The PGA Tour turns to the Torrey Pines North and South courses this week. They are very different than last week's desert courses -- there will be fog, for example. As always, our caddie remains anonymous. Enjoy this week's Caddie Confidential.
Collins: Has anything been done to change the North course?
Caddie: A few holes are a little bit longer, I would say. I think No. 11 is a little longer. It's definitely not as easy as it used to be, for sure. It looks a little bit longer. The rough is really high and very dense and very thick. Normally someone will go 7 or 8 under over there, but I don't see that happening.
Collins: What's the challenge for caddies on these courses?
Caddie: I would say you just look to make the best decision possible right then and there, because when you have a golf course that you played the same one four days in a row, you find a way to get better on every hole, every day or you find the best way to play it. When you play it just once, you have to be conservative and hit it where you're supposed to hit it and kind of take your medicine. I would say you really don't take that many chances on the one-day golf course. Unless it plays really easy.
It's almost like a guy going out to the golf course for the first time and playing it blind. Sometimes he plays it better because he doesn't know where the trouble is. But when you play a golf course every day, it's almost like 'I know I can clear this bunker or flirt here or flirt there' and then if you don't pull the shot off, you know you get penalized. But on a one-time golf course, I think their mind is a little more conservative. Conservatively aggressive I would say.
Collins: Was it a difficult adjustment coming from the desert last week?
Caddie: Aw, it's going to be a huge adjustment because there was no rough on the desert courses. The weather was perfect. And now the weather's going to be a little cooler since we're on the ocean. You got wind and you got rough, so you definitely have to adjust your race car a little bit.
Collins: What makes the North and South courses different and/or similar?
Caddie: The rough is the same, the greens are very similar. The greens on the North are probably more firm than they've been in past years. But I would say the South course is a little more demanding as far as placement of shots onto the greens. Like you definitely need to stay below the hole here. And around those greens it's tough to get up and down. The rough is really thick. The guy who is making putts for par between 5-7 feet is probably going to be the guy who wins this week. I don't think you're going to chip it to tap-in range. I think you're going to see a lot of 10-footers for par.
Collins: Which do you prefer, playing the North course first or playing the South course first?
Caddie: I like South first to get the hard one out of the way. And then, you know, trying to take advantage of the North course especially on cut day. I like that. Because being on the South course on cut day when you know you need birdies is tough because that course doesn't yield many birdies. So, I would much rather be on the North course on Friday.
Collins: What do caddies do during the fog delays?
Caddie: There's a caddie hospitality tent that's really nice, so I'm sure we'll be in there. They sit in there and talk about what they're doing, "Man, we may bogey be on this hole! Man, we hit here on this hole!"
Collins: So the caddies complain?
Caddie: (Laughing) I definitely wouldn't say all of them, but there are a few. Hopefully there'll be some food in there so we can snack on something.