A great experience caddying at the Vic Open
13 February 2019 10:43 pm
Last week I was fortunate enough to caddy for Becky Morgan in the Vic Open at 13th Beach in Melbourne, Australia.
It was a fantastic experience to get a taste of what it's like on tour. This was my first time of being a caddy.
The Vic Open is a unique professional tournament that has 156 ladies and 156 men competing at the same time at the same venue. The Ladies tournament was run by the Ladies Professional Golfers Association and the Australian Golfers Association, the Men's was run by the European tour and the Australian Golfers Association. Both groups of players played both courses at 13th Beach, with a prize purse of $1.5 million for each.
On Monday morning I picked Becky up from the airport and we headed to the course. We signed in, bought our course planners and went straight to the practice area. The practice facilities and set up was amazing. Becky warmed up on the range after a 15 hour flight, we then spent 30 mins on pitching, chipping and bunker play. Onto the putting green we went, an area where I felt a little bit more 'in my comfort zone'! It had been a few months since we last caught up on Becky's putting technique so we stared with a recap of how the last changes where bedding in. We both were happy and she was rolling her putts superb.
With two courses to learn, it was important that we got quality time on both; we started on the Creek course playing 9 holes, that afternoon.
Becky played with regular practice round partner Xi Yu Lin, also known as Janet and her caddy Mardy. Janet is a young chinese girl who is a fantastic golfer. Mardy has been a caddy on tour for 12 years and was on tour herself before that; her wealth of knowledge was very useful and she certainly helped me learn the ropes.
Becky has been on tour for 18 years so to be fair she didn't need much help. She was in charge of the course planner and working out how far she had to hit each shot. However she discussed every shot with me which helped me understand what was going on in her mind!
I had to remember her club carry distances very quickly, they were;
58 degree - 70 yards carry
52 degree - 90 yards carry
PW - 110 yards carry
9 iron - 120 yards carry
8 iron - 130 yards carry
7 iron - 140 yards carry
6 iron - 150 yards carry
5 hybrid - 160 yards carry
4 hybrid - 170 yards carry
3 hybrid - 180 yards carry
A great tip for amateur golfers is to learn your carry distances. It's important to know the carry distances not the total distances because how far the ball travels after it lands will depend on the conditions.
On Tuesday it was another practice day. We spent three hours prior to our tee time, on the Beach course, working on all areas of the game. On the putting green we spent an hour on these two great drills:
3-8ft Spiral - CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE DRILL
Speith - CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE DRILL
We then played 18 holes on the Beach Course, where Becky played very well.
On Wednesday it was Pro Am Day; An early start for our first day of competition, with a 7.45am shotgun start.
Becky played with 3 great guys and we had lots of fun. Some good golf was played, along with some not so good golf.
Here is a picture of the team behind the do it for Jarod charity sign
Thursday was our first tournament round. A late tee time followed by an hour fog delay gave us a 3 pm tee time. So a relaxed morning on the beach for me followed by a lovely lunch in Barwon Heads.
On arrival at the course there was a great buzz and it was packed with spectators. It was a beautiful day weather wise, nearing 30 degrees.
Becky and I had agreed on Monday that we were going to read every putt together, which worked a treat. She played a solid round and holed out well; she did however drop a few shots on 17 and 18 to score a round of level par. Becky doesn't like to look at scoreboards and didn't want to know where she was standing after the first round. I of course had to have a look and we were sitting in 70th place over night so right on the cut mark!
Friday was another early start but we both felt in good spirits heading into round 2. Her game was in good shape, the jet lag had gone and she had a nice draw playing with Christine Wolf and Steph Kyriacou. All three ladies got on with it and played at a great speed. Unfortunately this meant they had to wait on every shot for the slow Men golfers in front!
Christine Wolf is from Austria and plays on the European tour. She hits the ball a mile and was a lovely girl to talk to. She hasn't won on the European tour yet but she is one to keep an eye on.
Steph Kyriacou is from Sydney and is still an amateur. At only 18 years old, she is a full time golfer and is currently deciding if she should turn pro or go to the states for a couple of years. Whatever she decides to do I'm sure she will do very well and she is certainly a name to look out for in the future.
Becky started her round really solid. Five straight GIR and five straight pars. Then going through the turn she started to hit a few bad shots, not committing to the shot and loosing her swing. She scrambled up and down on every hole from all types of places, flop shots, bump and runs and bunker shots. I thought i was looking at a Welsh Seve, her new nickname that's likely to stick. She was 1 under par at the turn.
But her long game continued to let her down, driving in bunkers, missing greens with short irons. Eventually this type of play catches up on and your short game will have to follow. She made a couple of bogeys then a loose double on the short par 3, 16th. She scored +4 for the tournament and that was a missed cut, tournament over.
Was I gutted?... Absolutely
Was Becky gutted?... Absolutely
Did I give 100% on every shot?... Absolutely
Did Becky give 100% on every shot?... Absolutely
It's just one of those things. No one has ever done better than their best.
It was a real shame as I felt we worked really well as a team. Reading the greens with AimPoint together was fun and we only miss read 1 putt in 3 tournament rounds and 2 practice rounds. 149 / 150 putts with the correct read is an aspect that I'm really proud of.
It was lovely that my family came to watch us at 13th Beach and that we were able to hang out after the round with Becky.
Would I do it again?...........
Absolutely, I loved every minute of it and it was an awesome experience.