Caddie Program Training Manual


The social venture of has developed our Kid’s Caddie Program as part of our “Business Experiences” programming. We believe that kids will benefit greatly from business/work experience at an early age. In a lot of cases, a caddie job can be the first job for kids and we want to help prepare you and coach you to succeed.

To Caddies

We have prepared this manual with your interests in mind and for free. We hope you will take the responsibility of caddying seriously and take the time to learn as much as possible on and off the course. We will provide you with links to other resources to help you learn as much as you are willing to learn. Please treat your caddie opportunity as a privilege that you can earn or lose if you don’t do it properly.

Use your caddie opportunity; to learn about caddying, to provide you with the exposure to the great game of golf, for the positive influences of golf’s honesty and sportsmanship, to gain job experience in caddying, to learn how to run your own business, to meet people that may help your eventual career and to enjoy your many hours on golf courses.

Caddying is hard work . If you take the time and interest to prepare yourself, you will enjoy your experience much more, make more money and most importantly gain the respect of the people you work with and for.

“You will get out of caddying what you put into it”.

If you have the opportunity to play golf, try it because it will help you as a caddie and it is great game to enjoy and for business.

To golf courses:

Please use the manual to enhance or develop caddie programs at your course. We have created some business opportunities for you to help your golf operations. In addition, by participating in caddie programs, you are providing excellent opportunities for kids to advance themselves in the game of golf, their community and their personal and business success. We all know how great the game of golf is and the positive influences it can have on kids. If we do it right, one kid at a time, we will all benefit.

To golfers:

Please support caddie programs. You will be surprised at the impact a caddie job can have on kids. Be patient and be a good role model on the course. Help expose the kids to golf and many of the strong traditions of honor and sportsmanship. Help make it a great learning experience for caddies.

Thank you for taking an interest in caddying. Enjoy the manual and our Caddie Program.

Jeff M. Brown

President & CEO

Appreciation to People Who Contributed

This program has been made possible by the time and interest of a number of people who are unbelievably supportive of Caddie Programs:

Greg Kunkel, Caddie Master, Sunset Ridge Country Club IL. Greg provided his 10 page Caddie Training Manual which became the basis for this online version.

Western Golf Association


A number of golf organizations took the time to pass on comments.

Table on Contents

Important Tips Before You Get Started

Points On How To Manage Your Golfers Golf Bag

Understanding Course and Equipment Terminology

Terms To Get Familiar With

The Golf Course

On the First Tee

Down The Fairway (Ball In Play)

Yardage Markers

Important Tips On The Fairway

Replace Divots

Rake Sand Traps or Bunkers

Look for Lost Balls


Golf Cart Chasing

On the Putting Green

Repairing Ball Marks

At The End Of The Golf Round

Western Golf Association Caddie Exam

Important Tips Before You Get Started

There are a number of important things to consider before you pick-up your bag (golfer) for your caddie assignment:

  • Read the Caddie Training Manual, watch some golf on TV and talk to other golfers and caddies.
  • Be well rested and ready to work hard.
  • Weather for the day. If you are caddying early in the morning or late afternoon it will be a lot cooler then the expected high for the day, therefore dress accordingly.
  • Sun screen. Remember you are going to be outside in the sun for four hours plus. Don’t forget the back of the neck!
  • Wear a hat, peak to the front.
  • Towels. Are they supplied by the course, if not bring your own and nothing too colorful as white is preferred. You need one that you can wet ( wet one quarter of towel) for club cleaning.
  • Check with the course on their dress code to understand what is acceptable. to wear as you caddie. Shirts (keep shirts tucked in) with collars, socks and long shorts are normally acceptable, comfortable shoes with no spikes; running shoes are fine. Be well groomed, neatly dressed and dressed appropriately for the weather.
  • Food is important. You will be carrying/pulling a bag for 4 to 5 miles during an a round so make sure you have eaten before and have some healthy snacks. Pop and chocolate bars are not a smart choice.
  • Drink as much water as possible on the course. Don’t let yourself get dehydrated.
  • Be on time. Don’t be late. If you are assigned to a group at a specific time, make sure you have made arrangements to get there at least 30 minutes before. If there is a range and your golfer wants you on the range then plan accordingly.
  • Make sure you have made arrangements to get to and from the club safely. It is in your best interest not to accept rides from your golfer or other people at the course that you do not know or that your parents have not approved.
  • You are expected to carry a towel, ball repair tool, yardage card or book (if available or over time make your own) ,score card and pencil. (Check with your golfer on ball and tee supply).
  • You are expected to be cheerful, obedient and able to perform the tasks outlined in this manual. (yardage, tending the flag stick, raking the bunkers, locating lost balls, replacing divots and repairing ball marks.)
  • Remember that you are providing a service to a customer.

