How Much Do Golf Caddies Make? Unveiling Caddie Salaries

by | Last updated Jun 12, 2024

How Much Do Golf Caddies Make

Have you ever wondered how much the person carrying clubs for your favorite pro golfer makes?

You know, those folks walking the PGA Tour fairways, whispering advice, and celebrating victories? We’re talking about caddies – the unsung heroes of professional golf.

Most are knowledgeable golf experts who play a big role in a golfer’s success.

But how much do golf caddies make for their work? Let’s dive into the world of caddie salaries and find out how much these unsung heroes earn.

  • Base salary: Typically $1,500-$2,000 per week for new caddies or those with lesser-known players, while experienced caddies working with top pros can earn $3,000 or more per week.
  • Percentage of winnings: Usually 5% for cutting, 7% for a top-10 finish, and 10% for a win.
  • Expenses: Caddies may need to cover their travel and lodging, but some golfers cover these costs.
  • Top earners: Caddies for major champions can earn well over $1 million annually, while others make a comfortable living in the six-figure range.
  • Beyond money: Caddies enjoy perks like playing on amazing courses, close relationships with golfers, and travel opportunities.
  • How to become a caddie: Start at a local course or attend caddie school, then build your golf knowledge and network to land a PGA Tour gig.

Caddying is more than a job; it’s a passion for golf, a unique lifestyle, and a chance to be part of something special.

The Basics of Caddie Pay

caddy is guiding a golfer

Alright, here’s the nitty-gritty on how caddies get paid, broken down into clear points:

Base Salary

  • Most caddies get a fixed amount each week, no matter how the golfer plays.
  • New caddies or those with lesser-known players: $1,500-$2,000 per week.
  • Experienced caddies or those with top players: $3,000 or more per week.Percentage of Winnings
  • Caddies earn a percentage of their golfer’s prize money.
  • Percentage varies, usually 5%-10%, based on experience and negotiation.
  • The better the golfer does, the more the caddie makes!Other Factors:
  • Some golfers cover travel and hotel costs for their caddies.
  • Others expect caddies to pay their way.
  • Even with expenses, a successful golfer means a well-paid caddie.

Factors Influencing Caddie Earnings

Here’s a breakdown of the key factors that influence how much a caddie can make:

  • Golfer’s Performance:
    • A caddie’s income is tied to how well their golfer performs.
    • More wins and higher finishes mean more prize money for the golfer and a bigger cut for the caddie.
  • Caddie’s Experience and Reputation:
    • Seasoned caddies with a proven track record can command higher base salaries.
    • Well-respected caddies can also negotiate a larger percentage of the golfer’s winnings.
  • Negotiation Skills:
    • Caddies need to be good negotiators to get the best possible deal with their golfer.
    • This includes base salary, percentage of winnings, and potentially having expenses covered.

The Highs and Lows of Caddie Salaries

Alright, let’s break down the earning potential of a PGA Tour caddies with some real-world examples:

Two men are walking in the golf ground
  • Top Earners:
    • Steve Williams, the longtime caddie for Tiger Woods, earned millions over his career. This included a generous base salary, a percentage of Tiger’s winnings (which were huge!), and bonuses.
    • Other experienced and knowledgeable caddies working with top professional golfers can also earn very comfortable salaries.
  • Average Caddies:
    • Even caddies who don’t work for superstar golfers can make a good living.
    • They earn a steady base salary and a percentage of the golfer’s winnings, even if they aren’t always winning tournaments.
  • Challenges:
    • Some caddies, especially those working with newer or less successful professional golfers, might not make as much.
    • Their income can vary a lot depending on the golfer’s performance.

But remember, being a PGA Tour caddie isn’t just about the money.

These professional caddies love golf, enjoy the thrill of competition, and value the unique relationship they have with their golfers.

