Even if your golf abilities aren’t good enough to get you to the PGA, there’s still a chance you could make it onto the course as a professional caddy.
It might seem like one of the easiest jobs in pro golf, but surprisingly, a lot more goes into it than you might think.
Caddies are responsible for ensuring that players have everything they need on the course and that their equipment is kept safe during play. They also help with any issues that arise while on the green or tee box.
The job description can vary from player to player, depending on what level of competition they’re playing at. For example, a top-level player will require a different set of skills from their caddy than someone who plays only recreational events.
The average salary for a caddy on the PGA Tour ranges anywhere from $40,000 to over $100,000. However, the figure will change drastically depending on how well the golfer performs, giving caddies a real incentive to help them out.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at everything that goes into being a caddy, how they get paid, and how much they can earn.
What Does A Golf Caddy Do?
A caddy is responsible for helping the player both before and after each shot. This includes making sure that all the player’s equipment is ready for use, keeping an eye on their scorecard, and ensuring that they don’t run out of balls.
They may also be asked to carry clubs for the player, which means they’ll be carrying bags full of clubs around the course.
If the golfer needs anything else during the round, such as drinks, snacks, or towels, then the caddy will ensure these things are available.
Essentially, a caddy for a recreational player acts almost as their parent, retrieving things for the player and helping carry their things around the course.
However, when you get to the higher levels of professional golf, caddies have a much more engaged role in the game.
For example, on the PGA Tour, caddies tend to arrive at the course hours before any of the players do, just to check on it and relay any weather or terrain notes back to their player.
They will also often keep an eye on other golfers throughout the day and keep notes on how their balls are interacting with the course.
Then, of course, during the actual gameplay itself, the caddy will help the player to make informed decisions about which club to use for a particular shot, which approach to take, and other general strategic decisions.
So, there’s a lot more to being a caddy on the PGA Tour than meets the eye!
How Do Golf Caddies Get Paid?
There are two main ways that caddies get paid: by the hour or by the event.
Most caddies who work for recreational players work by the hour, meaning that they receive a fixed rate per hour. The amount of time varies based on the type of tournament – some tournaments last for four days, others go for three weeks.
However, if you want to become a caddy for a professional golfer, then you’ll likely get paid by the event. In this case, your pay depends on how many rounds you play, how long those rounds last, and how well the player does in the tournament.
Caddies working for professionals usually start off earning less money than their recreational counterparts, but once they’ve proven themselves, they can expect to see a significant increase in their wages.
The amount of money that a caddy makes also depends on where they’re playing. For instance, if they’re working at one of the major events like the Masters Tournament, they could easily make upwards of $50,000 in a single week.
While this isn’t the same dizzying feesthe golfers get paid, it’s still more than enough to live comfortably off. On the other hand, if they’re working in a small town, they might only make $10,000 in a month.
At the top levels of professional golf, players and caddies will have exclusive contracts, meaning the same caddy will follow the same player all over the world, helping them out at every tournament they play in.
In these cases, individual deals will be arranged, which means each caddy will take home different amounts of money each year.
For example, one caddy might arrange to take 7% of their player’s tournament winnings, while another might have a more lucrative deal and take 10% of their player’s winnings.
Of course, this also means that the salary for a caddy completely depends on how well their player performs in tournaments.
Talk about a great incentive to do your job well!
How Much Do PGA Caddies Earn?
Now that we understand what caddies do and how they make their money, you’re probably wondering what their salaries actually look like.
Let’s take a look at Steve Williams as an example of one of the top caddies in the world.
Williams worked with the likes of Tiger Woods and Greg Norman in his time, famously spending 12 years with Woods.
It’s reported that Williams earned as much as $1.4 million in 2007, simply because of how well his player performed in that year.
In fact, over the course of his whole 12-year stint with Tiger Woods, it is believed that Williams earned around $9 million!
That’s why being a caddy for the best players in the world is one of the most sought-after jobs out there.
This type of payment and salary means the caddies actually won’t know exactly how much they’ll make in a year. For example, if a PGA golfer only makes $200,000 in tournament winnings in a given year, their caddy likely won’t see more than $20,000 plus expenses.
For this reason, plenty of caddies will also have a second job that they can work outside of golf tournaments to ensure they have a steady income.
In fact, the only people that tend to work full-time as a caddy are those at the highest professional level of the sport or those who work for a local golf club.
How Hard Is It To Become A Caddy?
If you want to become a caddy, then you need to get yourself into a position where you can earn some serious money.
You don’t necessarily need to be good at golf, but you should be able to hit the ball straight and consistently.
There are many ways to break into the profession, including:
- Working for a golf club. Many clubs hire new caddies directly from high school or college.
- Becoming a member of a pro shop. This way, you can get a feel for the business side of things before deciding whether you’d enjoy working in a golf store or not.
- Volunteering. If you’re interested in volunteering, try signing up for a course such as the Junior Golf Camps. These camps teach kids ages 8–14 how to play golf.
What’s interesting about the profession of caddying is that you don’t necessarily need any qualifications or education to do well. All that’s really needed to succeed is a good knowledge of the sport.
This is why plenty of caddies begin their careers straight out of high school, and plenty of the best caddies in the world never even went to college.
How Often Do Golf Caddies Work?
The answer to this question, again, depends on what level the caddy is working at.
For example, a full-time caddy working for their local golf club will have a pretty regular work pattern, often up to 40 hours per week.
However, caddies who work on the PGA Tour will tend only to work at the big tournaments that their players compete in. This often only takes up around 30 weeks of the year.
This often leaves these caddies with as much as 22 weeks of the year completely free to pursue other careers or part-time jobs.
Although, plenty of the top caddies enjoy this time off to spend time with their families and not worry too much about work!
Caddying is a great career choice, especially when you consider all the benefits that come along with it.
Not only does it give you the chance to travel around the country and meet lots of different types of people, but it also gives you the opportunity to make a decent amount of money as well.
As long as you keep your eyes open, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to find a job that suits you perfectly.
Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, and there are plenty of roles available that people do for a living. Maybe caddying could be the next career path for you!