Points On How To Manage Golfers Golf Bag

When you are assigned a player, it is important to get organized.

  • Find out your golfers name and how to pronounce the name.
  • Determine where you should meet your golfer and where to pick up his or her golf bag. You may be asked to pick up the golf bag at the bag storage or Bag drop-off area. Understand where these areas are.
  • Identify your players golf bag by examining the name on the tag. Count the number of clubs (maximum 14), remember the brand (name on the clubs – Taylor Made, Callaway etc.). Ask your golfer if it is ok to rack the clubs or put them in order. When racking clubs, woods and putter go on top, 1-6 irons in the middle of the bag and 7 iron and wedges on the bottom.
  • Check for other accessories like an umbrella, towel etc. Check to make sure that the zippered pockets are closed.
  • Pick up the bag and see how it hangs. If it carries to high or low then adjust the strap.
  • When you walk with the bag over your shoulder make sure you place a hand on the end of the clubs. This will stop them from shaking which distracts your golfer and can bang up the clubs.
  • If you start to get tired carrying the bag take the hand closest to the bottom of the bag and grab the bottom of the bag. This will take weight off of one side of you and distribute better.
  • Keep in mind that your player will give you their club after a shot when they are ready to. Don’t ask for the club. Be careful to clean it and put it back in the club without forcing it into the bag. Make sure that the area inside the grooves of the club is clean.
  • Wet your towel (about 1/4 of it ) to make it easier to clean the players golf club and golf ball.

Understanding Course and Equipment Terminology

In order to communicate with your golfer and other caddies, you must be familiar with certain words and terms. This training manual will define some of those words and terms.

  1. Review the golf card and try and understand the layout of the golf course and the best or shortest walking routes. Ask at the caddie master or pro shop.
  2. Know all 14 clubs. (Understand the difference between an iron and a fairway wood, a 6 and 9 iron (upside down) and various wedges like sand, pitching and lob.
  3. Hand player the club he or she selects
  4. Stand still when players are about to hit the ball
  5. Keep quiet when players are preparing for their shot
  6. Watch the ball at all times so you know where to find it after it has been hit
  7. Replace all divots on the fairway but not on the tee blocks if sand is available
  8. Smooth sand in traps
  9. First on the green takes the flag stick
  10. Keep up with the player after you have replaced their divot
  11. Never swing the clubs
  12. Memorize yardage of each hole (keep a card available)
  13. If you don’t know – ASK
  14. NEVER, never touch a ball that is in play (between tee and before it is holed out) nor allow the ball to touch you
  15. Mind your manors, respect the equipment and golf course

Terms To Get Familiar With

  1. Divot – A piece of turf dug from a fairway in making a shot.
  2. Replace the Divot. Is retrieving the divot after the shot and replacing it back were it came from.
  3. Tee – A little white peg (can be other colors) used to hold the ball off the ground for tee shots at the start of the hole only.
  4. Caddie Master – A person that manages caddie programs , key contact at the course and someone who you can learn form.
  5. Honor – The right to play off of the tee (lowest score on previous hole).
  6. Penalty – If a player or caddie does not follow the rules the player can be penalized with additional strokes. Please see rule book
  7. Away – Ball farthest from the hole hits first.
  8. Your Away – It is your turn to play your shot.
  9. Another ball or provisionary ball – If a ball is hit out of bounds or thought to be lost another ball is required to be hit.
  10. Par – The score which is standard for expert players on each hole.
  11. Rough-housing – This leads to accidents and is frowned upon.
  12. Approach – The strike or shot to the putting green.
  13. Birdie – One stroke under par for the hole.
  14. Handicap – Strokes given to equalize playing ability between players. Low er is better
  15. Eagle – Two strokes under par for hole.
  16. Bogey – One stroke over par for a hole.
  17. Fore-caddie – A caddie who stations himself down the fairway, ahead of the players to watch “blind” shots (shots that you can not see the landing area).
  18. Fore – A term that is yelled out when a ball is hit in the general direction of someone. This is the warning call on the course. When you hear try and cover your head and shelter yourself behind something if possible.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: The Rules of Golf make the caddie a “partner” of the player.

