Virtually ever since golf began, the player has had a faithful sidekick known as a caddie. “Caddie” comes from the French word “cadet,” which loosely translated means the younger.

Films of golf competitions in the past show young people caddying for players such as Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, and it’s hard to imagine them giving these two greats much advice. Back then, they simply carried the clubs, cleaned the golf balls and tended the flagstick. As professional golf became more of an actual profession where players could earn a full-time income, caddies grew in importance. Their responsibilities evolved into figuring yardages, recommending club selection and reading greens.

Today on all the major tours, caddies are generally good players in their own right, with quite a few transitioning from playing on the PGA Tour to caddying. Perhaps the most notable was Lance Ten Broeck, who had a decent playing career before taking up the bag of Jesper Parnevik. Others include Jimmie Johnson, longtime caddie for Justin Thomas; Paul Tesori, caddie for Vijay Singh and now Webb Simpson, and Damon Green, a mini-tour legend and former Korn Ferry Tour player who most famously caddied Zach Johnson to two major championships.

Modern caddies often have lengthy discussions with their players before each shot, as witnessed on television. They also have to be psychologists and coaches in addition to caddies, demonstrating varied skills. The best caddie today is considered to be Jim “Bones” Mackay, former caddie for Phil Mickelson and now on the bag of Justin Thomas. Caddies for the best players are also handsomely rewarded, with many of them earning good six-figure salaries. Caddies truly have to be masters of the game in today’s competitive field.

Copyright © 2023 United States Golf Teachers Federation, All Rights Reserved
200 S. Indian River Drive, Suite #206, Fort Pierce, FL 34950
772-88-USGTF or 772-595-6490 -