Revolving Door Among LPGA Loopers Marks More Of The Same
ORLANDO, FLORIDA | The Pittsburgh Steelers, a preseason Super Bowl contender, didn’t even make the NFL playoffs. But don’t expect their owners, the Rooney family, to fire coach Mike Tomlin. They are smart enough to know Tomlin didn’t all of a sudden get stupid. Yes, mistakes were made, but some things beyond the coach’s control also occurred.
There’s a lesson in this patience for pro golfers.
Over the past 50 years, the Steelers have had only three head coaches. All won at least 100 games and all won at least one Super Bowl. The genius of the Rooneys is that they put together a management team, trusted that team, and then got out of the way and let smart people do smart things.
Standing on the range this week at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, the kickoff to the LPGA season, I was struck by how many players had made caddie changes – by my count about one-quarter of the 26-player field, including Rolex Rankings No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn and the best American, Lexi Thompson.
In the caddie carousel, there are never enough chairs when the music stops – especially on the LPGA, where this musical chairs is an art form. Sometimes the player and caddie just get sick of each other’s voices.
Sometimes, if the player is underperforming, the easiest thing is to blame the caddie.
Sometimes, especially in women’s golf where players turn pro so young, the omnipresent parents pull the trigger.
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