As a result, when a caddie breaks a rule, it is his player who must suffer the penalty. So, if you want to be a good caddie, learn the Rules of Golf – or at least know the ones that apply to you. Please refer to rule books from the respective Golf Associations or see the links at the back of the manual.

If you know the rules, you will be in a position to help your player win or save shots on their round. If you don’t, you can just as easily cause him or her to lose by making a mistake that can cost him or her the match.

The Golf Course

A golf course is the whole area on which play is permitted. Many courses are eighteen holes with a driving range and practice putting areas.

Below is a diagram of a typical golf hole:

(Diagram of a golf hole )

The Teeing Ground is the starting place for a hole to be played. At most courses three sets of tee markers are used: Blue for Championship (hole plays the longest), White for mid handicap and Red for beginners and high handicaps. Watch which tees your player uses on the 1st Tee and then go to those tees for the remainder of the round.

At the opposite end of the golf hole is the Putting Green. The Putting Green is the low, finely mowed grass which surrounds the hole. Encircling the Putting Green is slightly taller grass called the Fringe or Apron.

The Flag stick or Pin is the movable pole centered in the hole so players can see the position of the hole on the Putting Green.

The stretch of short grass between the Teeing Ground and the Putting Green is called the fairway. On either side of the fairway is longer, heavier grass called the rough.

Near the Putting Green of a golf hole may be several Sand Traps or Bunkers (Greenside bunkers). Other Bunkers can be along the side of the Fairway (fairway bunkers).

Any areas where golf play is not permitted are referred to as OUT OF BOUNDS. OUT OF BOUNDS areas are identified by white stakes or fences.

Golf holes vary in length but are all classified into three categories: Par 3, Par 4 and Par 5 Holes. The Par number represents the expected number of shots a player should take to complete the hole.

The shortest holes are Par 3 Holes and should be completed in three shots by the expert player. The longest holes are Par 5 Holes and should be completed in five shots. The remaining holes are Par 4 Holes and should be completed in four shots. You will seldom caddie for players who are expert, so be aware that higher scores are common.

A player who completes a hole in the ideal number of shots is said to have “made a Par”. A player who completes a hole in one shot more than Par is said to have “made a Bogey”. A player who completes a hole in one shot less than Par is said to have ” made a Birdie”.

On the First Tee

Take a moment and introduce yourself to the other caddies and golfers.

It is the Caddie’s job to locate and identify his or her player’s ball on the course. Therefore, after your player selects a ball from the bag, be sure to ask the brand name, number of the ball and any identifying marks like company logos or initials etc.

(Picture of a ball brand, number and other marks)

When the golfers are ready to tee off, stand in a place where you can watch the flight of the ball but are not in danger of being hit. Stand at least ten feet away form the golfers outside the tee markers. Watch your shadow it is not cast over the golfer hitting the ball. Above all, be quiet and watch all players tee shots.

(Picture of a tee off situation)

It is also your job to know the location of each player’s ball, especially the ball of your own player. As each ball is hit, watch its flight from the time it leaves the club until it lands and comes to a stop. If you’re facing the sun, shade your eyes with your hands. If the player’s ball land in the rough, mark it by lining it up with a tree, bush, bunker or other landmark.This will save time and possibly strokes. If there is a possibility that your player’s ball landed out of bounds, tell him or her immediately. They may decide to hit a provisional ball. After you’ve lined up your player’s ball, wipe off the club and return it to the bag. Don’t force it into the bag as it will harm the grips. Replace the head-cover if a medal wood was used.

