Caddie's Corner

There's more to being a caddie than carrying the bag and earning pot loads of money. Though a caddie on Tour may earn £500-600 week plus a percentage of prize money (if he's lucky) he still has to fork out for his travel, the place where he lays his head at night and his food. He or she needs to be punctual, reliable and pretty fit as he has to carry the golf bag and 14 clubs, which can weigh up to 44lbs. He also has to carry tees, balls, towels, sweaters, caps, gloves, course notes, sun block, fruit, sandwiches, drinks, waterproofs and a first-aid kit!

A caddie has to be good at reading the greens and weather conditions and should be able to soothe the savage beast (if the Pro is that way inclined).
See also BBC Sports Academy

It seems most caddies started their careers by caddying for club members, local events and if lucky get onto the Tour. Here are just some of their stories...


Billy Foster 11th May 2009 -

Billy Foster is the latest to pick up the challenge.Billy Foster with Tiger Woods, Presidents Cup 2005

Billy parted company with Darren Clarke, after many years, to work alongside Sergio Garcia in December 2007.  Foster (then 41) felt the offer was too good to refuse especially as he was required to work just 14 weeks each year with his new boss giving him time to spend with his own young family.

A quiet Yorkshireman, Billy Foster is recognised throughout golf as a world class caddie and Tiger Woods  "borrowed" him from Clarke for the Presidents Cup in 2005 when his caddie, Steve Williams was unavailable due to the arrival of his firstborn.

Tiger said, "I like his personality it's very competitive.  Very feisty!"




Alistair McLean - Lee's caddie from August 2007 - April 2009


Lee with AlistairAlistair McLean carried the bag from August 2007.  He had previously caddied for Colin Montgomerie for ten years until their split in June 2007.

Since the partnership began, Lee has won the Quinn Direct British Masters and had 15 top ten finishes in the 2008 season. 






John Graham - Lee's caddie to September 2006

Caddie John Graham or Scotchie as he is known, was with him when Lee had his maiden European Tour win at the Scandinavian Open in 1996.  In  September, he and his wife, Caroline became the proud parents of their firstborn, Karl! Scotchie currently caddies for Soren Hansen.







Pete Coleman - Lee's caddie from July 2003

Lee and Pete ColemanPete Coleman took up the position, which proved to be a good partnership, as following a long slump, Lee won the BMW International Open in August 2003 and the Dunhill Links Championship in September.  He moved up to 4th in the Order of Merit and 61st in WR. 

"Pete's good because of his experience and because he works hard," Lee said. "A lot of the lads get a course planner and work from that. Pete will get a course planner and then check everything on it. He will add bits to it.

 Greg Norman, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Seve Ballesteros are just some of the great names Pete has caddied for.







 Dave Renwick - Lee's caddie from January 2002 to June 2003

caddieScot, Dave Renwick, who had already won three major titles caddying for Steve Elkington, Jose-Maria Olazabal and Vijay Singh and carried the bag of Adam Scott in 2001, took up the challenge in 2002 until June 2003, when he returned to caddie for Vijay Singh.  Renwick also caddied for Greg Norman. 








Andy Forsyth... Lee's caddie from September 2001

Andy Forsyth took over from Martin Gray and has since caddied for Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie.











Martin Gray ... Lee's caddie from April 2000-September 2001

Martin Gray was born on 5th December 1961 in Worksop.

He began his working life as a coal miner but played golf for leisure. In 1988, he and his friends went to watch the Weetabix Ladies British Open, which was taking place at Lindrick Golf Course, on the outskirts of Worksop (which once hosted the Ryder Cup). Martin said his friends went to watch Laura Davies but he was following a young lady called Nicola Way (sister of golfer Paul Way). Telling of how he went to help her find her ball when she hit it into the rough, he again came to her assistance a few days later when she needed a caddie. He was with her on the last day of the event when with only nine holes to play she was lying in 3rd position. Unfortunately she didn't win the event but Martin enjoyed the experience and was amazed when he realised that he too would have won the equivalent of three weeks wages had he been her professional caddie.

Martin then decided that was what he wanted to do for a living and he applied to the government for an 'Enterprise Allowance' of £2,000. First he had to be interviewed at Nottingham to check that he was serious about what he wanted to do and he had to keep accounts to present for inspection. He was the first person to be awarded the grant for caddying.

His first event was in Tenerife in 1989 when he caddied for Lindrick pro Chris Gray, who missed the cut. Martin then went on to caddie for Lincoln pro Keith Waters, and the rest as they say is history.

 Mick Doran ...Lee's caddie to April 2000

Mick Doran who currently caddies for David Howell was asked the following questions for our newsletter.

Q. Have you always caddied for a living or did you do other jobs first?

A. Yes, I've always caddied for a living, working at Wentworth, then going on tour.


Q. Do you play golf yourself? If so, off what handicap and who caddies for you?

A. I play golf when I have the time. My handicap is 12 and I don't have a caddie when I play!

Q. Did you have to apply for the job or did Lee approach you and ask for you to work with him?

A. Yes, I applied for the job.


Q.Have you any advice for youngsters who might want to try caddying as a career?

A. Nowadays it is very tricky to get started. You also need to have some savings as you may not get a job some weeks.


Q. Do you share Lee's apparent easygoing attitude on course, or do you get anxious at the way an event is going?

A. I do share Lee's attitude. If things are going well, then that's great. If not, then there is no point in getting anxious on the course.