What Is A Fore Caddy?

Anyone familiar with golf would have heard the term ‘caddie’ before – a person who performs tasks for the golfer during a match. However, the term ‘fore caddy’ is less known. 

What Is A Fore Caddy?

Simply put, a forecaddie is a person who has been positioned further ahead of the golf hole and whose job is to track the golfer’s shots. 

Contrary to popular belief, ‘caddy’ and ‘fore caddy’ aren’t used interchangeably. Unlike a caddy, forecaddies aren’t tasked with carrying golfer’s clubs, club selection decision-making, and so on. 

While forecaddies can be positioned with specific groups of golfers during a round, they’re typically assigned to a particular hole on the golf (see also: How Long Does 9 Holes Of Golf Take?)course. 

The typical, recreational golfer will likely never encounter forecaddies, typically they are reserved for professional golf and tournaments

With this in mind, this article will explore everything you need to know about forecaddies. 

Let’s get straight into it!

So, What Is A Fore Caddy?

The rules of golf outline a forecaddie as someone who the Committee employs to demonstrate to the golfers the particular position of the golf ball during play. 

Essentially, they are an outside agency that is responsible for the location of a ball.

History Of The Fore Caddy

The first reported role of the caddy or fore caddy comes from 1681 when a young boy called Andrew Dickson carried the clubs for the Duke of York.

The match was located in Canongate, an area attached to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. 

The particular event was recorded by a young local historian, known as William Tytler when Andrew Dickson relayed the event to him at the end of his life. 

The story was picked up again by reporter Robert Clark who repeated the story in his history during 1875. 

The Role Of A Forecaddie

When golf first started getting popular, golf balls were quite expensive, similar to the premium golf balls you can find today. 

Therefore, to prevent the number of lost balls, the role of a forecaddie was formed. Their main role is the stand at the approximate location where the golf ball was expected to land. 

Then, the forecaddie would mark where the ball rolled out using a flag.

This may sound familiar to those who watch golf since this is the same role as spotters during a golf tournament. 

The Duties Of A Forecaddie

Now you know what a forecaddie does, you may be wondering what the exact nature of their role entails. 

The Duties Of A Forecaddie

A forecaddie’s main duty includes tracking the location of the golf ball at all times.

Essentially, a forecaddie will assist golfers in locating their golf ball by placing a flag on the ground by the ball or waving a flag. 

In addition, they also track the shots of the golfer. This prevents any balls from going missing or being hard to see. 

Forecaddie VS Caddie – What’s The Difference?

During a professional golf match, you will find both a caddie and a forecaddie – two roles that are easy to mix up.

However, while they may sound similar, they have extremely different roles. 

The main difference between a caddie and a forecaddie is that a forecaddie is tasked with tracking the position of the golf ball when the player takes a hit. 

On the other hand, a caddie (see also: Caddy Girls – What Do They Do?)is tasked with carrying the golfer’s clubs around the course, providing suggestions of the best club to make a particular shot. 

Therefore, it is important to remember that these are two very different roles and shouldn’t be confused with one another.

To help you tell the difference, below, we have outlined some key points to remember, for instance:

  • The role of a caddie involves acting as a personal assistant to a particular golfer – taking care of the drivers and clubs. 
  • When a golfer wants to deliberate the best choice of club for a particular shot, they will discuss this with their caddie.
  • Plus, a caddie will also take care of drinks, food, and other refreshments that are required by the golfer. 
  • Typically, one caddie will be assigned to one golfer. However, this isn’t always the case. Caddies are able to work with more than one golfer, although, in professional settings; there is usually only one caddie per player. 
  • On the other hand, a forecaddie is employed to take care of the golfer’s balls and track each taken shot. 
  • Unlike a caddie, a group of golfers will use the same forecaddie within a tournament. 
  • Forecaddies aren’t required to carry any equipment or golf bags. Plus, they don’t make any recommendations or provide players with advice. Their only responsibility is the golf balls. 
  • In a friendly golf match, forecaddies can sometimes be seen offering helpful advice to golfers. However, you would never find this happening in formal settings such as tournaments. 
  • Both caddies and forecaddies are typically hired through a clubhouse. Caddies tend to be more expensive due to their personalized services, while forecaddies are cheaper since they only have one role. 
  • Caddies are required to clean and rub down any equipment used by the player. Depending on their performance, the golfer decides how much they want to tip them. If they provide a simple, customary rubbing down of your equipment, a 20% tip of their fees is acceptable. However, if they provide a great job at cleaning your equipment, then caddies are generally provided with a larger tip. 

Final Thoughts

The term’s ‘caddy’ and ‘forecaddie’ should not be confused. While they may sound similar, they have completely different meanings.

For instance, a caddie works more as a personal assistant, whereas a forecaddie’s sole purpose is to track a golf ball. 

Caddies can be found in all kinds of golf matches, however, forecaddies, on the other hand, are usually reserved for professional tournaments.

Hopefully, this guide has informed you on everything you need to know about forecaddies.

Garratt Shmidt
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