole ! I mean that is calamitous.It will be the talk of the caddy shack for days. Unbelievably,I’ve noticed some caddies try and blag this by saying ‘ you pulled that badly !’ Now that takes guts.
Yes it’s a very delicate relationship out there and tact is of the utmost importance as far as I can see.I heard a story last week of a group teeing off the first and one bloke hitting a pretty bad shot only for the caddie to say ‘that was atrocious’. I believe that the chap was less than happy about this and I can’t help feeling that it was a bit early in the round to test if the guy had a sense of humour.

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