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24th August 2023

Team golf also brings a different caddie focus

PRETORIA (24 August 2023) – It’s well known that team golf brings a different dynamic to a professional’s strategic thinking, whether it be in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, or this week’s Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship at Pretoria Country Club. But what about their caddies?

With a rare team format on the Sunshine Tour this week that will see the pros compete over four rounds of betterball, foursomes, foursomes and betterball, the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship also requires a different focus from the caddies.

“It’s absolutely a different week for us as caddies as well,” says Chase Manna, caddie for Brandon Stone who this week is paired with JJ Senekal.

“I’d say it’s a week where you play more aggressive so you make those kinds of decisions. A lot of the process is still the same, namely selecting the shot, visualising and then agreeing on it and picking a line. But you will caddie a little more aggressively this week compared to a normal week on tour.

“The betterball aspect you deal with on the spot because one pro will be aggressive while his teammate might not. So it all depends on who’s teeing off first. If he’s in play then you can probably work with your own player to attack more if its viable. Foursomes is tough though because that’s out of your hands. It’s more a collective decision based on the circumstances.”

Stanley Joob, the caddie for Dylan Naidoo who is paired with Keenan Davidse, agrees that this is the one week where a caddie and his pro can afford to be a bit more aggressive than in a traditional stroke play tournament.

“It’s a fun week for the pros and caddies. The strategy is definitely different in a team event because your pro’s partner can contribute. So the decision-making becomes more of a team effort amongst all four of us. You can definitely be a bit more aggressive, but overall, your aim stays the same – executing the right shot at the right time.” – Michael Vlismas