Caddies are, sadly, often an afterthought in the minds of many players and tournaments. While they certainly should be elevated in the way Steve Williams did last year at Firestone, they are a pivotal part of the ever-growing team around touring pros.
Some loopers at The Open Championship, however, feel particularly disrespected by the R&A in how they have been treated - particularly in being asked to pay full price for guest passes, which are typically free at most other events.
"The way we’re treated here is nothing short of a disgrace," said Mick Donaghy, caddie for Jamie Donaldson, according to the Daily Mail. "The R&A are sipping their gin and tonics in the clubhouse and we’re having to pay full price to get our wives in. The other golf organisations give us proper respect, but that’s never been the case at The Open."
Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, was dismissive of the complaints, saying, "Our pass policy is generous and caddies have a fantastic time here."
Other caddies are unhappy with the R&A's decision to exclusively sell yardage books made by Strokesaver for the championship rather than allowing regular caddies to shop their own yardage wares.
Dawson, again, dismissed any hint of unrest.
"There was an issue," he said, "but the Strokesaver product has been very well received."
And time par is being enforced well, right?