An Inside Look at What It Takes to Be a PGA Caddie

Dylan Dethier recently reported on 33 things he learned during his debut as a caddie for PGA golfer Martin Trainer. His stories are funny, insightful, and downright strange. They showcase life on the green, and off the green during some of the biggest events in golf. Here are some of Dethier’s most fascinating insights, reported by

Caddie roommates at the Holiday Inn

One might assume golfers are put up in luxurious suites near the PGA tournaments. After all, as Dethier points out, Trainer made $700,000 during the season. Despite this, the pair didn’t stay at a Ritz Carlton, Westin, or other high-end spot. Dethier and Trainer split a room at the Holiday Inn.

Caddies share a lot

There’s actually a caddie lounge where caddies can go between matches. Once Dethier entered the lounge, he learned many interesting tidbits. One caddie discussed his golfer’s desire to stay on the developmental circuit so he could smoke marijuana. Another expressed his displeasure for the guy he worked for. There was also gossip about Dethier himself.

Caddies receive free … paint?

Caddies get a gift bag while on tour. This often includes products from the tournament sponsors. One of the more interesting gifts Dethier received in his debut at a Valspar-sponsored tournament was a voucher for a free can of paint. The amateur caddie did not reveal which color he chose. 

Caddies stay off-topic

People may think pros and their caddies discuss golf and golf alone, but this is not the case. A day on the course can last five hours. Dethier highlighted this when he said the best advice he received was to ease tension by talking about non-golf things like movies, books, sports, and food.

A caddie fear: the bunker

One may think the highest-pressure situation on the golf course has to do with something in the game. But, according to Dethier, the most pressure he felt was in the sand. It was something he dreaded all along, and Trainer avoided the bunker until one fateful hit on the 18th. There, Dethier had all eyes on him as he raked the sand. He received good reviews, though one coach said he was “world-record slow.”

Caddies use signals 

Dethier discussed the way TV broadcasters always know what club the golfer will use. Like Tony Romo at an NFL game, they seem to do so with remarkable accuracy — but there’s a catch. According to Dethier, the announcers know this because the caddies signal to them. 

Caddies know ‘pin in’ and ‘pin out’

Certain golfers want the pin in until they get too close, others want it out as soon as possible. According to Dethier, Trainer liked to have the pin in from a distance, but out when up close. One thing he could not figure out, however, was what made Trainer decide when the ball was somewhere in between the two.

Caddies’ bags are heavy

You may think caddies only haul equipment, but they hold everything they and the golfer need throughout the day. This can be anything from snacks to clubs, water to rain equipment. During a five-hour day, this can start to wear on a caddie. Dethier voiced his pleasure that Trainer did not require rain equipment.