- How Much Are Caddies Paid at Country Clubs?
- How Much Do Caddies Make on the PGA Tour?
- How Much Do Professional LPGA Caddies Make?
- How Do the Pros Select a Caddie?
- Time and Education Requirements to Become a Caddie
- What Are the Duties of a Caddie?
- Closing Thoughts
- Frequently Asked Questions
In general, you’ll make more if you work at more exclusive clubs and with better golfers.
I’ve hired caddies online from associations or in parking lots, so let me share what they typically earn.
Anyone interested in getting paid to work as a golf caddy will want to understand the various salary ranges so you can plan your path to success.
How Much Are Caddies Paid at Country Clubs?
A golf caddy at a country club makes more than most amateur caddies at around $30 per hour. However, it can go as high as $75 an hour, making for a lucrative professional caddie salary (albeit much less than PGA Tour caddies!)
This job is popular for junior golfers as a local golf course caddy. Nowadays, most public golf courses do not have a caddie program, but most country clubs do have caddie services.
However, it can be great for all ages and whoever wants to get their foot in the door in the caddying space.
Read also: Country Club Membership Cost
How Much Do Caddies Make on the PGA Tour?
PGA Tour caddies typically earn between $1,500 to $3,000 weekly, with their total income comprising base pay, a percentage cut of the golfer’s winnings, and bonuses. The exact amount a caddie earns varies as each negotiates their own deal with the golfer.
In terms of the percentage cut, it’s usually 10% of the winnings for a tournament win, 7% for a top-ten finish, and 5% for making the cut. For example, a caddie for a golfer who wins a $1 million prize would earn $100,000. Considering the average PGA Tour golfer makes about $1.5 million annually, a caddie could earn around $75,000 per year from this percentage cut alone, assuming a 5% share.
Based on these earnings and factoring in their weekly salary, the average PGA Tour caddie can make about $5,000 per tournament. This calculation assumes participation in around 25 events yearly, combining the weekly base pay and the average prize money cut. Therefore, while the top caddies for leading golfers earn significantly more, even an average PGA Tour caddie earns a respectable income.
How Much Money Do the Top PGA Tour Caddies Make?
So now we know how much the average PGA Tour caddie makes, but what do the top pro caddies make?
As it stands, the highest-paid caddie in 2023 is likely Ted Scott. He caddies for Scottie Scheffler, who has accrued the most on-course earnings this year at $18.5 million. Of course, Scheffler has won many tournaments this year, but even taking the low-end figure across the board of 5% gives Scott $925,000 in prize money.
While Jordan Spieth’s caddy, Michael Greller, made $900,000 in 2015 after Jordan’s Master’s win and big season.
Read More: Who Is the Richest Golfer in the World?
How Much Do Professional LPGA Caddies Make?
LPGA caddies make a weekly base salary of around $1,200, a little less than the typical caddie for the PGA Tour. Yet it’s the percentage cut where they miss out on income compared to PGA caddies. You see, the prize pool for LPGA events is much less.
The average winner’s share for a professional golfer on the LPGA Tour is around $300,000, much less than the average men’s winnings, which are around $2 million. A typical LPGA caddie could easily double their salary if their golfer is one of the most successful players on the tour.
But given the smaller prize pool, LPGA caddies rely more heavily on their base salary. But it is sometimes not enough as they have to cover expenses such as travel and stay.
Read More: How Do Golfers Get Paid?
How Do the Pros Select a Caddie?
Every PGA and LPGA Tour pro has their preferences for caddies, and they will choose one with that criteria. First, professional golfers often look for those dedicated to caddying well. They will look for an experienced and knowledgeable caddie.
Joe LaCava, for example, is a longtime caddie, having worked for 67 years. Jimmy Johnson is another respected caddie who has worked for 26 years since 1996. If a caddie doesn’t have the years behind them, having experience with other PGA or LPGA Tour pros may float them to the top of the list.
Sometimes, it has more to do with knowing golfers well than caddying skills. Rory McIlroy’s caddie, Harry Diamond, is the best friend of McIlroy. In another example, Phil Mickelson’s caddie, Tim Mickelson, is his younger brother.
Other professional golfers choose a caddie based on nonsensical reasons. For instance, Seve Ballesteros chooses his caddies for being British — weird, we know!
