Golf

Caddie Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay Helps Golfers Be the ‘Greatest They Can Be’ No Matter Who He Represents

Jim “Bones” Mackay’s 25-year partnership with Phil Mickelson is one of the best golfer-caddie relationships in PGA history. Bones has shared countless memories about his “extremely generous” partner. The caddie embodies generosity himself as he helps golfers be the best they can be, regardless of his current position.

Mackay has since moved on from working with Mickelson. But he continues to utilize his unique position in the golf world to inspire golfers of every level.  

Who is Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay?

Nicknamed “Bones” by golfer Fred Couples in 1990, Mackay began caddying professionally following his experiences playing golf for Columbus College and working at the Green Island Country Club. He first caddied for Larry Mize. He also worked with Scott Simpson and Curtis Strange before starting an impressive 25-year career with Phil Mickelson.

Mackay’s $500,000 annual salary has amassed him a $5 million net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2016, he had both knees replaced, reports Golf Digest. Although Bones professionally parted ways with Mickelson in 2017 after they mutually decided it was “the right time for a change,” the pair remain friends off the course.      

Jim Mackay’s caddie strengths transfer to other ventures

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Jim Mackay picked up plenty of skills during his time with Mickelson. These abilities continue to serve him well as he explores new opportunities. Following the end of his 25-year journey with Mickelson in 2017, Mackay was in high demand among both other golfers and TV producers, according to Golf World.

Mackay’s strong communication skills, ability to handle pressure, and exceptional understanding of the relationship between golfer and caddie, combined with his decades of experience, made him a top choice of several golfers searching for a new caddy. Ultimately, Mackay chose a new direction. 

Less than three weeks after announcing 5 Times Golfers Generously Paid Their Caddies in June 2017, Mackay committed to a multi-year deal as an on-course announcer for NBC’s Golf Channel. He connected with NBC producer Tommy Roy, who recognized strengths in Mackay that he believed would transfer well to the TV industry. Roy opened the door to a new career move for Bones.

Roy remarked to Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte, “He’s got all these attributes that he can put to use, and we can put them to use,” which sealed the deal for Mackay’s exciting next step. 

Jim Mackay has started caddying for other golfers 

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Although he’s primarily a Golf Channel commentator, Jim “Bones” Mackay can be seen with a bag of clubs from time to time. He occasionally helps his friends out by substituting for ill, injured, or otherwise unavailable caddies. Mackay first returned by filling in for Justin Thomas’s regular caddie in 2018 following a foot injury. He also replaced Matthew Fitzpatrick’s regular caddie during a quarantine period after traveling from England.    

Mackay again partnered with Thomas earlier this month. While many sporting events are struggling to get back on their feet this summer, both professional and amateur golf have been among the first to return to regular competitions, and Mackay had the opportunity to replace Thomas’s regular caddy during the recent St. Jude Invitational and PGA Championship. 

Jim Mackay’s commitment to helping golfers be the greatest they can be shows that he shares similar traits to his friend and longtime partner. Although he’s no longer working with Phil Mickelson, he’s not using leaving the most stable part of his career as an excuse to be any less dedicated to everything he does. Instead, he’s using his new TV platform to inspire an even wider range of golfers.