2 min read

Looper Life or Looper For Life

Looper Life or Looper For Life

Ah, the life of a caddie. Seems simple and serene, right?

  • Carry golf bag, clean clubs/balls
  • Rake sand traps, fix divots, maybe remove pin from hole when putting
  • Unwrap PB&J sandwich or peel banana at the turn
  • Consult caddie’s course bibles for club selection guidance and reading greens

The PGA Tour has just made the life of a caddie a little less “Show up, Keep Up, Shut Up” and added in some Put Up. As in put up with a new rule that starts on January 1st; a joint effort by the USGA and R&A that aims to improve pace of play (wink, wink).

Starting in 2022, PGA Tour Players and caddies cannot use their existing green reading books nor yardage books at tournament sites (some caddies have huge collections of course “maps”):

  • Simple “committee approved” books will be created, with only basic info in them
  • No devices, levels or other tech to be used to gather information/generate notes
  • Cannot copy details from another source into the approved book
  • Prohibits any books created prior to 2022
  • Basically, must play the course (or watch event on TV) to make custom notes
  • Big question - How is the ultra-secretive PGA Tour actually going to track this?

Wild guess - this won’t do much to soothe Phil’s chapped ass with respect to the USGA.

Thanks to this ruling, caddie’s will be working harder to make their cheddar on the PGA Tour. Although, no two player-caddie agreements are the same, typical breakdown is usually:

  • typically paid a weekly salary anywhere from $1000-3000
  • 5% of winnings for a made cut, 7% for a top 10 finish and 10% for a win

The money and lifestyle sounds all fine and good if you loop for the Rahm’s, Morikawa’s, DJ’s and JT’s of the golfing world.

However, most caddies don’t and let it be known that caddies are responsible financially (and field sobriety-wise) for:

  • Transportation to and from events
  • Lodging (Billy Foster stayed in hotels so bad, rats would come in and immediately leave)
  • Food and drink, aka entertainment

Of course, there’s some all-timers for caddies who made a pretty penny hoofing around 50 pound leather tour bags, smoking cigarettes and generally enjoying the vagabond’s life

  • All-time money winner’s caddies are great starting point
  • Steve Williams, Jim “Bones” Mackay, Mike “Fluff” Cowan come to mind

Of course, these gents all paid their dues, and we are behind the spirit of this rule change; getting players/caddies back using only their skill, judgment and feel along with information gained through experience to navigate the course and especially read the line of play on the putting green.