Some see the role of a caddie as nothing more than carrying bags. They follow the golfers and give them the right clubs. The caddie profession, however, is much more complicated. While golfers decide their strategy, a good caddie often talks through each move with their employer. Some caddies remain fairly anonymous, but others have a special bond with their golfers.
Phil Mickelson and Jim Mackay
One of the most storied golf pairings, Phil Mickelson and Jim “Bones” Mackay worked together for over 25 years before parting ways. The duo’s back-and-forth banter and heated exchanges on the green highlighted how the caddie and golfer’s friendship endured. Mackay did not stay unemployed post-Mickelson as he took his banter to television.
Ben Crenshaw and Carl Jackson
At 14 years old, Carl Jackson caddied at the 1961 Masters Tournament. Then, 15 years later, he struck up a friendship with one of golf’s iron men, Ben Crenshaw. Over the next 39 years, the duo partnered up at the tournament. It was one of the great stories in the history of golf, and it came to a touching end in 2015.
Although Jackson was too sick to caddie for Crenshaw during his final Masters in 2015, he met the golfer on the green and the two shared a hug.
Joe LaCava and Tiger Woods
As the caddie for the most famous golfer in the world, Joe LaCava has a lot of responsibility. When Tigers Woods called LaCava to ask if the veteran caddie wanted to join him in 2011, he humorously recalls saying, “F— yeah, I’m interested,” according to Golf Digest.
LaCava has been by Woods’s side ever since. While this has been one of the most trying times in Woods’s career, it seems like the friendship has been beneficial. LaCava was recently inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame after nearly 30 years on the tour.
Lee Trevino and Herman Mitchell
Herman Mitchell and golfer Lee Trevino hooked up in 1977, but Mitchell’s career as a caddie began 20 years earlier. The result was a friendship that lasted nearly two decades. Unfortunately, in the mid-’90s, Mitchell’s health declined and he was forced to step away from the game. One of the first caddies to make a name for himself, Mitchell paved the way for generations of caddies after him.
Gary Player and Alfred Dyer
Alfred Dyer began caddying in New Orleans when he was just a kid as a way to make extra money for his family. This spawned a career that lasted several decades. When South African golfer Gary Player connected with the caddie in 1972, Dyer became the first black caddy to work the 1974 British Open.
Player lent Dyer the money to send his son to school, and when Dyer lost everything he owned in Hurricane Katrina, Player gave him clothes.