How Much Do Caddies Make?

A caddy can be seen holding a flag for the golfer on the golf course.

The amount that caddies make can vary widely depending on their level of experience, the quality of their service, and the level of competition in which they work. This article answers about how much do caddies make.

For decades, the job of caddies was carrying the golf clubs, cleaning the golf balls, and raking bunkers. However, today’s caddies are more than just bag carriers. They provide assistance to players helping them choose the right clubs, read the greens, interpret lies, and recommend courses of action.

Consequently, caddies’ job has become a much more lucrative profession than it once was. Read on to learn how much do caddies make.

I. How much do caddies make?

Typically, the caddie’s pay is a combination of a base salary and gratuity from players. On average, most caddies that work at country clubs make $30 per hour. However, it varies depending upon various factors, such as the performance of the caddy, level of experience, the type of golf course, and the tournament that the caddy is assisting. 

1. Amateur caddies

Amateur caddies are the ones who assist amateur golfers, and they usually make less than professional caddies. They make an average of $20-$28 per hour or $100- $140 per 5-hour shift for an 18-hole round at a private country club. An amateur golf caddy can earn around $45,000.

2. PGA tour caddies

A PGA tour caddie works for professional golfers in PGA tournaments and makes more than amateur caddies. Although there is no rule for caddie pay, most PGA tour golfers pay around $1,500 to $3,000 per tournament.

Additionally, a PGA professional caddie usually has an agreement of 5% to 10% of the player’s winnings, which can be a significant amount if the player wins. For instance, if a golfer wins $10 million, his caddie will get a bonus of $500,000 to $1,000,000. Thus, most PGA tour caddies make millions in a year, depending on their player’s performance.

II. The duties of caddies

The roles and responsibilities of golf caddies have become increasingly complex over the years. Their pay scale has also grown to reflect that. Here are the duties of caddies:

  1. Accompanying the players during their rounds and carrying the golf gear.
  2. Providing expert advice on club selection, yardage, and course strategy.
  3. Marking ball locations and raking bunkers.
  4. Assisting players in reading the greens and judging distance.
  5. Fixing ball marks and cleaning clubs.
  6. Removing the pin from the golf hole.
  7. Offering emotional support to golfers during tough times.

III. What a Caddie Does for a Professional Golfer?

Professional golf caddies are integral team members and they do more than just carrying the golf clubs for the golfers. Experienced caddies, often with high-level golf backgrounds, offer crucial support in course maintenance and player’s equipment care. 

Beyond routine tasks, they become friends and coaches, adept at providing the right encouragement or motivation for optimal player performance. The caddie-player relationship is diverse, emphasizing the vital role these professionals play beyond the visible aspects of their job.

In some cases, caddies also act as protective figures, as seen with Steve Williams. While Steve was working with Tiger Woods he effectively managed large crowds. Their successful partnership contributed to 13 of Woods’ 15 major championships.

IV. Requirements to become caddies

You don’t need any particular educational qualification or experience to become a caddie. However, you need to have knowledge of the game, good physical fitness, and stamina to handle a bag full of clubs to become a professional golf caddie (pro caddy).

Additionally, Professional Caddies Association (PCA) offers education and certification programs to help you stand out from the rest.

1. Salary Breakdown

A PGA Tour caddie’s income consists of two parts. Firstly, there’s a base salary, usually $1,500 to $3,000 per tournament for caddies to cover their own expenses. The main share comes from a percentage of the player’s winnings, commonly 10% for a win (average $1.64 million in 2021-22). 

Caddies earn through percentages of various outcomes, such as 7% for a top-ten finish and 5% for other results. Their weekly pay depends on the player’s performance, ranging from the base rate for a missed cut to substantial amounts for victories or high-profile events. 

2. Salary risks

Caddies face salary risks due to the unpredictable nature of golf. Their income, which consists of a base rate and a percentage of player winnings, fluctuates based on performance. Missing the cut means no prize money which impacts both the player and caddie’s earnings.

