New recruits sign up to second caddie school

The class of 2019 who graduated from the first school with mentor Davy Gilchrist (centre).
The class of 2019 who graduated from the first school with mentor Davy Gilchrist (centre).

Seven army veterans will lay down arms and pick up a set of golf clubs when they arrive in the area for the second ‘Caddie School for Soldiers’ .

The school was launched to help those who have left the forces possibly take up a new career in golf.

Throughout February the seven, who hail from the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom, will live together in Elie and learn the art of becoming a golf caddie under the guidance of mentors Davy Gilchrist and David Scott.

Davy, a former caddie master at Kingsbarns and twice voted Caddie Master of the Year in Scotland, will be lead instructor.

David Scott, a Master PGA professional, will complement the soldiers’ education, demonstrating how to help their golfers escape the perils of the course and remedy swing problems.

The caddie school project was thought up by author and film writer Don Snyder who left the USA for Scotland at the age of 60 to prepare to fulfil a promise he’d made to his son to caddie for him on his first professional tour.

It was while working as a caddie over Kingsbarns Golf Course and the many courses of St Andrews that Don began to learn of difficulties so many soldiers were facing as they returned from war.

During the summer of 2018 he began taking steps to establish the world’s first residential caddie school for soldiers with the guidance of the St Andrews Legacy, a non-for-profit organisation that has been bringing wounded veterans to Scotland to play golf as part of their rehabilitation since 2013.

A spokesman for the caddy school said: “The caddies Don worked with were like a band of brothers for him, and he began to imagine that soldiers would feel at home in their company.

“That was the point of origin for his dream of training soldiers for this work that could take them to some of the most beautiful places in the world, where they would be rewarded by earning the trust of their golfers.

“He felt that this could be a life changing and perhaps a lifesaving experience for soldiers who were struggling to find their way back from war.”