Vietnam golf: cute caddies, but the real deal
If the caddies in Vietnam were any cuter, they’d burst into flames. Most of them are women, because they work harder than men, or at least that’s what golf officials say.
They rarely pair the two sexes, because the male caddies tend to boss the women around and not do any work themselves. That’s the Vietnamese culture. Sounds sort of like the American culture, too.
When Jeff Puchalski, an American club pro living in Vietnam, started training caddies a few years back, he had to teach them not to giggle when their golfer hit it in the water.
The female caddies are clad in thick clothing head to toe, with long sleeves and usually a mask covering their faces. At first, I thought it was protection from mosquitoes, but it turns out Vietnamese women abhor dark skin. Light skin is highly prized here, as it is elsewhere in Asia, and Vietnamese women go to great lengths to stay out of the sun.
And they are GREAT caddies. They sniff out your wayward tee shots like bloodhounds, no matter how high the rough. They are relentlessly cheerful and burst into genuine cheers when you sink a putt.
And here’s the kicker: they seriously know how to read greens. Most of them are golfers themselves and know the country’s few courses and all the breaks well, so I’ve learned to listen to them when they say “two ball left.”
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