Do Caddies Pay Their Own Expenses?

A caddy is the one person you see a professional golfer has with them at all times in competitions. They’re often considered a professional golfer’s assistant. An often concerning question regarding caddies is about their pay. How much do they get paid? Do caddies pay their own expenses? And, why?

Yes, the caddie pays for all of his expenses and, therefore, they get a weekly paycheck, no matter if the player misses the cut. The caddie gets a paycheck because they pay for their airfare, hotel, car, food, and all of their expenses.

how do caddies get paid

Caddies’ salary gets negotiated with their player. For example, the standard, if a player cuts, is 10% (win), 7% (top 10), 5% (everything else.) If a player’s taking $1.5 million at home, then their caddie is likely in line for a $150,000 payout.

They also get their weekly salary negotiated with their player, ranging from $1,500-$3,000 per week. However, this standard can vary, as some cadies can ask for a higher paycheck for a lower winning percentage. It is all about negotiation. It is not a fixed deal for all.

Let’s talk about PGA, the most famous golfers association globally and, of course, the best paid. Their tournament is one of the most famous, and because of this, their golfers make huge amounts of money.

How Much Does a PGA Tour Caddy Make?

Experienced players who take it upon themselves to calm down when the going gets tough or analyze each shot with a cool head, caddies become an invaluable part of the team they make up alongside the golfer.

pro caddies pay

For this reason, this trade deserves an adequate remuneration, and in the case of professionals, some enviable figures are received for any other professional.

What is the Salary of a Caddy on the PGA Tour?

Although every player/caddie agreement is different, high-level caddies’ salaries generally range between $1,500 and $3,000 per week of play. This is something that is negotiated between a caddy and a golfer.

In other words, based on this number and considering that a PGA Tour golfer plays around 20 or 30 events per season, the annual salary of a caddy would be between $ 20,000 and $ 45,000.

However, in addition to this and in the form of a bonus, the caddy of a professional receives 5 or 10% of the golfer’s earnings. It is something subject to how the player performs. In cases like Jordan Spieth in 2015 or Rory McIlroy in 2016, they brought their caddies an occasional income of $ 2.14 and $ 1.5 million, respectively.

What are the Variable Percentages?

The most money caddies can earn does not come from their fixed salary but their bonuses. The average of what the caddy receives on the course is distributed as follows:

  • 10% in case they win the event.
  • 7% if the player finishes within the Top 10 of the Tournament.
  • 5% if the player manages to overcome the cut.
  • And in case of not being able to overcome the amount, there is no money to be divided because the player does not profit.

Do Caddies Pay Their Own Expenses?

Most caddies pay for their travel expenses; that is, they pay for their tickets themselves. And although this seems an injustice, the situation is favorable when compared to a few years ago.

Before the expansion of golf, most caddies had to drive from one place to another for hours (there were no funds to finance air travel). This caused extra wear and tear to what their job already meant, often making it difficult to be with the same golfer during all tournaments.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Caddy

Many people think that the caddy only serves to bring the golf clubs to the golfer. Still, in reality, on many occasions, this is practically the same person who protects the golfer from the public and is an important part of their equipment.

how much are caddies paid

In addition to carrying clubs, caddies have several responsibilities to professional golfers. The caddy must know which iron to hit or how a putt lands, how their player swings and aims, which can put up to $ 1 million more in the golfer’s pocket.

They must know how many yards there are from all points of the course to the green, and they work up to seven days in a row walking the course, examining the different positions and seeing in which holes and in which places the player can profit.

Not only is their work on the course difficult because they have to help the golfer with decision-making, but one of the most difficult things about their work is traveling.

They spend 35 weeks of the year out of 52 traveling. Now, even if you see large sums such as 8 million dollars as a golfer’s earnings, in many cases, the payouts of their right hands are not as good as one imagines.

If the golfer does not enter the top 10 players in professional tournaments, a certain percentage of their profit belongs to the caddy, as discussed above.

These are the most common figures, and they do not have to be a law, since in many cases, this job has a specific fixed salary, which can be around a little more than $ 4000 per month.

This is in the case of tournaments, as there are many of these, PGA being the main one, where a caddy can easily win amounts expressed in six figures. In fact, PGA caddies have even gone so far as to win as much as 2 million in one year, a figure many of us would prefer to retire at.

Things are going very well for PGA caddies, but not for normal caddies since it is estimated that more or less 25% of their income has to be spent on accommodation, transportation, and food when traveling.

We hope the information above has answered the question, do caddies pay their own expenses? Amid all this analysis, it is worth saying that what caddy receives seems to be more than fair after that amount of tasks and responsibilities that their position entails.

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