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The Top 7 Things I Look for in a Caddy

Scott Stallings's business is golf. He's blogging for BNET as he travels about 300 days a year playing on the PGA Tour. Click here to find all of Scott's posts.
After I posted earlier this week on how not to get a caddy job on the PGA, a reader sent me a message asking, "OK, so what's the right way to pitch yourself to work for a PGA golfer?" That's a fair question. Here's what I looked for when I was in the market to hire a caddy, which -- and I can't emphasize this enough -- is the one of the most crucial decisions every golfer needs to make.

1. The first question I ask is, why don't you have a caddy job right now? Here's what I don't want to hear: "I got a bad break," "the last guy was a jerk," etc., etc. If a guy can only answer this question by shifting blame to a particular circumstance or another person, I won't pick him.

2. Can you pass the reputation test? Even if a caddy has a lot of experience, most pro golfers won't hire him without asking the advice of other golfers on Tour. We rely on each other to act as a sort of hiring committee. (Though, it's worth noting, I learned this the hard way when I was on the Nationwide Tour.)

3. Can you keep your emotions in check? I personally need someone whose mood never changes. If you're the kind of person who's always energetic, fine. If you're more relaxed, that works too. Just be predictable and grounded. There are enough ups and downs on Tour that I can't deal with a caddy's emotions.

4. Is this about you or us? The ideal caddy has the grace to realize that we're in this together and he's always trying to figure out ways for us to get better. Some days, my caddy Josh will apologize and tell me that he didn't have his A-game on. Other days, it's my turn to apologize and to listen to the criticism Josh has for me. The more we realize how much we rely on each other, the better.

5. Will you give me -- and only me -- your feedback? If you need to tell me one day that my driving is terrible, say so. I can handle it. But if I hear you telling other people about my driving, or anything else I am doing poorly, it would be over instantly.

6. Are you patient? Because this game will drive you nuts -- and sometimes you've got to get worse until you get better.

7. Will you put your confidence in me? The biggest thing a caddy can offer is the willingness to help a golfer reach his goals and the faith he can actually get there.

Of course, a caddy must also know how to caddy, but that's easy enough to pick up with good training. These seven requirements are about character, which as far as I can tell, can't be learned on the golf course.

Any other golfers (or caddies) out there who have more job requirements to add?

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