If you want to know how to get a job as a caddie for a pro, you may want to dedicate yourself to the art and pick some promising amateurs. Many caddies who work for the pros built a strong relationship with them before they went pro.
Time and Education Requirements to Become a Caddie
You don’t need special education to caddie in golf. An estimated 79.1% of caddies earned their bachelor’s degree, and 4.2% of golf caddies earned a master’s degree. While it’s true many may have a bachelor’s degree, plenty are educated to a GED level. There are no education requirements for the profession.
Caddies must simply immerse themselves in all aspects of golf to learn the trade. They need to make connections with people at the country clubs. Most caddies can expect seasonal work.
The Professional Caddies Association (PCA) offers training and apprenticeship programs for those interested. You learn the basics of the trade at your own pace. How long it takes to learn depends on you. Once you learn the basics, you must continually hone your skills. Many dedicated caddies spend a lifetime doing this.
Read More: Ever wondered Why There Are 18 holes in Golf?
What Are the Duties of a Caddie?
Great caddies must take responsibility for several things on the golf course, including:
- Cleaning clubs and equipment
- Understanding the golf course
- Handing clubs to the golfer
- Knowing the distance to the green
- Raking sand traps and bunkers
- Tracking the ball and its distance
- Advising about the club needed
- Removing the pin from the golf hole and placing it back in
An excellent caddie will understand all the duties highlighted above. But the best caddies understand that their responsibilities go above and beyond the limited tasks we have outlined thus far.
As a caddie, you must do everything you can to help your golfer perform. This can even be in keeping them calm — we all know having a level head improves the standard of play.
Besides assisting with performance, caddies must also stay professional at all times. They must know where to stand to remain out of the way and silent as the golfer takes his shot. Even something as easy to overlook as your shadow needs considering — don’t let it block the putting line.
You may also need to wear a uniform. Most golf clubs require appropriate clothing, such as dress slacks and a golf shirt, at the least.
How much do caddies make? Well, it’s a broad question and depends completely on who you are caddying for. The lowest-paying caddies work at country clubs. These caddies make anywhere from $30-$75 per hour. Caddies for the LPGA Tour make considerably more. Often around $1,200 per week as a base salary, and 5%, 7%, or 10% of the winnings depending on where their golfer finishes.
Yet it’s caddies on the PGA Tour who make the big bucks. Their base weekly pay is $1,500 to $3,000. They too earn the same cut of prize money as the LPGA Tour caddies, however, as the prize pool is much bigger on the PGA Tour, they earn far more. As a low average, PGA Tour caddies earn around $75,000 from prize money per year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Caddies Make a Percentage of the Winnings?
It is an industry-standard for caddies to cut the winnings. This usually follows the proportion of 10% for a win, 7% for a top-ten finish, and 5% for other placements.
How Much Do PGA Tour Caddies Make?
Like the LPGA, PGA Tour golfers give their caddies a weekly pay of around $2,000 in most cases. The pay can fluctuate because there is no rule for caddy pay. Some might be more, and some are less.
Who Is the Highest Paid Caddie on the PGA Tour?
Jimmy Johnson is the highest-paid caddie on the PGA Tour, earning around $502,851 annually. His base salary started at $120,000 per year, but he had an overall payout of $502,851.
How Much Does Tiger Woods Pay His Caddie?
Tiger Woods’s caddie, Joe LaCava, started caddying for Woods in 2011, earning around 10% of Woods’s earnings on top of a base salary. How much he earns may vary, and no one knows how much, but LaCava has an estimated net worth of $1 to $2 million, which should give you an idea.
Do Caddies Get Paid if Player Misses the Cut?
Because a caddie must cover his expenses like travel, food, car, and hotel, caddies still earn a wage if the player misses the cut. Along with a base salary, they earn 10 percent on top of the base salary from the player's winnings if he wins.
Do Caddies Pay Their Own Expenses?
Caddies fall under the self-employed classification, and as an independent contractor, they must pay for their own expenses like travel, car, hotel, and food. This marks out most circumstances, but PGA Tour Pros will pay the expenses of their caddies. However, this isn’t common.
How Much Does a PGA Caddy Make on the LPGA Tour?
LPGA Tour caddies earn $1,5000 to $3,000 per week as a base salary, just like those on the PGA Tour. However, as the event prize pool is much smaller, their cut is worth much less. For an average win, a caddy will earn around $30,000.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.