LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) It's rated the number one course in Kentucky. Valhalla Golf Club hosts PGA championships, with another announcement expected soon. That is where WDRB's Gina Glaros is going to become a caddie in this installment of Gina on the Job.
Gina met with Caddie Master Zane Willis at Valhalla Golf Club. "We're going to teach you everything from pre-round responsibilities to once we get on the tee box. I'll show you how you meet and greet your player. Once we get out to the fairway, teach you some golf course maintenance, I'll get you exact yardages for your players and then we're going to take you up to the green, teach you how to read some putts," Willis said.
"When you meet your player, either on the driving range or on the first tee, there's a couple things you always need to know right off the bat, one being obviously their name, two being what kind of golf ball are they playing."
Beforehand, a caddie cleans, counts and arranges their clubs.
A caddie will walk seven miles in a round, often, caddying two rounds, or 14 miles, a day. However, it's usually more if the player's ball goes far left or right.
"You always have to be thinking about ahead and what's going to be asked of you next."
It's all fair game, even which direction is the wind blowing.
"This is one ball out on the left, this is two balls out on the left, this is a cup. Three cups is a foot. So, when you're giving the read to the player, you want to use that proper verbiage. 'Sir, you're a foot out on the left side. Ma'am, you're two balls out on the right side.'"
Willis said to be out of sight, out of mind. That includes standing behind the tee box. "It's belt buckle to belt buckle or belt buckle to back bone," Willis said. "You don't want to get in the way of your player's downswing and they don't want to see you in their backswing."
Etiquette is huge. "Never assume the player wants your thoughts or your opinion, only if they ask you."
It was time to put Gina's training to the test. Gina attempted to caddie for two players. The bags were fine, the thinking on the other hand, was a different story.
If you know how difficult the game of golf is and keeping track of your own ball, Gina found that caddying can be even more difficult. It was like a scene out of Caddyshack, not at Valhalla Golf Club.
"Not everyone's alike. So, the caddie has to do a great job of not only knowing the yardage and the game of golf and the golf course, but to read their player to help them enjoy their day more," Keith Reese said, General Manager at Valhalla Golf Club. "They're the only ones that are going to spend that much time in a day with our members and guests when they come here so they really help us ensure that the experience and the day that they have is just off the charts good."
It was the moment of truth.
"For each session we put our caddies through, our trainees through, we will rate them on a scale out of 190 points. We rated your first two sessions, the first one was 153 out of 190. So, you left some room for improvement for your second one and you did improve. You scored 172 out of 190. So, there was some drastic improvement. You have completed two out of the first five sessions to be a caddie here at Valhalla and it seems like things are trending in the right direction. Seems like you are improving, so it's been great to have you out here," Willis said.
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