Being a golf caddy isn’t just about carrying golf clubs; it’s a crucial role that can greatly impact a golfer’s performance. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned player looking for a side hustle, becoming a golf caddy can be rewarding and fulfilling. In this guide,

we’ll explore:

  • How much money do caddies make?
  • How do you become a golf caddie?

  • How old can you be a caddy?

  • How can I be a good golf caddie?

Is it hard to be a caddie?


Caddying can be demanding, both physically and mentally. Here’s why:

  • Physical Demands: Walking long distances carrying a golf bag can be tiring, especially in hot weather. You’ll need good stamina and endurance.

  • Mental Toughness: Golf can be frustrating for players, and as a caddie, you need to stay positive and supportive even during a rough game.

  • Course Knowledge: You’ll need to be a walking encyclopedia of the course you’re caddying on, knowing yardages, wind patterns, and strategies for each hole.

  • The Waiting Game: There can be downtime between rounds, and you might not always be guaranteed a loop (a golfer you caddy for). Patience is key.

  • Pressure to Perform: Good caddies can make a real difference in a golfer’s score. There can be pressure to give sound advice and help the golfer succeed.

However, there are rewards too. Here are some reasons why people enjoy caddying:

  • The Great Outdoors: You get to spend your day outside on a well-maintained course, enjoying fresh air and sunshine.

  • Close Up to the Game: You get a front-row seat to the action, witnessing top golfers play up close.

  • Making Connections: Caddying allows you to meet interesting people, including golfers and other course staff.

  • Financial Perks: Top caddies on professional tours can earn significant salaries and bonuses.

Ultimately, whether caddying is hard for you depends on your personality and what you find challenging. If you’re physically fit, have a love for the game, and enjoy being around people, then the difficulties might be outweighed by the many perks.

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How much money do caddies make?

Golf caddie earnings can vary greatly depending on their experience and who they work for. Here’s a breakdown:

Professional Tour Caddies:

  • Base Salary: Typically, they receive a weekly stipend between $1,500 and $3,000 per tournament, just for showing up.
  • Performance Bonus: The bigger perk is a percentage of the golfer’s winnings. This can range from 5% for non-top 10 finishes, 6-8% for top 10 finishes, and up to 10% for winning the tournament.

Top earners on the PGA Tour can make well over $500,000 a year, with some exceeding $1 million depending on their golfer’s success.

Amateur Caddies:

  • Hourly Rate: They typically earn an hourly rate, anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour, depending on experience and location.

General Points:

  • Negotiation is Key: The specific payment structure is negotiated between the golfer and the caddie. There’s no guarantee of a set percentage.
  • Travel Expenses: Professional caddies often have travel expenses covered by the golfer.

Overall, caddies for professional golfers can make a good living, especially if their golfer performs well. However, for amateur caddies, the income is more modest and likely a side hustle.

How do you become a golf caddie?

golf caddy

There’s no one guaranteed path to becoming a golf caddy, but there are ways to increase your chances. Here are some things to consider:

  • Gain Course Knowledge: Working at a golf course, even in groundskeeping, can be a great start. You’ll learn the course layout intimately, which is a major asset for a caddie.

  • Network: Chat with golfers and other course staff. Let them know you’re interested in caddying and see if they know of any opportunities.

  • Start Local: Many courses offer caddying services, so look into openings at your local course. You can also find caddying gigs at charity tournaments or scrambles.

  • Be Golf Savvy: While you don’t need to be a pro golfer yourself, understanding the game is essential. Learn the rules, terminology, and basic club yardages.

  • Build Physical Stamina: Carrying a golf bag for a full round is no small feat. Get in good physical shape to handle the walking and carrying.

  • People Skills Matter: Being a caddie is about more than clubs. You’ll need excellent communication, interpersonal skills, and the ability to read the golfer’s mood.

Here are some additional pointers:

  • Professional Tours: Caddying on the PGA Tour is the ultimate goal for many. It’s highly competitive and often involves working your way up through lower-level tours or getting lucky knowing an up-and-coming player.

  • Volunteer: Consider volunteering to caddy at amateur events. It’s a good way to gain experience and make connections.

Remember, the most important qualities are reliability, a positive attitude, and a genuine passion for the game. Good luck!

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How can I be a good golf caddie?

Here are some key qualities and skills that will make you a good golf caddie:

Course Knowledge

  • Yardage Master: Be able to accurately gauge distances to the pin, hazards, and other landmarks on every hole. Learn the yardage markers and how to read a rangefinder if the course allows them.
  • Course Strategist: Understand the typical wind patterns and how they affect shots. Be familiar with optimal playing strategies for each hole, considering factors like doglegs, bunkers, and water hazards.
  • Course Conditions Expert: Stay updated on course conditions like recent rains that might affect ground firmness or areas under repair.

Player Support

  • Mind Reader (Almost): Learn to anticipate the golfer’s needs. Have the right club ready before they ask, tee up the ball promptly, and adjust the bag placement for easy access.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Maintain a supportive and upbeat attitude throughout the game. Encourage the golfer and offer words of comfort after bad shots.
  • Respectful Communication: Offer advice only when solicited, and deliver it confidently but politely. Be mindful of the golfer’s mood and adjust your communication style accordingly.

