The Masters Golf Tournament

Professional Caddies and the Many Hats They Wear

Carolynn Wilcox

By Carolynn Wilcox

January 6, 2016

"A good caddy is more than a mere assistant. He is a guide, philosopher, and friend."

– Henry Longhurst, British golf writer and broadcaster

What exactly is the role of a caddy in relation to a professional golfer?  Don’t caddies just carry the bags and clean the clubs?  Are they just glorified pack mules, washed-up former golfers who couldn’t make it in the big leagues?  No, no, and no.  When a great golfer joins forces with an experienced caddy, they can make an unbeatable team.  Read on to learn about the impact caddies have on the world of professional golf!

Psychologist

Ever heard the quote that goes, “Golf is a game that is played on a six-inch course – the distance between your ears”?  We’ve seen it attributed to Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, and Arnold Palmer, but regardless of who said it first, it rings true for anyone who’s tried putting iron to ball.  Golf is widely regarded as one of the most mental games in existence, so the support that a caddy provides can be truly invaluable.A good caddy isn’t a wallflower.  He’s a teammate, acting as both a psychoanalyst and a toned-down cheerleader.  It’s the caddy’s responsibility to read his golfer, sensing changes in disposition and reacting accordingly.  Caddies are there for moral support, encouraging the golfer and giving him confidence.  If a golfer is down on his game, his caddy can provide him with a boost of optimism and positivity, helping his golfer back into a healthier frame of mind. 

Course Expert

Caddies are expected to possess a thorough knowledge of the course at hand before the golfer even steps foot onto it.  It’s their responsibility to walk the course beforehand, identifying every yardage, slope, speed, and angle on the greens.  A good caddy must be able to point out shots with strong potential and danger zones, essentially forming an overall strategy to share with the player.  As if all this wasn’t enough to think about, a caddy also needs to consider the weather and help his golfer make informed decisions throughout the tournament.

Club Selector

Caddies typically assist their respective golfer with club selection.  Though the choice ultimately lies with the golfer, a professional caddy’s advice is crucial.  When a caddy has had the opportunity to work with and get to know his golfer, the caddy’s selection may actually be better – and more objective – than the player’s own choice.  The recommendation of a high-caliber caddy that has had the time to learn how far his golfer hits with each club shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

So What’s in It for the Caddies?

After reading through these responsibilities, you may be wondering what the incentive is to take on all this pressure when the golfers themselves are the ones who take home the prize money – not to mention the fame and glory.  According to Forbes, “Top caddies [on the PGA Tour] can make seven-figures and 10 of them made at least $600,000 in 2014.”  They typically receive somewhere around 8-10% of their player’s winnings on top of their base pay, and they’re also eligible for bonuses.  As if that’s not enough, some of the most respected caddies in the game sign endorsement deals that can be worth hundreds of thousands each year. 

Check out Forbes’ article titled “The Highest-Paid Caddies on the PGA Tour” for more info!

See World-Famous Caddies in Action at the 2016 Masters®!

In April, you’ll have the opportunity to watch professional golf’s most impressive caddies and players work together as you take in the splendor of the grounds at Augusta National!

Select your package now to ensure your presence at this prestigious event as well as access to premium hospitality at The Garden City Club.  This exquisite venue will feature delicious food, cocktail hour, private lockers, daily pairing sheets with the latest tournament highlights, valet parking and much more!  The Garden City Club will ensure your comfort as you take in the excitement on the green – it’s really the only way to enjoy the Masters!

 

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