How Much Do Golf Caddies Make? 3 Surprising Examples

How much do golf caddies make? It is a specific question but asked by many golfers.

Golf caddies don’t just go around carrying a golfer’s bags and golfing equipment. They also perform a range of other tasks that include surveying the greens, helping the golfer warm up, planning plays, and setting up the equipment.

These caddies can carry out their roles in golf clubs for different golfers. However, another popular way to earn money and work is to act as a caddie for professional golfers during tournaments.

These are usually hosted and regulated by the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour and the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour.

So, how much do golf caddies make? You can find this out below, along with what sources they derive their income from and how they can get employed.

What Does a Caddie Do?

two golf caddies standing and talking

A caddie not only carries the golfing equipment of players but also performs several other duties. These include:

●     Charting the Greens: A caddie will survey and chart the greens before the golfers play or even a few days before a professional tournament. Based on this, they will figure out the accuracy of the yardages and inform the golfers about the ideal spots.

●     Practice: The caddie can also be present for practice alongside professional golfers, taking this time to let them know about what they know about the course.

●     Planning: Often, professional caddies also help golfers out in the planning stage so that they can be better prepared for the tournament.

●     Setting Up: Setting up the equipment for both casual and professional players is another duty that the caddie can carry out. In professional golf, they will also take some time before the tournament to ensure that the conditions are favorable enough.

●     Warm-Up: Right before a tournament, a caddie can help a golfer warm up. They can also share information with the golfer about how to make a specific shot, such as what club to use to get backspin on the ball.

How Much Do Golf Caddies Make?

Here, you can learn more about how much professional caddies make in golf.

golf caddie standing in yellow vest

Stipend

Professional caddies usually earn a weekly stipend from the professional golfing association. This is generally a base salary for a particular tournament that is up to $3,000 a week, usually how long the tournament goes on.

Generally, this base salary or weekly stipend can allow the professional caddies to manage some of their expenses during the tournament, such as travel and accommodation.

In some cases, however, the professional golfers may choose to cover their caddies’ travel and accommodation expenses, although this is not a norm or rule.

Share of Player’s Winnings

When it comes to professional golf, the caddies usually represent a professional golfer at their tournaments to survey the grounds on their behalf and provide them with some advice based on this.

They are usually present alongside the golfer throughout the tournament. At the end of the tournament, they receive a certain share of the player’s winnings for the services they carried out.

This share is usually 10% if the golfer wins, around 7% if the golfer comes within the top ten, and around 5% even if the golfer does not rank high in the tournament.

Sponsorships

In professional golf, caddies can earn money by taking different kinds of sponsorships.

For instance, they can wear clothes (like golf joggers), hats, caps, or carry towels and other equipment that a certain brand or company manufactures and asks the caddies to represent.

This can earn them varying amounts of money depending on their contract with the company and how experienced and reputed the caddy is in professional golf.

Tips/Bonus

Professional golfers often choose to give a tip or a bonus to their caddies once the tournament ends. This is more likely when the golfer wins the tournament or is particularly satisfied with their services. The reasons, of course, can vary from player to player.

It is also possible for the caddies to negotiate this kind of additional income with the players that they represent.

This kind of tip or bonus is not necessarily mandatory; it depends entirely on the player and the caddie.

Other Terms and Agreements

Caddies might have some additional terms and agreements in place with the players. For instance, a golfer might agree to cover all the other expenses that the caddie might incur as part of the tournament. This can include accommodation, travel expenses, food, and more.

How Much Do Amateur Caddies Make?

golf caddie sitting with golfer

Amateur caddies have different income systems and structures that are quite different from professional ones that serve professional players at tournaments. 

Since amateur caddies are mainly employed by golf clubs, their income is also determined and given to them by these clubs.

Generally, amateur caddies earn around $20-$30 per hour at a club, or around $160-$270 if they have a shift of eight hours in a given day. However, many might also choose to work part-time (with five hours being the standard).

In addition, the golf players or club members might also tip these caddies once they are done playing.

Of course, how much they tip them depends on the players themselves. However, a part of it also depends on how much the caddies carry and how satisfied the players are with their services. How many players there are for each round can also impact this.

Apart from accompanying the players, an amateur caddie will also need to prepare the grounds and put everything back in place.

How much the club pays, the caddies can depend on the club’s status as well, with more established and extravagant clubs likely to pay more.

Managing Costs and Expenses

There are many costs and expenses that caddies have to cover on their own, especially when it comes to the caddies of professional golfers. This is generally because they do not belong to a particular entity or organization, thereby taking care of travel expenses on their own.

Of course, the PGA and LPGA Tours provide them with a base salary and what they earn from the players.

Apart from these expenses, caddies also have to manage other taxes, insurance, healthcare, and more.

There is, however, an Association of Professional Tour Caddies (APTC) that can help the caddies meet their income requirements, settle disputes, provide additional income sources, provide discounts, and more.

Getting Employed

golf caddie walking with cart

How is it that caddies get employed by professional golfers? Is there a structure or system in place that allows for it? Are there any education requirements in place for a caddie? How much time will a caddie spend working?

You can go through the answers to these questions below.

Time

For amateur caddies, how much time you spend working in a given week can depend on whether you are working part-time or full-time at a club.

If you work there long enough, you might even get promoted to more advanced levels.

On the other hand, professional caddies have more flexible timings and requirements in place since they are usually present with a golfer during a tournament and during their preparation for the tournament.

This can leave plenty of time off for professional caddies during the off-season.

Education

Caddies do not typically require any professional education. However, there might be certain limitations in place, such as when you can start working and whether you need a high school diploma.

These are quite loose requirements and can depend on the club or golfer. However, sufficient professional experience is usually required when it comes to getting employed as a caddie by a professional golfer.

If you want some training, you can look into apprenticeships or part-time jobs to help you get started and learn more.

Connections/Network

Quite often, networking and building connections in the professional golfing circuit can be the best way for you to get employed by a golfer. For instance, you can attend games, events, showcases, tournaments, or simply work at a golf club to meet new people.

This can put you in contact with professional golfers with whom you can establish a working relationship, even if they do not employ you themselves.

In many cases, however, professional golfers rely on referrals or even personal contacts if they want to hire caddies. This can make it a bit more difficult to become a caddie for a professional golfer, although it is still certainly possible.

Highest Paid Caddies

golf caddie getting ready to pll the flag

Caddies of some reputed and rich professional golfers have gone on to become some of the highest-paid caddies.

Some of these, in recent times, include Jimmy Johnson (for Justin Thomas), Jonathan Jakovac (for Collin Morikawa), Austin Johnson (for Dustin Johnson), and more, each of them earning roughly around $500,000 in a tournament.

Tiger Woods’ caddie, Steve Williams, also ended up earning over $10 million.

Summing Up

Professional caddies usually earn a base salary along with a share of the player’s winnings. In contrast, amateur caddies tend to earn up to $30 an hour.

The exact amount can vary from caddie to caddie depending on their experience and their player’s performance.

Leave a Comment