A day in the life of... European Tour caddie Mark Crane

2016 12 Mark Crane Feat
A football-mad kid from Ayrshire, Mark Crane got his chance on tour as a caddie for Richie Ramsay. In 2016, he helped Chris Wood to his third European Tour win and onto the Ryder Cup team.

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I first caddied when I was 13 at Prestwick Golf Club. My brother is a bit older than me and he was a caddie there.

He got a job in the pro shop and couldn’t caddie for his regular guy. I stepped in and it went from there.

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134th Open Championships

I really got my break in when I caddied at the Home Internationals at Prestwick in 2004. I caddied for Lloyd Saltman (above) and we got on great that week.

Lloyd played brilliantly and the team just missed out on winning. Lloyd asked me to carry on and we just cracked on.

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I’ve not always been into golf. Football was my thing. I got into caddying because I was getting £30 for doing 12 holes on a Saturday afternoon.

I was only getting £14 for doing a paper round every morning and getting up at 6am to do it. It was a no-brainer.

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MarkCrane3

Caddying became a career option when Richie Ramsay gave me my chance on tour. I had known Richie through Lloyd and the Scottish Golf Union.

When I look back, I really appreciate it. If it wasn’t for Richie, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

As well as Lloyd and Richie, I worked for David Dixon and David Horsey for a small time, Paul Casey for four or five months and now I’ve been working for Chris Wood for two-and-a-half years.

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I’m known as ‘Punk’ on tour. That came from William Anderson, who was a good friend of mine. He was a legend of a caddie at Prestwick.

When I was younger, I used to have a bit of a punk rocker hairstyle. Lloyd was the first to call me it because he forgot my name during the round.

He asked William and he told Lloyd to call me ‘Punk’. It has stuck ever since.

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BMW PGA Championship - Day Four

I believed I would get to caddie at the top level. I think if you believe it, you can get there.

I definitely believed I could get to the stage of caddying in the majors. I never thought the Ryder Cup would be as amazing as it was.

To be on a losing team was sore but it was phenomenal.

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2016 Ryder Cup - Singles Matches

My biggest Ryder Cup memories come from the team room, especially on Friday night after we got it back to 5-3.

The feeling in the team after coming back from 4-0 down was phenomenal.

When Darren Clarke announced Chris and Matt would be playing on the Saturday morning, the response from the team was brilliant.

Julian Phillips, the captain of the caddies at the Ryder Cup, said to me that you can’t put a value on those moments. He was right.

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Trophee Hassan II - Day Two

A typical day involves getting to the course two hours before the tee time and I usually meet Chris an hour before.

In the morning, I look at the forecast for the wind and prepare the bag for the day ahead. I get the waterproofs ready if it’s going to be wet. I get any food Chris would need.

I then sit down and put the pins in position. I like to write little notes on each hole of places we can go and places we can’t.

If you’re coming down the stretch, it’s good to refer back to them when your player is under pressure.

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We step in when the players aren’t thinking straight. I reckon 90% of the time they know what they’re doing. We’re just there for when they’re struggling.

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Lyoness Open - Day Four

Chris and I have a nice little routine. We work out the yardage, the wind, where we want to pitch it, the playing number and take it from there.

If he goes with something and I say I don’t like it, we have a trust. Sometimes he’ll stick with it and others he’ll go with me.

We’re a team out there and we’re both going to make mistakes. As long as we don’t make the same mistake on the same hole, we’re fine.

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Three things any good golf caddie needs are to be able to read your player, to know the course as well as you possibly can and to exude confidence.

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