2 min read

Show Up, Keep Up, And Shut Up

Show Up, Keep Up, And Shut Up

The world of caddying used to be... Show Up, Keep Up, Shut Up. In recent days it has grabbed headlines in publications much larger than ours.

Jim “Bones” Mackay is casting aside his on-course microphone to sign on to a seven-figure looping job with Justin Thomas. Ted Scott and Bubba “The Adolescent Temper Tantrum” Watson are splitting.

There is more inbreeding amongst caddies and players than Ned Beatty and Burt “Turd Ferguson” Reynolds witnessed in Deliverance. Once one world-class player tires of a world-class caddy, there is surely going to be somebody else lining up.

The short list below is a small sampling of the characters that live like true vagabonds.

Mike “Fluff” Cowan - looped for Peter Jacobson, famously as Tiger’s first hired hand, and then made a tidy sum being subject to Jim Furyk’s swing for the past two decades. Never has a yellow cigarette-stained mustache looked so divine.

Angelo Argea - c’mon, this man’s 70’s chic look alone should have him in the caddie Hall of Fame. Famously was Jack’s bag man for years. Fun fact: All of Nicklaus’ Masters wins were with Willie Peterson, except for 1986 when Jack Jr. was on the bag.

Carl Jackson - was Ben Crenshaw’s Augusta whisperer from the mid-70s until the mid-2010s. The Godfather of Augusta caddies, so revered that Jordan Spieth uses “Carl’s reads” for his Masters green reading prep. Also, pretty cool story about the bond between the two men that goes beyond golf.

Bruce Edwards - long-term man of the sack for Tom Watson, also caddied for Greg Norman for a stretch. Obvious claim to fame as a caddie, however, long-lasting impact is his work drawing attention to the scourge of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Billy Foster - famously caddied for some of golf’s elite; Seve, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, and currently with Matt Fitzpatrick. Of note, Foster is perhaps the world’s finest caddy storyteller of the current day.

While it is a worn-out trope that professional golfers are “independent contractors”, that leaves the caddies of the world feeling like a roofer’s assistant where there is no job security coupled with never-ending job hazards.