Caddies do not have to pay high taxes and do not receive any health or insurance benefits from the PGA. While a tournament win can bring significant rewards, inconsistent player performance adds financial uncertainty. 

3. Bonus periods

Caddies earn bonuses on various occasions, primarily after a player secures a tournament victory, typically receiving a percentage of the player’s winnings. Bonuses may also be granted for exceptional performance, successful playoff runs, or on special occasions like birthdays.Some players provide year-end bonuses as a gesture of appreciation to their caddies.

V. Top 5 highest-paid caddies

Here is a list of some of the highest-paid and most popular caddies.

1. Ted Scott

Tedd Scott is the highest-paid caddie. He has been with Bubba Watson, one of the top golfers on the PGA tour. They partnered for 15 years and raked in 12 wins together on different events, including 2 PGA tours. 

Later, Tedd parted ways with Bubba, started caddying for Scottie Scheffler, and won four times in 2022. Thus, Tedd Scott earned a massive reward of $843,600 from Scheffler’s wins. Additionally, his base salary is estimated at around $135,000 per year.

2. Sam Pinfold

Sam Pinfold is another famous name and the caddie of the world’s top-ranked golfer Cameron Smith. While Pinfold’s base salary is estimated at around $120,000 per year, he has earned $540,900 for caddying Smith in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and a PGA tour in 2022.

3. Billy Foster

Billy Foster is currently caddying Matt Fitzpatrick, who won the US Open golf event in 2022. As Matt received massive prize money of $3,150,000, Billy Foster was given a generous bonus of $315,000 from the winnings. On the other hand, Foster takes $115,000 as his base salary annually.

4. Jim “Bones” Mackay 

Jim Mackey is a golf commentator who turned into a caddie and caddied for Phil Mickelson for over two decades. Jim is currently caddying one of the famous professional golfers Justin Thomas. They together won an event in the 2022 PGA championship, where Jim received $270,000 as a reward. Additionally, he takes home $115,000 as a base salary annually.

5. Gary Matthews

Gary Matthews is currently caddying a young golfer Joaquin Niemann. Niemann won The Genesis Invitational 2022 and bagged over $4.6 million in prize money. Thus, Matthews has received a bonus of $216,000 from the winnings. Apart from this, Matthews takes $120,000 as his base salary annually.


Caddies are an integral part of golf tournaments and significantly contribute to the players’ success.  How much caddies earn depends upon the performance of their golfers. 

Caddying can be a lucrative job, but building connections and experience in the field is essential to make more money.

Other notable caddies and their salaries 

Here are few notable caddies with their share earnings in the year 2023:

CaddiePlayer nameSalary
Harry DiamondRory Mcllroy$120,000
Mark CarensJ.J. Spaun$120,000
Mark FulcherBilly Horschel$110,000
Brett WaldmanLee Kyoung-hoon$120,000
Joe GreinerMax Homa$115,000


Here are some frequently asked questions about caddies:

1. How does a professional golfer select a caddie?

Every professional golfer has their own preferences when it comes to selecting a caddie. Some may prefer experienced caddies, while others may choose someone who is fit and has knowledge of the game. Some golfers may even pick someone who they get along with easily; perhaps members from their inner circle.

2. Do caddies get paid more if their player wins masters?

Yes, caddies do get paid more when their players win Masters or any other major event. The bonus they receive usually depends on the prize money and the winnings. Generally, caddies receive 5% to 10% of the golfer’s total prize money for winning a major event.

3. When do PGA Tour players provide bonuses to their caddies?

Occasionally, PGA Tour players may provide bonuses to their caddies, typically on occasions such as Christmas, high playoff finishes, or when achieving specific PGA Tour status.

4. How much do Masters caddies get paid?

Typically, caddies earn $1,500 to $3,000 per tournament, plus a percentage of the player’s winnings. 

5. Do caddies pay their own expenses?

Yes, caddies fall under the self-employed category and are responsible for paying their own expenses, such as lodging, airfare, taxes, etc. However, most golfers offer to cover the caddie’s expenses. 

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