The Caddie Dream Walk Begins

By Michael CollinsJanuary 2, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 Mercedes Benz Championship Editor's note: Michael Collins has been a stand-up comedian for 15 years and has more than seven years experience as a professional caddie. He currently covers the PGA TOUR as a correspondent with XM Satellite Radio and takes his turn on The Turn Tuesdays on GOLF CHANNEL.
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- So Im on an airplane flying to Maui for the first time and Im finding myself HATING on my fellow caddie brethren who are getting to walk the beauty of Kapalua which I am about to see for the first time.
I hate the fact that I never got a win as a caddie on the biggest stage in golf, the PGA TOUR. I did caddy a win on the Nationwide Tour, but it didnt get me a trip to Hawaii. The fire still burns in me and I love it and hate it. Dont get me wrong, I am really starting to enjoy this writing (and the responses) and doing play-by-play on XM 146 PGA TOUR Network (shameless plug) online for free.
I havent missed a cut in a year and have been in one of the final two groups more than Tiger in the past year BUT I see my friends, guys youll never hear about -- Miguel, Crispy, John, Timmy, etc. Guys who caddy for the likes of Charlie Hoffman, Mark Wilson, Hunter Mahan and Nick Watney, just to name a few, and I am SO jealous.
There are a bunch of caddies this week also making their first trip to Maui, but they are starting their year off with a guaranteed cut made and a NICE paycheck (check out what last place pays). And the be-all-end-all: this week a caddy will leave Maui with an extra $110,000! Thats right, boys and girls, first week back after the holidays and all the holiday bills about to start coming in and some lucky (enter your own expletive here) is gonna walk/fly out with 10 percent of the winner's purse of $1.1 million. And that doesnt count the weekly salary. Ive gotten so many questions about how much a caddie makes Im gonna break down the basics for yall.
First and foremost, caddies are INDEPENDENT contractors. The PGA TOUR does not pay them. They are paid by the players directly. ANY caddie can be fired at ANY time for ANY reason. Yes, Tiger could fire Steve tomorrow and Steve wouldnt be running to a lawyer with a contract screaming BREACH! Caddies dont have contracts; its one of the things that makes our business a volatile one. A lot of good caddies have been fired for reasons as ridiculous as a player's wife didnt like him. But its the life, and caddies accept it because we love the competition as much as the players do.
Now to answer your money questions, I wont be specific about who makes what 'cause its between a player and a caddie. And frankly, do you want everybody checking out your paycheck? But youll be able to figure out the basics.
A caddy gets a weekly salary. This is because 95% of caddies have to pay all their own expenses: airfare, hotel, and even food (the caddy trailer's not free). So if a player misses the cut, a caddie still has to pay the bills and they dont get a check from Titleist for carrying the driver. Now the average weekly pay ranges between $1,000 and $3,000 a week. I do know of one player who doesnt pay a weekly salary and only pays a percentage so if he misses the cut UGH!
Now the percentage works like this: 10 percent for a win, 8 percent for a top-10, and 6 percent for a made cut. Some guys will take a bigger weekly salary for a smaller percentage, some will take a smaller salary for 10 percent across the board, either way, the better your man plays the better YOUR paycheck is. But this week there is NO CUT! So everybody is getting PAAAAAAIIIIID -- and just like you, I am so jealous.
But unlike you and unlike when I caddied, I am writing this sitting in First Class, enjoying Seared Pork Loin on real china with metal utensils. Life on this side of the ropes isnt THAT bad. OOOHHH, my merlot is here!
Any suggestions on places to go or things to do in Maui? Be nice!
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    Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish

    By Associated PressJuly 23, 2018, 12:25 am

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.

    Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.

    The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.

    Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.

    The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.

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    Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

    By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

    It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

    Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

    The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

    The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

    For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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    Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

    By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

    After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

    But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

    Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

    Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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    Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

    By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

    Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

    The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

    “There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.

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    In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

    “To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

    Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

    “To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.