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Local caddy says its much more than carrying a bag

"I don’t just carry the bags and help the player select clubs. I watch the game and then communicate with the player.”

When Benoni Country Club (BCC) caddie Ephraim Motekase’s career as a golfer couldn’t take off, he decided to contribute to the sport he loves differently.

The bag man said he was a decent golfer, but after spending months learning the trades of the sport and perfecting his handicap, he realised he won’t make it as a player because of his family’s financial situation.

The Daveyton resident began carrying bags as a teenager and years later, he’s established himself as one of the top loopers at BCC, with his vast knowledge of the sport making him one of the most in-demand bag men at his club.

Ephraim Motekase has caddied in the SA Open and Bushveld Tour.

“I wanted to be a professional golfer but it didn’t happen. I started caddying at the age of 16 in the 1980s because we had financial problems at home,” he said.

Motekase, who has caddied at some of the country’s biggest competitions, including the SA Open and Bushveld Tour, said caddying was a serious business that went beyond “carrying the bag for the man swinging the club”.

He said his job transcended raking the bunkers, cleaning the clubs and assisting the player to select a club that fits the distance they need to hit.

Ephraim has been a caddie for more than 30 years.

“I take my job seriously. I don’t just carry the bags and help the player select clubs. I watch the game and then communicate with the player.”

Although the attention is always on the golfers, Motekase said caddies are never far from the spotlight, adding that confidence and knowledge of the sport are essential traits needed to become a successful golfing companion.

“The major decisions are made by the player but as a caddy, it’s your responsibility to watch the game closely and understand the conditions so that you could offer some insights should your opinion be required,” he said.

Ephraim Motekase said caddying is more than just carrying bags.

Although caddying is not a glamorous job (unless you carry the bags of players in the PGA and European Tours) and the rewards are not as lucrative as those of the players, Motekase said he wanted to do nothing else as he has been able to make a living out of his job.

“I had a job here at BCC from 1991 to 2010. After I lost my job, I went back to caddying. I realised I could make a living out of this and could also feed my family. I have been able to send my children to school with the money I make here,” he said.

Ephraim Motekase with Wynand Cornelius and Ryno van den Heever.

BCC member Wynand Cornelius said Motekase has been his “go-to guy” for the past four years because of his consistency and reliability.

“He’s my go-to guy. He’s my golf companion. He’s consistent, knows the course and shows us good lines. He’s a good person,” said Cornelius.

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