Nicole's diary: The perks of having a caddie

LPGA Futures Tour's Nicole Noelle Smith during a practice round. Nicole is blogging exclusively for Golfweek.com.

When I am on tour, I am the player and the caddie; I get all the yardages, map the course, decide the best approach, and hit the shots. It is great, but at times I just wish I could just be the machine that fired shots at the pin and not have to think through all of it. I wish this only because I sometimes get in my own way.

We learn growing up how to play and do it all on our own, but when you become a pro you get another brain out there helping you out. This last week I decided I wanted to have a tour caddie and see what it was like.

During the event it was great having someone right there, chatting with me, distracting me when I needed it and talking out the shots that needed to be hit. He got the yardages to the front of the green and pin, would be there to talk out the undulation of the green around the pin and the best approach to sneak it in close. Then on the greens it is a second set of eyes reading the breaks and confirming what you see. Gives you that extra bit of confidence knowing that what you see is true. Yes, I do all this while I am out there, but it is so great just getting to pull the trigger at the coordinates someone else gives you.

It was a great experience and I am going to carry it with me into the rest of the events on tour while I crank it out alone out there. Sadly I just do not have the funds to pay for a caddie and myself.

I shot 71-71-71. Very consistent. It was great to have someone do all the main thinking for me. He mapped the greens in the practice rounds and I just got to hit shots around, cut my work in half. Last week I averaged 14 greens, with 12 of them being inside 20 feet. I just was not rolling them all in for birdies.

What I learned this week is that I am really good at mapping a course, and reading greens. We saw the same things and agreed on how to execute shots. We never disagreed. That was a confidence booster.

At the end of the event I asked what he thought I could improve on in my game… I gave him the open floor to cut me however he saw fit. His answer was simple, “Keep doing what you are doing. You are right there, putts will fall and you will be hot!” Sweet. Well, I will keep working on getting the stronger and tighter and it will snap. Keep giving myself birdie opportunities and making it easy out there to score.

Last week: T40: $707.

This week in Concord New Hampshire. Follow live scoring on lpgafuturestour.com

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