FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Ryo Ishikawa will switch to club caddies for his next five tournaments in the United States, starting Thursday with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.
Hiroyuki Kato, who has caddied most of Ishikawa’s tournaments in and out of Japan, did not accompany him on the trip.
“Having the knowledge of all the nooks and crannies is extremely big,” said Ishikawa, who will be getting his first look at five different courses.
His caddy at the Colonial has more than 30 years of experience at the course, and it showed on Wednesday as he pointed out how Ishikawa will need to play the course’s narrow fairways.
“His expertise is flawless,” Ishikawa said. “It’s going to be fun to get down to business.
Ishikawa, who has endorsed a language-learning course in Japan, said the communication would not be a factor.
“I don’t expect any problems,” he said. “I have confidence with golf words. If you have the will to get your message across, you can do it.”
Ai Miyazato is one example of an overseas Japanese golfer who has foreign caddies shoulder her bags, but there are others who want to team up with a partner who understands Japanese players’ disposition.
“One would have to say that for peace of mind, there’s nothing like (working with) a Japanese,” Ishikawa said. “That’s why that first step that Ai-san has taken is amazing.”