In our living room my wife and I have photos from our wedding. Among them is a picture of her with the bridesmaids. But there is nothing of me and the groomsmen. That’s because one of the groomsmen was my former player, and I can’t stand the sight of him all dressed up next to me on the biggest day of my life. It’s just too painful.
I carry for a guy you know, but you haven’t heard his name much in the past few years. Still, given what I do for a living, I’m the subject of envy in social settings, and I’d be lying if I said the attention didn’t feel good.
I’ve been a caddie for nearly 20 years, with stints at some of the world’s best resorts. Although I’m not big on soapboxing, a lot of you could use some friendly advice. Before I tell you what you get wrong, let me start by telling you what you get right: you tip well.
You won’t have job security, and you’re not going to make much money. That’s what a caddie told me when I started looping on the LPGA Tour a decade ago. I thought he was joking or perhaps trying to weed me out. Within a month I realised he was just telling it like it is. Well, mostly.
When I first started caddieing, that label was reserved for players whose rounds would explode over the smallest mistake. Now, after years in this business, “land mine” means something else: anyone who could potentially blow up my career.
Just last year a player fired me, and I can’t find another full-time bag on the PGA Tour. That’s why I’m here. It’s not where I want to be. Hell, it’s where I can’t be – not for very long, at least. The truth is this: I can’t make a living as a caddie on the Korn Ferry Tour.
The relationship between a player and caddie is intricate, thrilling, messy, all over the emotional spectrum. It’s basically marriage without sex. So winning a Major is, well, as close as we get to having fun in the bedroom.