“Keeping distance, only doing things agreed” is the principle of the caddy at Charles Schwab Challenge – PGA Tour event kicked off today.
At the 10-yard Colonial tee court on June 10, experienced caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan stood far away from colleagues and golfer with his team during the pitch test. Some of them are closer to each other because they want to return to the previous intimacy. Particularly Cowan adheres to a minimum distance of 1.8 meters according to the standard “social spacing” or equivalent “length of two sticks” as the warning signs are scattered throughout the yard.
The tee hole in hole 10 does not have much space because one side is blocked by brick walls and the other side is the asphalt road for trams. But with Cowan, it is not difficult to implement “self-defense and protection of people around”.
“Fluff, social spacing,” said caddie Mike Greller of young star Jordan Spieth. “I’m trying,” Cowan replied.
It will be a common sight when the PGA Tour re-competes in a new environment with many frameworks and regulations. This week on the Colonial yard, the interaction between golfer-caddy is no longer close. They cannot stand next to each other, whispering tactics, choosing the direction of the stroke, detecting how to read the distance, tossing balls or sticks to each other, high-fiving …
Caddy professional not only carrying sticks but also professional consultants and even psychologists. But the PGA Tour is asking caddies to change the way they work, to ensure a distance, to agree with the golfer about “who touches what” when playing. In addition, they were also given gift bags by the Organizing Committee, which is perhaps the weirdest in the career process to date. It is comfortable to use three packs of disinfectant towels, each containing 10 pieces to clean “essential labor tools”.
But will they follow suit? The organizing committee has no sanctions. “Is there a penalty for a stroke” a caddy asked. The problem of keeping distance does not mention punishment.
The new setting was completely unfamiliar to many caddies, including John Curtis, Dylan Frittelli’s assistant. On the morning of June 10, the PGA Tour sent a message to remind caddies and golfers to practice social spacing, avoid physical contact, wipe off flag craters, craters, sand traps, and even clubs. As for the high-fiving, it is not recommended. And since leaving South Africa to return to work in Colonial, Curtis has become reluctant to relax. “I haven’t touched the flag all week. Frittelli wants to leave it in the hole when putting and it’s okay,” Curtis said
Habits are often difficult to give up and caddy will have to forget quite a few familiar things. This ability can occur in the famous golfer – caddy pair. Bryson DeChambeau – Tim Tucker must decide who takes the stick. Between Webb Simpson and Paul Tesori, who will clean the ball, or peel off the box to get a new ball. Who will turn to a book to read the whole distance specifications, Rory McIlroy or Harry Diamond when they put their heads together to do so? Will Brooks Koepka and Rickey Elliot discuss how to celebrate the victory, including waving or bowing or texting each other?
According to the Golf Digest, the Colonial round has a caddy that adheres perfectly to social spacing. It was Todd Montoya – assistant of Brian Stuard. Montoya wore a mask and did not allow anyone to come near. When Stuard needed a cane, Montoya simply set the bag on the pitch and moved away. This serious Caddy refused to discuss or explain how he and Stuard worked.