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golf caddie

From the Clubhouse: Do we need caddies in club golf?

Hatgate’ has rumbled on even in the wake of Europe’s Ryder Cup win so the From the Clubhouse team look back at events in Rome and consider the wider context of caddies in our own club games…

 

The Ryder Cup is back in European hands but the fallout from events at Marco Simone are still rumbling on – particularly with regards to ‘hatgate’ and Joe LaCava’s antics on the 18th green.

Tom Irwin, as always joined by Steve Carroll, looks back at that story and considers whether it would have been handled any differently if it was a player at the centre, and not a caddie.

At club level, we have our own chance to benefit from expert advice when we visit a prestigious course. But is it worth it? Does it add to the experience, or would you rather just crack on and carry your own clubs? Tom and Steve, who have benefited from the help of golf caddies and have also made their own way round, debate.

Tom also grills Steve on the Ryder Cup rules incidents involving Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas and asks whether players should ever be allowed a second opinion. Steve’s answer might surprise you.

We hope it’s another hour of informed discussion.

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What did you make of ‘hatgate’? Do you enjoy having a golf caddie at your side when you play a top course? Does it add to the experience? Let us know by leaving a comment on X.

From the Clubhouse is produced in association with TaylorMade Golf

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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