Legend of Bagger Vance - A CADDIE'S ADVICE

A CADDIE'S ADVICE (Illustration) Sports Ethics Film

The Illustrated London News ran this image of Mary, Queen of Scots in one of its 1905 issues. The drawing depicts an artist’s interpretation of what it might have been like for the Queen to play golf at St. Andrews. Online via the National Library of Scotland [reference: NJ.677].


Golfers who have great caddies improve their own position. With the best interests of the golfer in mind, caddies see things the player may not see: about the swing; about the drive; about the stance. Free to give advice, caddies today can enhance the game of their team mate.

It wasn’t always thus.

According to the records at St. Andrews - the place where golf was invented - the word "caddie" has an interesting history. It is said to have come from cadet, the French term used by Mary Queen of Scots, reportedly a keen golfer who played in France and Scotland in the 16th century. (Mary was beheaded by order of Elizabeth I in 1587).

Cadet, as the story goes, was the French word Mary used for "young lad."

It wasn’t only Mary who used the term. In written form, one of the earliest references appears in the records of Andrew Dixon, a ball maker (1655-1729) who lived near Edinburgh and worked for Mary’s grandson, the Duke of York (the future King James II). The term was passed from royalty to commoners, and it is still used today.

It is sad Mary Queen of Scots did not have the kind of caddie Rannulph Junah had. She (more than most) could have used some Bagger-Vance advice.

NOTE: We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of personnel at St. Andrews for the word origins of "Caddie."
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Mar 06, 2015

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"A CADDIE'S ADVICE" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 01, 2000. Jul 18, 2018.
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