Logistics and Etiquette

  • Silent Ninja: Remain quiet while the golfer is preparing for or taking a shot. Avoid distractions like unnecessary noise or chatter.
  • Rake and Replace: Always rake bunkers after the golfer uses them, and carefully replace divots to maintain course etiquette.
  • Know the Rules: Have a good understanding of the basic rules and penalties of golf. This can help you answer the golfer’s questions or identify potential rule violations.
  • Time Management: Help the golfer maintain a good pace of play. Be aware of the group behind them and avoid unnecessary delays.

Additional Tips

  • Physical Fitness: Carrying a golf bag for a full round requires stamina. Get in good shape to handle the walking and carrying demands.
  • Dress Code: Dress professionally and according to course guidelines. Typically, collared shirts, slacks, and comfortable walking shoes are appropriate.
  • Be a Student of the Game: The more you know about golf, the better you can assist the golfer. Watch professional tournaments and read instructional materials to expand your knowledge.

Remember, a good caddie is an extension of the golfer on the course. By developing these skills and providing excellent service, you can become a valuable asset to any player.

How old can you be a caddy?


The minimum age to be a caddie can vary depending on location and the specific golf course. There are generally no federal regulations on caddie age, but some states or local municipalities might have their laws.

Here’s a breakdown of what to consider:

  • Most Common Minimum Age: 13 years old is the most common minimum age requirement to be a caddie at many golf courses. This is because it’s assumed a 13-year-old would have the physical strength to carry a golf bag for 18 holes.
  • Younger Than 13: Some courses might allow younger caddies, but with restrictions. For example, they might only be allowed to carry a pull cart instead of a full bag, or they might be limited to a certain number of holes per day.
  • Always Check Locally: The best way to find out the minimum age requirement is to contact the golf course directly. They can tell you their specific policies and any age restrictions they have in place.

Here are some resources that might be helpful:

  • Talk to the Golf Course Pro Shop: The staff there can provide the most accurate information on their caddie program and age requirements.
  • Look for Online Postings: Many courses advertise their caddie programs online. These postings might mention any age restrictions.
  • Local Golf Associations: These organizations might have resources or information on caddie programs in your area.

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Qualities of a Great Golf Caddy

To be an exceptional golf caddy, certain qualities are essential. First and foremost, you must have a solid understanding of the game of golf. This includes knowing the rules, terminology, and strategies involved. Additionally, physical fitness is crucial as caddying can be physically demanding, requiring you to walk long distances and carry heavy bags.

Strong communication skills are also essential as you’ll need to effectively communicate with your golfer, providing them with pertinent information and advice throughout the round. Finally, attention to detail is paramount as even the smallest oversight can have a significant impact on the game.

Getting Started

If you’re new to golf, familiarize yourself with the various clubs and their purposes. Understanding the basics of golf etiquette is also important as a caddy. While certification isn’t always required, completing a caddie training program can provide you with valuable knowledge and skills to excel in the role.

Building Relationships

Building a strong rapport with the golfer you’re caddying for is key to success. Take the time to get to know them personally and understand their preferences for the course. By anticipating their needs and preferences, you can provide a higher level of service and support.

On-Course Responsibilities

During a round of golf, your primary responsibilities as a caddy include carrying the golfer’s clubs, providing accurate yardage information, and offering advice on course strategy. You’ll also assist the golfer in selecting the appropriate club for each shot based on factors such as distance, wind, and terrain.

Off-Course Responsibilities

Off the course, your responsibilities may include cleaning clubs, managing equipment, keeping score, and offering moral support to the golfer. While these tasks may seem minor, they are crucial to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable round of golf.

Dealing with Challenges

As a golf caddy, you’ll inevitably face challenges such as inclement weather, difficult golf courses, and frustrated golfers. It’s essential to remain calm, composed, and adaptable in these situations, providing support and assistance to the golfer as needed.

Career Opportunities and Advancement

While some caddies may choose to work exclusively at a single golf course, there are numerous opportunities for advancement in the industry. By gaining experience and expertise, you can pursue higher-level certifications and potentially transition into coaching or management roles within the golf industry.


Becoming a golf caddy is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for anyone passionate about the game of golf. By possessing the right qualities, building strong relationships, and mastering your on-course and off-course responsibilities, you can excel in this vital role and make a significant impact on the game.


  1. Do I need to be a skilled golfer to be a caddy?
    • While a basic understanding of golf is helpful, being a skilled golfer is not a requirement to be a successful caddy. However, familiarity with the game and its rules is essential.
  2. How much can I expect to earn as a golf caddy?
    • Caddy pay varies depending on factors such as location, golf course, and experience level. Generally, caddies can earn an hourly wage plus tips, which can add up to a decent income, especially at prestigious golf courses.
  3. Is certification necessary to become a golf caddy?
    • While certification is not always required, completing a caddie training program can provide valuable knowledge and skills to enhance your performance as a caddy.
  4. What should I wear as a golf caddy?
    • Most golf courses have specific dress codes for caddies, which typically include a collared shirt, khaki pants or shorts, and golf shoes. It’s essential to present yourself professionally on the course.
  5. Are there opportunities for advancement as a golf caddy?
    • Yes, there are opportunities for advancement within the golf industry, including pursuing higher-level certifications, transitioning into coaching or management roles, or working at different golf courses.