Working as a Golf Caddie
Bogey. Eagle. Hole-in-one. Par. Birdie. Divot. Wedge. Tee. Driver. Ace. Duff. Iron. Mulligan. Stroke. Fairway. Green. Rough. Water Hazard. If you know what all of these terms are, you’re probably a golfer. Golf is an expensive, but sweet sport – you try to get a tiny ball in a small hole by hitting it over grass, sand, and water with metal clubs. 18 times. Awesome.
Imagine the day in the life of a golf caddie…You wake up early, dressed in nice pants, a collared shirt, and golf shoes. You head to the golf course and read up on the weather for the day. You meet your client and get ready to go golfing. During the day, your duties include carrying the golf bag, pulling carts, selecting proper clubs for certain shots, cleaning balls, raking sand traps, lining up putts, predicting wind speeds and directions, reading green slopes, filling divots, tending holes, locating balls, marking holes, keeping accurate score, advising about golf rules and terms, and helping your client have the best day on the course possible. It can be a long day, but certainly fun. And you get some good exercise, which is always nice.
By giving properly timed advice and moral support, you can make or break a golfer’s day. You may be the scapegoat if a putt goes left or an eagle becomes a bogey. But a good golf caddie adds to the golf experience like nothing else can. Caddies have the insider knowledge of the game, the course, and the rules.
Many golf professionals caddied at some point in their career. It’s a great stepping stone. Not only do you learn about golf, you also network with golfers, who are sometimes very important people. You can start to caddie when you are only a teenager. No experience is necessary. Most caddies start by volunteering. Others take online caddie courses or take training with the Professional Caddie Association after watching Chevy Chase in Caddyshack.
With experience, they can climb the caddie rank system at the local course. This means they get more skilled players and hopefully more tips.
Golf is a respected sport and golf caddie is a respectable career. There are even scholarships to college for caddies through the Evans Scholars Foundation. Pay is always course dependent. But usually caddies can plan to make $30 to $60 per bag they carry.
They may carry one or two bags per round and one or two rounds per day. Plus, golf caddies usually can plan to be tipped if they help a golfer have a super day.
The best caddies work during tournaments. In tournaments, caddies receive a portion of the winnings. When the Professional Golf Association goes on tour, caddies who work with golfers like Arnold Palmer or Ernie Els may win big. When one of the big names wins a tournament, it means that a golf caddie could score upwards of $400,000. Wow.
There is lots of golf caddie work out there and other golf jobs too. Golf caddies often are independent contractors that golf courses or country clubs use to please the guests. Sometimes they are hired by the golf course. Over time, golf caddies need to build a client base so they can have steady work. Once a caddie has an established clientele, they can have quite a reliable schedule.
A professional smile, positive attitude, and a deep knowledge of golf will take a golf caddie a long way. It’s easy to walk the course like a champion when you truly love golf.
Quick Facts About Being a Caddie
Job Title: Golf Caddie
Office: Golf Course
Description: Assist golfers by carrying clubs, filling divots, selecting clubs, knowing course, and much more
Certifications/Education: No experience or education necessary
Necessary Skills: Golfer and Knowledge of golf terms, rules, courses
Potential Employers: Golf Courses, Self Employed
Pay: Average $30 to $60 per plus tips, the best of the best earn upwards over $400,000 per year