Caddies have been walking the links for hundreds of years although in today's economy they are usually reserved for the Country Clubs and high end courses like St. Andrews.
The term and tradition dates back to Mary, Queen of Scots, who developed a love for the game of golf. Louis, the King of France after learning about her new hobby commissioned the first course in the world built outside of Scotland to be constructed for her enjoyment when she visited.
He hired cadets from a nearby military school to chaperone and guard her while she played, and when she returned to Scotland Mary carried the practice home. In French, the word cadet is pronounced "ca-day" and the Scots changed it to "caddie."
At most clubs, caddies are paid at the end of the round by cash, or receive a payment ticket for which they can redeem their wages in the clubhouse. Generally, the player will tip the caddy based on their performance during the round, with extra money given for exemplary work. Most American club caddies earn between $35 and $100 per bag, though newer caddies will often earn less than more experienced caddies. Caddies working during a tournament, high-stakes match, or 4-Day member-guest will often earn significantly more, upwards of $100 per round, per bag, at times. It is common for experienced caddies to carry two bags at a time. It is considered acceptable to ask a professional at the course what the average pay for a caddie is, as courses differ.
Caddie's for professional golfers can make much more. A player often pays their caddy a percentage of their winnings, which can be as high as 10%. A common pay scale is 5% for making the cut, 7% for a top 10, and 10% for a win. The caddy also usually receives a salary, as the player is not guaranteed to win money at every tournament.
While doing this research I came upon some interesting lists. The first is a Top 10 List of the Most Famous Caddy's, courtesy of CaddyDigest.
Don Shula-A Pro Football Hall of Fame member grew up caddying at a municipal course in Grand River, Ohio.
Elizabeth Reaser - Possibly the most beautiful caddy, starred in the movie Twilight. She carried the bags in Bloomfield, Michigan.
John Madden- The football legend looped at the Lake Merces Golf and Country Club in Daly City, Ca.
Arnold Palmer- The King became a caddie at age 11 in Latrobe, Pa.
Martin Sheen- Famous actor started looping at age nine in Dayton, Ohio.
Bing Crosby- Singer, Actor
Bill Clinton - Sax Player and ex-President toted the sticks in Hot Springs, Ark.
Bill Murray - Comedian, Actor grew up caddying at Indian Hills in Winnetka, Ill.
Bob Hope - The Legend looped in Cleveland, Ohio, and started the Bob Hope Classic in 1960.
Che Guevara - No kidding, the leader of the People's Revolution worked as a caddie in Cordoba, Argentina, and Buenos Aires.
Finally, have you ever wondered what caddies are thinking, and would really like to say while they're dragging hackers bags around in the rough.
Well here are a few possibilities.
Golfer: "Think I'm going to drown myself in the lake."
Caddy: "Think you can keep your head down that long?"00
Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course."
Caddy: "Try heaven, you've already moved most of the earth."
Golfer: "Do you think my game is improving?"
Caddy: "Yes, you miss the ball much closer now."
Golfer: "Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?"
Golfer: "You've got to be the worst caddy in the world."
Caddy: "I don't think so, that would be too much of a coincidence."
Golfer: "Please stop checking your watch all the time. It's too much of a distraction."
Caddy: "It's not a watch - it's a compass."
Golfer: "How do you like my game?"
Caddy: "Very good, but personally, I prefer golf."
Golfer: "Do you think it's a sin to play on Sunday?
Caddy: "The way you play, it's a sin on any day."
Golfer: "This is the worst course I've ever played on."
Caddy: "This isn't the golf course. We left that an hour ago."
Best Caddy Comment:
Golfer: "That can't be my ball, it's too old."
Caddy: "It's been a long time since we teed off, sir."