Beyond the Paycheck: Other Benefits of Caddying

The Perks of Being a PGA Tour Caddie:

  • Access to Amazing Golf Courses:
    • Caddies get to experience some of the world’s most incredible courses firsthand.
    • They learn the nuances of each course and might even get to play on them.
  • Insider Status:
    • Caddies are more than just club carriers; they’re trusted advisors and part of the golfer’s inner circle.
    • They develop close relationships with golfers, sharing the highs and lows of the game.
  • Travel Adventures:
    • Caddies travel the world, experiencing different cultures and meeting new people.
    • While they sometimes cover their expenses, the opportunity for adventure is a major perk.
  • Financial Support:
    • Many caddies receive a weekly stipend to help with expenses.
    • They also earn a bonus on top of their percentage if their player wins.
a man is telling something to another one

Remember, being a PGA Tour caddie is about more than just the paycheck. It’s a unique job with amazing perks and the chance to be part of something special.

How to Become a Golf Caddie

So, Do you want to be a PGA Tour Caddie? Here’s How:

  • Start Local:
    • Many caddies begin by working at their local golf course.
    • This helps them learn the game, gain experience, and potentially meet professional golfers.
  • Caddie School:
    • Some aspiring caddies attend specialized schools to learn the ropes.
    • This can provide valuable training and networking opportunities.
  • Knowledge is Key:
    • A deep understanding of golf is essential.
    • Knowledgeable caddies understand the rules, courses, and how to read the greens.
  • Be a People Person:
    • Building a good relationship with the golfer is crucial.
    • Trust, communication, and a positive attitude are important qualities.
  • Challenges to Consider:
    • Becoming a PGA Tour caddie takes time and dedication.
    • It’s a competitive field, and it can be not easy to land a job with a top golfer.
    • Caddies may face long hours, frequent travel, and sometimes have to cover their own expenses.

If you love golf and have a knack for the game, being a PGA Tour caddie can be an incredibly rewarding career!


So, there you have it! PGA Tour caddies can make a good living, especially the knowledgeable ones working with the best professional golfers.

Their weekly salary is often a mix of a set amount, like a weekly paycheck, and a share of the player’s winnings.

golfers are walking in the ground with golf bag

Remember Phil Mickelson and his longtime caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay?

They had a great run together, and it’s easy to see how that kind of close relationship could make the ups and downs of a caddie’s income worthwhile.

Sure, sometimes they’re living large when the player is winning big, but other weeks might be a bit lean.

And while money is important, being a caddie on the PGA Tour is about way more than just the paycheck.

It’s about being part of the game you love, traveling the world, and forming bonds with players that can last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a PGA Tour caddie make on average?

It’s hard to say exactly, as it depends on several factors. However, a knowledgeable caddie working with a top professional golfer can easily earn a six-figure income. This includes their base salary, a percentage of the player’s winnings (which can be substantial), and sometimes bonuses.

Do caddies have to pay for their travel expenses?

This depends on the arrangement with the golfer. Some golfers cover all travel expenses for their caddies, while others might only cover some or none. It’s a detail that’s often negotiated between the caddie and the player.

Can anyone become a PGA Tour caddie?

Technically, yes, but it’s not easy. Becoming a PGA Tour caddie requires extensive golf knowledge, strong interpersonal skills, and a bit of luck. It’s a competitive field, and many caddies start at the local level before working their way up. A caddie is golfers very close members.

Is being a caddie just about the money?

Not at all! While earning a good living is important, most caddies are passionate about golf. They enjoy the unique relationship they have with their golfer, the thrill of competition, and the opportunity to travel the world.

What happens if a caddie’s golfer isn’t doing well?

Caddie’s income is directly tied to the golfer’s performance. If the golfer isn’t winning, the caddie’s income will be lower. This is why many caddies also receive a weekly stipend to help cover basic expenses. If the relationship isn’t working out, caddies can also look for a new employer.

Fahim Joharder

Fahim Joharder


An avid golfer and author, merges his passion for the sport with insightful writing, offering readers a unique perspective on golf.

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