Sunday, April 02, 2006

Teamwork in Golf

Golf is usually thought of as an individual sport. It's you against your opponent or the field. But, teamwork can be a factor in golf in a couple of ways.

First, there is teamwork among the foursome. Each player should help other players locate and find their balls. There's the dance in the foursome of who should pull and replace the flagstick. And, the obvious is teamwork in team formats, such as scrambles where the player putting first should putt the ball to the hole to give his teammates a good read.

Another opportunity for teamwork to be a factor is the relationship between player and caddie. Think of effective player-caddie relationships. Tiger and Stevie, Phil and Bones, and last week's Steve Ames and brother, Robert, should come to mind.

While watching today's final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, however, I didn't see that type of relationship developing between Michelle Wie and her caddie, Greg Johnson. He was the caddie for Dottie Pepper and most recently Juli Inkster. Yet, when Michelle was on the green, I never saw him help her read the putts or discuss club selection, especially on the 18th green when Michelle hit an errant sandwedge eleven feet past the pin.

Given her caddie's experience at Mission Hills Country Club, I don't understand why they weren't talking about every putt. I would have assumed Michelle and her family selected Johnson as her caddie for his maturity and experience. After the bad drop which caused her disqualification in her first tournament as a professional and his not helping her read putts, I question whether this will be a team we'll see much in the future.

Although they don't work together often because of her limited playing schedule, there's a chemistry lacking between Michelle and her caddie. With her youth and inexperience, she needs to take advantage of a caddie's experience.

Teamwork in golf can help foursomes keep the pace or players win tournaments. Let's hope Michelle finds a caddie relationship, whether with Johnson or another, that will lead to victories on both the LPGA and PGA tours.

1 comment:

dave said...

MY guess on this one is here age and immaturity. I think as a seasoned caddy he knows what his job is but doesn’t feel he can do it or is allowed to do it.