by Mark Seiden.
LPGA Players and caddies share a very special relationship. Out there on the course for hours at a time, the caddy is both an advisor and a witness. Observing players in “make or break” moments requires total respect from the caddy and total trust from the player.
Warming up for play on 10/23/2015 at the LPGA Stage 2 Q-School event. Still early and with a long day ahead, caddies observe their players from under the shade of umbrellas.
Young women from many countries compete for LPGA status. Many appear at an event venue and meet their caddy for the first time. Typically, player and caddy walk the course together on the days before the event begins. Here, before the second round, a caddy focuses with intensity on his player’s putting stroke.
Already a slowdown by the second hole of the Panther course. Casey Kennedy and her caddy Andres Escobar survey the scene. “One of my main jobs is to help keep her steady whatever situation arises,” Escobar said.
Casey Kennedy sets up for a chip shot after getting this close in two great shots on this long par five. Caddy Andres Escobar models confidence, with his relaxed stance, attention to the target, hands at rest in the pouch of his official caddy’s shirt.
Casey’s over-exposed in this photo, but the picture becomes almost “abstract” as caddy Escobar studies Casey’s swing with detachment and discernment.
Waiting is a big part of playing tournament golf. How does a good caddy help keep his/her player upbeat and focused for the next shot? How does a caddy-player duo get in a “zone” together, and stay there even during a long wait? Sometimes the best bet probably is to talk about the sandhill crane (in the background, right). Player: Kristi O’Brien.
A threesome in this LPGA Qualifying Event, and their three caddies. By this putt on the ninth green, all six participants are one in their respectful silence and attention as Casey rolls one in.
Mark Seiden is a former college professor of literature and writing who has reinvented himself in retirement as a golfer and golf columnist for the Venice Gondolier Sun. A book of his entertaining columns, “Golf’s Old Magic,” is available at Amazon. Mark and his wife Renee are dad and mom to five children and seven grandchildren.