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  • Alistair Tait

Maybe We Need A Tour Caddie

We’ll spend a fortune on endless lessons, golf schools, top of the range clubs, swing gadgets, books, maybe sports psychologists, even hypnotists, spend forever combing YouTube for golf drills and tips, yet the majority of us are playing with the same handicap we’ve always played with?

What’s the adage: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? That’s what we do, and can’t understand why we never improve.

Here’s a novel idea some of us might want to consider to improve our golf: maybe we need a tour caddie? No, not a full-time caddie who accompanies us every round, but maybe a one-off experience from one of the best who could help us realise the common mistakes we make in a round of golf.

We might just learn more about our own game in 18 holes with someone who has guided top players on the European Tour, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, PGA Tour, in major championships, Ryder and Solheim Cups. How about 18 holes with tour caddie Terry Mundy, Ian Poulter’s caddie for the past 15 years?

I’ve known Terry for years. He’s one of the best in a business full of experienced, well-respected caddies. I bumped into him at Woburn Golf Club yesterday. He wasn’t playing, but guiding three players around one of Woburn’s three courses, giving the benefit of a career that’s seen him caddie for Alison Nicholas, Laura Davies and Poulter, among many others.

Terry’s lost count of the number of tournaments he’s won in his career, but he’s been on Poulter’s bag for most of his victories. He nearly guided him to an old claret jug. Poulter was runner-up to Padraig Harrington in the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

It’s axiomatic to say a good caddie can shave shots off a player’s score. Perhaps not a huge amount of shots at elite level, but even a shot a tournament could be the difference between winning or losing, making or missing the cut.

I’ve also long believed a top tour caddie could save handicap golfers a few strokes a round. So I was intrigued when Terry told me he was at Woburn as part of The Tour Experience, whereby he spends 18 holes with handicap golfers, explaining where they are losing shots.

“Most handicap golfers make the most basic of mistakes that cost them strokes every round,” Terry said. “What I tell them isn’t rocket science, just common sense that can help them play better. For example, most handicap golfers don’t have a routine. Or they might have one on the first tee shot, and by the time they get to the fourth hole it’s gone. If they don’t have a routine then how can they expect to hit good shots? That’s one thing they can learn from the pros. No pro would approach a shot without having a routine that helps them line up and aim the clubface.”

Sound familiar? It does to me.

For the record, I have no connection to The Tour Experience. I gain nothing financially from writing this blog and including a link. It just struck me as such a simple idea I wondered why no one had thought of it before.

There’s another plus to 18 holes with one of the world’s best caddies: Terry’s got a decent number of stories about life on Tour you might not hear elsewhere. That in itself is worth the money to hire Terry’s services: after all, a new set of clubs might look good, but they’re never going to tell you what went on behind the scenes at a Ryder or Solheim Cup.

#JustSaying: “I don’t think anywhere is there a symbiotic relationship between caddie and player like there is in golf.” Johnny Miller

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