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How Much Do Caddies Make?

In this article we will be taking a look into how much professional golf caddies make. Exact figures and deals are obviously unknown, but we can take a look at the rough earnings for the caddies of some of the biggest players currently on the PGA Tour, such as Justin Thomas.

how much do caddies make

Plus, discuss some of the highest earning caddies in history, such as Tiger Woods’ ex-caddie Steve Williams.

How Much Do Golf Caddies Make?

On average golf caddies working with a player on the PGA Tour will earn between $1,000 – $3,000 per week, plus roughly 5-10% cut of any winnings.

Every golf caddie will have a unique arrangement with their player, which could include different wages and win percentages or the covering of expense costs.

You also need to factor in that several of the caddies will have personal relationships with their player outside of golf and that may contribute towards specific pay structures.

The most common arrangement for percentage of winnings earned by a caddie will be a variable calculation depending on the finishing position of the player.

For example, if the player wins they could earn 10%, or 7% for a top 10, or 5% for just making the cut.

Phil Mickelson with his caddie Tim
Phil Mickelson celebrates with his brother and caddie Tim Mickelson / Image credit: Patrick Smith

As an example of how much money this could mean, Insider reported that Phil Mickelson’s caddie and brother Tim was likely to pocket a nice $216,000 from Phil’s win at the 2021 PGA Championship.

Caddies are obviously not as famous as the golfers themselves, but they can still potentially earn a decent amount of money through sponsorship.

It will not be anything compared with player sponsorship, but a logo on their hat or apparel could still get good TV coverage and sponsors will pay for this privilege.

Why Do Caddies Get Paid So Much?

A professional golf caddie does far more than simply carry the bag of their player. If you have ever used a caddie at a local golf course, you might be forgiven for thinking they mostly clean your clubs, rake bunkers, replace divots and provide occasion tips when called upon.

Nowadays professional caddies play a vital role in the performance of a golf professional, especially in pressure situations.

Golf caddies often become/or are already close friends with the players and can use their relationship to keep players grounded and calm.

Caddies can obviously not swing the club, but their job is to provide their player with as much accurate information as they need to execute the correct shot.

Caddies must do extensive course preparation work to know the ‘good misses’, specific yardages from all over the course and help with reading the greens.

No caddie can make up for poor player performance, but a good caddie can be the difference between winning a tournament or not in professional golf.

Who are the Highest Paid Golf Caddies?

It will probably be no surprise to you that Tiger Woods former long-time caddie Steve Williams is still comfortably the highest earning caddie of all-time.

Tiger Woods with his caddie Steve Williams
Tiger Woods with his caddie Steve Williams / Image credit: Jerry Lai

Celebrity Net Worth reported that Steve Williams amassed an eye-watering $12 million just from tournaments and salary alone whilst on Tiger’s bag.

For the 2019-20 PGA Tour season, Sportekz showed that the highest earner was Jimmy Johnson caddying for Justin Thomas. He pocketed just over $500,000 in total.

Despite a four year break, one of golf’s most famous caddies, Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay will be taking over as Justin Thomas’ full-time caddie for the 2021-22 PGA Tour season.

Celebrity Net Worth already has Mackay worth roughly $5 million, mostly from his 25-year stint with Phil Mickelson, so it is likely he will continue to be one of the highest earning caddies in golf.

How Much Money Do You Make as a Caddy Just Starting Out?

Many junior golfers will start caddying from as young as 14 years old at their local golf club. When you are just starting out the base pay will only be small, but most caddies earn the bulk of their money through tips.

Every golf club is different, but caddies can expect to be paid between $10-30 per hour when just starting out. This can rise up to $100 for more experienced caddies.

When it comes to tips, a common practice is roughly half the price of the green fee. Tipping will largely depend on what type of golf or country club you caddie and how lucky you get with the people you caddie for.

When it is all factored in, amateur caddying can still work out as a well paid job, but the exact amount varies massively.