Down The Fairway (Ball In Play)

As soon as all players have completed their tee shots and you have cared for your player’s club, pick up his or her bag and walk ahead of your player in the direction of his or her ball. If his or her tee shot landed in the rough, walk on the “line” of flight with the bunker, tree, building, etc. that it was going towards. If you lose the line, you may lose the ball.

The player whose tee shot lies farthest from the putting green(hole) is always first to play. Therefore, if your player must wait his or her turn, be sure to remember the location of his or her ball. Try to reach your player’s ball before they do, but do not move ahead of the other players. Stay still while they are hitting and don’t position yourself so you distract them from their line to their target.

When you reach the ball, remove the bag from your shoulder and set the bottom of the bag on the ground approximately 3 feet from the ball; and lean the bag toward the player to permit the selection of a club. Once the player selects his or her club, step back so you are 6 to 10 feet away from your player. Again, watch the flight of the ball until it lands and rolls to a stop. (take a line with a tree, trap, stake etc.)

Yardage Markers

Set into the grass in the middle of each fairway (on Par 4’s and Par 5’s) are three colored metal yardage markers:

The BLUE marker is always 200 yards form the center of the green. The WHITE marker is always 150 yards from the center of the green. The RED marker is always 100 yards from the center of the green.

As your player comes within 200 yards of the green, it is possible for him or her to hit their next shot onto the green. Therefore, they will expect you to estimate the yardage so they can select the appropriate club for that distance. Learn to make a one yard (3 foot) step to help you estimate yardage. For example; if they are between the BLUE marker and the green, you pace off the number of yards and subtract from 200. If they are 10 paces (yards) inside the BLUE mark then they are 190 yards to the middle of the green. If the pin is at the front of the green they could be another 10 yards closer or 180 yards to the pin.

There may also be times when your golfer needs to know how far they need to carry (hit the ball in the air) to avoid trouble. That may take some quick pacing, observation of markers, past experience or yardage notes.

Important Tips On The Fairway:

  1. Replace divots
  2. Rake sand traps or bunkers
  3. Look for lost balls
  4. Fore-caddie
  5. Clean the player’s club after each time it is used

When hitting a fairway shot, some golfers may take a divot. That means that he or she swings the club into the ball and it scrapes away a section of grass from the fairway or rough area. It will be your job to replace all of your player’s divots. Divots may also be made on tee shots, especially with irons on Par 3’s

When your player hits his or her ball on the green, give them their putter immediately.

Replace Divots:

  • Pick up the section of grass that was scraped away
  • Place it on top of the bare dirt (green side up!)
  • Press the grass section into the bare area with your foot.
  • Please take your time and care to replace divots. It is key to keeping the golf course in good shape for others to enjoy.

Rake Sand Traps or Bunkers:

  • Find the nearest rake
  • After your player hits, enter the bunker or trap at the same point your player did
  • Smooth out all footprints and irregularities
  • Replace the rake inside the trap or bunker, not on the grass
  • Never leave the bunker by climbing up a steep face – Leave at a low point.

Please take the time and care to rake the traps properly. If a ball comes to rest in a footprint that has not been raked, the player has to play it as it lies and will more then likely have trouble making a good shot.

Look for Lost Balls

Anytime any player loses a ball, help look for it. This speeds up play and it is a gesture of good sportsmanship.


Work together with the caddies in the group and alternate holes that appear to be difficult driving holes. Having a caddie up near the landing area can be very helpful. Stand in the rough and out of the way to the flight of the ball.

This is a great way to encourage the use of caddies on the course as it speeds up play a lot. If a group looks three times for a lost ball and spends 5 to 10 minutes each time, then the round becomes 15 to 30 minutes longer. To many golf courses, time is money so if we can speed up play they make more money and will love to have caddies on the course.

Golf Cart Chasing

An important job of a cart chaser at a country club is to fore-caddie when players are using golf carts. There are certain things that a fore-caddie/cart chaser must do, these are listed below.

