An Inside Look into the Life of a Pro Caddie
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An Inside Look into the Life of a Pro Caddie



I’d like to introduce myself and thank everybody who has subscribed to Mr. Monday Q’s content. I’ll be bringing you all the on/off the course stories, travel nightmares, and the everyday life of loopers out here on Tour. Here is a little bit of background as to how I made my way on Tour:

Everyone that caddies on the PGA, European, LPGA, and KornFerry Tours has their own unique story of how they wound up doing what they do. It is very rare that a professional caddie set out to do exactly that, but to say I didn’t have intentions of getting out here would be lying.  I didn’t pick up golf until 16 even though my whole family played golf growing up. I was playing other sports and never showed interest in the game.  When I finally started playing my sophomore year in high school, I immediately fell in love with the game and knew that I had a passion for it.  I got an opportunity to caddie my first tournament in high school at the PGA Professional National Championship (the top Club Pros in the country) held about 35 minutes from my house, thanks to my assistant athletic director passing my name onto the caddie master of the tournament.  I showed up to the tournament excited, but not knowing what to expect, or really much about the game. I had played for my high school team that year and averaged 92 for our 6 tournament fall season so my PGA Tour dreams were only slightly out of reach. Fast forward to the first round and my player stripes driver off the first hole par 5, and we get to his ball and he is setting up to hit his second shot and I am directly behind him.  He turned to me and scolded me like an old-school Italian dad in the 70s and told me if it ever happened again I could go ahead and call my mom to pick me up on the 3rd tee. Needless to say it didn’t happen again and he managed to shoot an opening round 68. He followed up the next 2 rounds with 70 and 69 to put him T-20 going into the Final Round. For those of you who may not know, the top 20 finishers at the PGA Professional National Championship get into the PGA Championship the following season. Emotions were high as we went into the final round.  We proceed to go out and post an absolute dumpster fire round of 80 to finish T-63 and miss out on the chance to go play in a major. As we are walking through the parking lot to his car, he takes the clubs off my shoulder and throws them directly at the trunk of his rental car, which wasn’t open yet.  I am still standing there in shock as this all takes place.  16 year old me is just patiently waiting for my $500 check for the week, and at this point I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it.  I finally get my check and he thanks me for my help for the week and that became my first (but not last) experience of a final round blow up, followed up by a glorious trunk slam.

Something about that experience lit a fire and passion for golf inside of me.  I went on to lead our high school team the next 2 years and put in the time to really improve.  I then went on to play college golf for 2 years before giving it up to focus on getting my degree.  In the meantime I started caddying at a country club near my university to help pay for school and to have some spending money on the side. This lasted for all 3 years of college and the summers I spent in my college town.  The real start to the journey to getting myself out on Tour came the summer of my junior year.  My buddy and I were getting bored at the club as it tended to be a little bit slow in the middle of summer. We decided it would be a great idea to go caddie the US Junior Amateur and make a little vacation out of it.  We called the caddie master and confirmed they needed caddies, and we told him we were willing to make the 8 hour trip as long as he let us pick from the players who requested caddies. He told us yes because he still needed so many guys, so we did some research and picked 2 players we thought had a good chance that week. The player I chose for the week ended up finishing T-11 in the stroke play and losing out in the Round of 16 in the match play. The results though that week didn’t matter, because we had found the ground floor of connecting with future Tour players.  To speed this up, I stayed in touch with this player and ended up caddying a pretty full Amateur schedule for him the next year, also caddied the US Amateur for his good friend who is now a PGA Tour winner.  This led to me meeting and being introduced to a ton of really good college players who would be turning pro post-graduation.  After I graduated that next year I moved to Jupiter, Florida to caddie at a club down there for the winter.  3 months into the job I was lugging some 20 handicapper’s bags around the course that day and on the 13th tee of the loop I get a call from a player who had just earned his Web.Com Tour card and was in the Bahamas that week for the first event.  He asks me if I was able to be in the Bahamas in 2 days because one of his good friends needed a caddie for the week.  I informed him that I did not have a passport but I could get it expedited for the following week and be ready to go for the second event in the Bahamas.  So the next week, I drove to Miami to get my passport expedited on Wednesday afternoon and caught a flight out early Thursday morning and 7 years after caddying my first Professional golf event I would find myself back inside the ropes this time on a much bigger stage.

It has been 4 years since that first event and I have continued to try and grow as a caddie and just soak up all the knowledge and stories that these guys have to offer. It is amazing to have now worked for grinders who have lived the Monday Q lifestyle for years trying to make it, and also young guns who have walked their way out on Tour like they belonged from the beginning.  I look forward to bringing you all stories from the past 4 years on Tour and also things that happen during this upcoming season. Feel free to reach out and comment on the things you would like to hear more about, or know about as far as life for loopers goes on the road.

 

Thanks again for subscribing,

 

Anonymous Tour Caddie

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Ryan French