While it is possible to become a caddie without any formal training, most posh greens, like those that host the Masters, want caddies with training. Pro golfers depend on the caddies for much more than carrying their clubs. It's a partnership that can only be achieved with proper training on the caddie's part.
The Professional Caddies Association (PCA)
The PCA offers a Caddies Certification Program. According to the PCA website, a potential caddie will go through three courses before receiving the certification. The first course is called the PCA Worldwide Apprenticeship.
The program covers the history of golf and prepares the student with an introduction to caddying as well as the responsibilities required. The second course is called PCA Worldwide Graduate Program. The student will take what he learnt in the classroom and apply it out on the green.
The PCA sets the student up on a golf course that is PCA-approved. After completing the apprenticeship, the student will advance to the final course, The PCA Worldwide Graduate Program, where he'll be placed at a top-notch golf course and other Master Caddies will show him the trick of the trade.
According to CaddieMasters, a popular outsourcing caddie service in Florida, a caddie is responsible for taking care of the golfer. He will assist the golfer in calculating yardage and decision making, while also locating lost balls and keeping the clubs clean.
CaddieMasters also provided a list of qualifications a potential caddie must exhibit to be considered eligible for the job. Since a caddie helps a golfer with decision making, he must be knowledgeable in the game of golf. A golfer will look to his caddie for advice ranging from which club to use to which angle to putt. An outgoing and friendly personality is also a must have. Physical strength and endurance is important to the position as well. Caddying is a physically demanding job that requires heavy lifting and long amounts of time on your feet.
Types of Caddying
There are two types of caddie positions, caddying and forecaddying. When the caddie carries the bags for the golfer and walks with him, he is caddying. When the caddie forgoes carrying the bags to ride ahead in a cart and preps the field, he is forecaddying, according to CaddyMaster.
According to the PCA, caddies have been a valuable part of golf for the past 500 years. In the 19th century, caddies were essential to golf. A typical 19th century golf course was nothing more than a large field with overgrown grass. Player usually needed two caddies, one to carry the clubs and one to mark where the ball landed. Back then balls were made of leather and feathers and expensive. It was the caddie's duty to find the balls and keep them from getting wet.