The Men on the Bagson November 28, 2012
The old saying goes that the best advice for any caddie is to keep up and shut up. But today’s caddies are far more than just glorified baggage handlers. At this level of the game, the caddie profession is taken seriously. And as a career option, it can come with some sizable rewards.
This week at the Gary Player Country Club, the golfers will obviously get most of the spotlight. But here’s a list of the men on their bags, who will not only advise on club selection, but also serve as a sports psychologist, friend and sometimes even a coach during this year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Caddie: Mike Kerr
Kerr has big shoes to fill, having taken over from Westwood’s longtime caddie Billy Foster. The Zimbabwean’s work with Westwood this week will be key in terms of their preparations for 2013, with Westwood targeting a Major next year.
Caddie: Glen Murray
Murray has bucket loads of experience at this level, having caddied for Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia and others over the years.
Caddie: Brian Nilsson
When Colsaerts returned to the European Tour in 2010, he asked around about who he should be looking for as a caddie. The answer came back that he could do no better than Nilsson. The Australian has caddied all over the world, and brings with him a background as a former touring professional himself.
Caddie: Craig Connelly
Connelly was on Kaymer’s bag when he won the PGA Championship in 2010. But then the two parted ways, with Kaymer opting for Christian Donald, the brother of Luke Donald and Connelly signing up with Paul Casey. Now they’re back together again, and hoping for more Major success in “Africa’s Major”.
Caddie: Jason Hempleman
Hempleman spent a few years on the bag for Colin Montgomerie before he switched to the Italian.
Caddie: Wynand Stander
Stander certainly knows how to pick the rising stars of South African golf. He caddied for Charl Schwartzel for a while before he hooked up with Oosthuizen.
Caddie: Mark Fulcher
Fulcher has already caddied for a world number one. He was the regular caddie for women’s world number one Laura Davies. Fulcher has learnt the real lesson of a good caddie being one who listens and leaves the glory to his pro. “I think the key is not to wrap the job up in too much mystique and acknowledge that Justin would do well out here if he was pulling a trolley,” he once said.
Caddie: Mark Zyons
Zyons, or “Ziggy” as he’s known, has plenty of experience on the PGA Tour, having caddied for Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon.
Caddie: Brian Shezi
Brian is one of the most experienced caddies on the Sunshine Tour.
Caddie: Grant Berry
Pettersson and Berry first met when the Swede was playing the European Tour in 2001. They worked together for three years, split in 2005 and then reunited. Berry has that X Factor every pro is looking for from his caddie. As Pettersson describes it, “He’s good with pulling clubs, but he’s even better at keeping me nice and calm.”
Caddie: Mark Sherwood
Perhaps the best compliment paid to a caddie can be this from one of Hanson’s fellow pros. “Mark is an intelligent man and Peter takes notice of what he says.” Enough said.
Caddie: David Kenny
Kenny teamed up with Lawrie in 2011, and they already have a good working relationship with a few victories under their belts.