  1. Go ahead to the landing area of the tee shots, stand off to the side of the fairway and watch all the balls land. If a ball ends up in the rough or the woods, mark it with a marker (stick, tee, pencil etc.). If the ball ends up in the fairway, do not mark it.
  2. Once all players have teed off and you have marked the balls, proceed to the next landing area. This may be near the green, or on a par 5 hole some place short of the green. Again, you need to watch all shots and if they are off the fairway, mark them.
  3. Now, you are in the area of the green. It is your job to rake traps, if necessary, and to clean each players ball on the green. You must also attend the pin while the players are putting. Once everyone has putted out, retrieve your markers form the golf carts and hustle out to the forecaddie position on the next hole.
  4. If the hole you are approaching is par 3, you should go to the tee with the players. While the players are getting ready to tee off and even between hitters, you should clean the clubs in each players bag. You must be very careful not to rattle any clubs or make any noise while a player is addressing his ball or preparing to hit. While you are doing this, you must also be alert and watch each players tee shot so you can visually mark the balls. Once each player has teed off, you must hustle to the green area and again rake traps, clean balls and attend the pin.

In summary, you can see that good fore-caddie/cart chaser job is a tough job and requires a lot of hustle and some running. The good part is that it pays well and you do not have to carry a golf bag.

On the Putting Green

When you approach the putting green, take your player’s bag directly to the edge of the green closest to the teeing ground of the next hole. Never place the bag on the green or in a position where a ball might hit it. Once you player’s ball has reached the putting green, they may mark it with a coin and remove it. When he marks his ball, ask him if you may clean it. When your player hands or tosses the ball to you, wipe the ball with your towel removing all traces of dirt and grass. Return the clean ball to your player immediately. Do not walk across the line of another player’s putt. The line of the putt is the area the ball will travel between the ball and the hole.

When all player’s have reached the putting green, the caddie whose player reached the green first is responsible for the flag stick. If it is your turn to care for the flag stick, approach it being careful not to make a step in the “line” of any putt. Step over or walk around the “line” of every ball on the green.

Usually the player farthest form the hole will putt first. Wait at the flag stick for instructions. The player will tell you whether you should PULL or TEND the flag stick

If a player says, “Pull the flag stick” or “Pull the Pin”, lift it carefully from the hole and take it to the edge of the green. Remember no to walk on anyone’s putting line. Hold the flag so it does no flutter (put your hand over the flag) and wait quietly and keep still.

If a player says, “Tend the flag stick” stand near the flag stick so your shadow doesn’t cross the player’s putting line or the hole. Before the put test that the pin is not stuck in the hole by raising it a little and replacing it while your golfer is lining up the putt. Hold the flag against the stick so it doesn’t flutter. As soon as the player strikes the ball, remove the flag stick Lift it straight up so the end doesn’t damage the edges of the hole.

Continue caring for the flag stick, taking instructions form each player putting. After all players have finished putting out, replace the flag stick securely in the hole.

On holes where another caddie has the responsibility for caring for the flag stick, stand quietly at the edge of the green near the player’s bags.

Repairing Ball Marks

When a ball lands on the Putting Green, its weight and velocity bruise the grass and make an indentation in the sod. If it is repaired immediately it will grow back in several days if not it will kill that spot in the green. On most courses it is the player’s responsibility to repair all ball marks on the Putting Green.

End of Round

At the conclusion of the last hole, the eighteenth hole, you must count the clubs in your player’s bag, making sure none of them have been lost on the course. As you count the clubs, wipe them with your wet towel at the bag rack. Replace the head covers on the woods. Ask you player what he or she would like done with the clubs. They will probably ask you to return them to the club storage area, bag pickup if they are returning them to their car or they may put them in their car immediately.

After you have cleaned, counted the clubs and returned them to the appropriate area as identified by your golfer, thank your golfer for the opportunity to caddie for him or her and how you enjoyed it, tell your golfer you are finished and would like to be paid. If you are paid through the pro shop or caddie master, make sure the proper paper work is complete. If you borrowed towels from the club, make sure you return them to the proper area. Any garbage of yours or your golfer should be put in the garbage or recycle bins.