There are plenty of summer jobs, and I’ve had my fair share. I’ve worked for a phone-a-thon, been a camp counselor, baby-sat, and even did a stint of secretarial work for a short time. By far, the best summer job has been caddying. Even if I occasionally complain about it (work is still work, no matter how great, so let’s be honest here), I don’t think I could ever find a summer job that is so great. Here are eight reasons why it is so awesome:
1. CA$H MONEY
Most golf courses pay their caddies in cold, hard cash (there’s always an exception to the rule). There is literally no better way to get paid. You get paid every time you go out on a loop (18-hole round of golf), and you leave work with some serious dough in the best form…CA$H. It’s not just a small amount of cash either, unless you’re just starting out. There are different rankings of caddies depending on experience, seniority, and skill. Most skills are very easy to master and it is not too difficult to move up the ranks. The faster you move up, the faster you make more money. At some courses, you can even double-bag, a.k.a carry two bags, and make literally double the money. And again, it’s all in cash!
2. You get to work outside
Do you wish you could have a job and still be outside experiencing the beautiful summer weather? Caddying is for you. Sure, working outside means you sometimes have to deal with rain, but if it’s lightning outside you have to stop golfing/caddying--no one wants to be holding a long metal stick in the air when lightning is around. So everyone can suck it up during those couple of rainy summer days and enjoy your day off or inside the caddy shack. Other than those few days, you can be outside the entire time you are working. You get to get tan or freckle or burn (always, always, always wear sunscreen–you don’t want to burn like a baby at the beach) depending on your skin. You get to breathe fresh air every day and smell that scent of freshly cut grass that is synonymous with summer on a beautiful golf course. Enjoy the sunshine, get that Vitamin D, and push off that inevitable cubicle another couple of years.
3. You get a work out in while you're working
Most golf courses average about five miles long when you walk it. That’s a lot of walking! If you’ve got a FitBit, you’ll certainly reach your 10,000 steps and surpass it. You’re also carrying one or two golf bags, which aren’t the heaviest things in the world, but aren’t the lightest things, either. How many jobs are out there where you get to get a work out in while you get paid?
4. You make your own schedule
There are few jobs where you could tell your boss you were leaving for two weeks and that would be fine and not necessarily have planned ahead of time. There are few jobs where if you just don’t feel well or have an unexpected doctor’s appointment pop up, you could just not go in to work that day. Caddying is one of those jobs. Now I’m not saying that you could not show up for months at a time and no one would be pissed at you, but really with caddying you make your own schedule. You go in when you want to, and you can take off days here or there without too much lip from your boss, the Caddy Master. This is ideal for when your parents make a spur-of-the-moment road trip plan, or when your BFF asks you to go to her lake house for a week.
5. You have built-in friends
Sometimes, you have to wait in the caddy shack for a loop. Most times you get a loop, there are other caddies on the loop with you. You’re stuck with the same people day in and day out, so you basically become instant friends. You learn cards to pass the time (thank you to my fellow caddies for teaching me how to play spades, hearts, and poker); if you’re lucky you have a TV and, just like siblings, you fight over the remote and debate over yet another "Law and Order: SVU" marathon or whatever movie is on TV today; you might even sometimes just have to converse with each other to pass the time. Either way, you have to form friendships or you’ll be lonely and sad. Side note for the girls: caddying is, unnecessarily, a male-dominated job. Know this going into it, and own it. Don’t be intimidated. Talk to people. You’ll make some great guy friends, and hey, there are probably a few cute ones you want to talk to, too.
Most people who are members at a country club have done something really great in their lives to lead them to be the successful people they are. Talk to them. Ask them questions and form relationships with them. You never know what these relationships will bring–a future job, a reference, maybe even a letter of recommendation. They’re typically good people who are willing to help out people that work hard. Network with them, even at a young age, and you’ll go far.
7. You can start young
A lot of golf courses allow kids to start caddying at 14 years old. You reading this might be older than 14, but you probably know someone who is younger than you who could start making money at a young age. It is an amazing opportunity to be able to make your own cold, hard cash (see point 1 for a refresher if you need it) at such a young age. At 14 you probably don’t have too many expenses, so you can save most of it up–buy yourself a bike or whatever, but save as much as you can. It’s great just to get your feet wet at working in an environment that encourages hard work and getting paid for it.
8. The opportunities are endless
Caddying brings forth so many opportunities to better yourself as a worker. You develop a strong work ethic, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. You also learn an appreciation for the game, which is a life-skill like no other; there are so many business deals made out on the golf course, so an appreciation for the game will take you far. There are some opportunities that are fun to take advantage of, like caddy golf on Mondays, occasionally seeing and/or caddying for a famous person, or discounts in the Pro Shop. There is one opportunity that is life-changing: caddying can land you a scholarship to college. The Chick Evans Scholarship is a blessing bestowed on 200+ caddies a year–it’s a full tuition and housing scholarship to top universities across the nation. Some of the requirements are financial need, community involvement, strong character, and of course, a strong caddy record. I cannot express how life-changing this scholarship is in just a few short words here, and how even just a chance to apply for the scholarship is worth the years of caddying before it. Even if you don’t receive the scholarship, at least you earned all that cash (again, see the first point).
The bottom line is, caddying is a great summer job, and even if you don’t like it, you’ve probably got some pretty interesting stories to tell.