The junior caddie program at Farmington Country Club was intended to benefit adult players, but had equal value for the caddies themselves.
When the staff in the golf shop at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Va., first contemplated establishing a junior caddie program for member teens between the ages of 14 and 18, it was originally conceived as an opportunity to provide the club’s adult players with a service that hadn’t previously been available.
But as the new program was implemented, the Farmington staff realized that the program would have equal value for the caddies themselves, because of the unique opportunities it would also afford to the teenagers who signed up for the job. Not only would they get a chance to earn money, they would be able to learn the value of hard work and see the game of golf through a different perspective, while also spending quality time with members who could extend special wisdom and mentoring insights.
Before any juniors at Farmington were allowed to caddie for any member, however, they first had to go through two training sessions. In the first one, they were briefed on all of the expectations that they would encounter and were walked through all of the different scenarios that could come up for them during a typical round.
In the second session, each junior caddied for one of Farmington’s golf professionals for nine holes. This gave them hands-on experience during which a staff member was able to provide more individualized instruction.
Once both sessions were completed, the juniors in the program were matched up by the golf department professionals with members who requested caddies.
“The [junior caddie] program has brought another dimension to our golf operation,” the club says. “Playing a round of golf with a caddie is one of the most traditional ways to play golf, and we’ve been able to provide a service that many of our members truly appreciate.”
That appreciation was expressed directly to one junior in the program by a Farmington member who wrote, “Not only can I tell you that you have the potential to be a very good caddie, you are also a fine, well-raised gentleman.”