Do PGA Caddies Pay Their Own Expenses? (Plus How Much They Make And More)

Professional caddies seem to have the dream job. They get to be out on the golf course daily, they see the world’s best courses, and they can make a lot of money.

Most people know that caddies of the best golfers in the world can earn a lot of money. However, what is less known are the expenses of caddy and who pays them.

In the article below, we are going to cover all you need to know about who pays for professional caddy’s expenses.

We will also cover on what caddies do to make their money, how much they get paid, plus a lot of other interesting caddy information. We have a lot to cover so let’s get started.

What Do Professional Caddies Do?

Being a professional caddy is a little different than being a caddy at a local golf course. Most people know that a golf caddy carries a golfer’s bag, but this is just one of the many roles a professional caddy fulfills.

Pro caddies have a diverse skill set of the above skills that allows them to elevate the play of their golfers. They provide valuable insights into how to play the course including shot strategy, reading putts, and club selection.

Professional golfers depend on their caddie’s in-depth knowledge of the game. Their caddies understand the fundamentals of golf as well as know their player’s strengths and weaknesses.

Caddies also provide other services to their players. They will make sure they stay hydrated on the course, keep spectators from getting too close, along with countless other responsibilities.

How Much Of A Cut Do Caddies Get Of Their Player’s Winnings?

Caddies have an interesting pay structure. All most all caddies will receive a percentage of their players earnings for their compensation. Their income is tied directly to the success their player has on the course.

Professional caddy payout splits range from 5 to 15 percent of their players winnings, with 10 percent being the average. The split depends on the arrangement between the player and caddy with more seasoned caddies demanding a higher percentage of winnings.

How Much Do Caddies Make?

Pro Caddies get paid in two main ways. Most caddies receive a weekly stipend for their work. This stipend is usually a small allowance to cover ongoing expenses. The real money make for caddies is when they win or place in an event. This means that caddies really only earn money when their player is playing well.  

How Much Do Caddies Make Per Year

How much a caddie makes per year mainly depends on how their player is performing. The averaging earnings for a PGA Tour player is around 1.5 million dollars per year. This means that a caddy can expect to earn around $150 thousand in earnings along with $50 thousand dollars in stipend. That brings a caddie’s wage to $200 thousand per year.

However, this is an average. Higher earners on tour distort this number up. Caddies with players missing cuts will make significantly less.

How Much Do Caddies Make An Hour

Based on the average 200 thousand annual compensation above means that a caddy makes around $125 per hour. That is some serious earnings!

Caddy Earnings At The Majors

Winning a major is a defining moment for a player and their caddy. The stakes and, more importantly, the purses are higher at a major event. Below we outlined what caddies can expect to make if their player wins at each major.

Major Tournament First Place PrizeFirst Place Caddy Payout
1Caddies Earnings At The Masters2.7M270K
2Caddies Earnings At The Open2.5M250K
3Caddies Earnings At PGA Championship2.7M2.7K
4Caddies Earnings At The US Open3.15M315K
5Caddies Earnings At The Players Championship3.6M360K

1.) How Much Do Caddies Make At The Masters?

The first place prize at the Masters is 2.7 million. While this isn’t the biggest purse on tour, it is arguably the most prestigious event to win. With 2.7M for first place, that means a caddy can expect to earn around 270 thousand dollars.

2.) How Much Do Caddies Make At The Open?

The first place prize at the Open is a cool 2.5 million. That means a caddy can expect to earn around 250 thousand dollars.

3.) How Much Do Caddies Make At The PGA Championship?

The first place prize at the PGA Championship is a cool 2.7 million. That means a caddy can expect to earn around 270 thousand dollars.

4.) How Much Do Caddies Make At The US Open?

The first place prize at the US Open is a cool 3.15 million. That means a caddy can expect to earn around 315 thousand dollars.

5.) How Much Do Caddies Make At The Players Championship?

The first place prize at the Players Championship is a whopping 3.6 million. That means a caddy can expect to earn around 360 thousand dollars.

What Tournament Do Caddies Get Paid The Most?

The Tour Championship has the highest payout on tour, so it will be the highest payout for a caddy. The Tour Championship has a massive purse, with first place paying out 18 million dollars. This means that the winning player’s caddy is set to win 1.8 million dollars. Not a bad payday for a couple days work!

Do Caddies Earn A Percentage Of Sponsorships?

Player sponsorships for elite players can be very profitable. Sponsors want their logo on the best players in the world to promote their brand and be associated with winning.

These sponsorships are earned by playing well on the course. A caddy is a big part of a player’s ability to win so do they get a portion of the sponsorship money? Typically, caddies do not receive any of the sponsorship money that players receive.

Why Do Some Pro Caddies Get Paid So Much?

It is no secret that some caddies make a lot of money. Being a caddy of an elite golfer like Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson have led to their caddies earning millions of dollars each year.

Caddies who make it to this level do make a lot of money as the winnings on tour can be very high for the top players. However, is this the case for all caddies? Keep reading below for the reality of being a caddy on tour.

Do All Caddies Make A Lot Of Money?

The reality is that being a caddy can be a real grind. It is extremely difficult for a caddy’s player to make it to the tour and get their PGA Tour Card. It’s even harder to make to the weekend in a professional event.

Caddy’s need to help their player get to the next level. Caddies that can be patient along the way and develop their players can earn lot of money. However, becoming an elite caddy for an elite player takes time and a tremendous amount of skill and effort. Very few caddies will become part of this exclusive circle and even fewer will make millions along the way.

Do Caddies Pay Their Own Expenses?

Now that we know how much a caddy on the PGA Tour can make, do they have to pay for their own travel or hotels? Yes, most caddy’s will pay their own expenses, but this depends heavily on the arrangement between the golfer and the caddy.

It’s common for caddies to have some sort of stipend to pay for expenses along with their percentage of winnings. This stipend guarantees caddies are being paid for their work even if there golfer does not play well.

Interested about the costs of being a PGA Tour player? Check out our article on The Expenses Of A PGA Tour Player for a detailed breakdown.

Do Caddies Get Paid If Player Misses Cut?

Players need to play well enough to make the cut to get paid in professional golf. This is well known for golfers, but does this mean that caddies also do not get paid if the player misses the cut?

Caddies typically get some type of weekly stipend to help with their expenses.

This means that even if a pro misses a cut, their caddy will usually still get paid.

Now this payment is nowhere near what they would receive if their player won the tournament, but it is enough to pay their ongoing expenses.

Final Thoughts

Caddies are a one stop shop for a golfer’s needs while playing a round. The best caddies in the world get paid a lot of money to keep their players at an elite level.

However, it is typically a grind to get to this level with many challenges and expenses to pay along the way.

If you are interested in becoming a caddy, try starting at your local country club to if it’s the right fit for you. Check out our article ‘Is Being A Golf Caddie A Good Summer Job’ for more information.

Hopefully you liked this article and found it informative. Check out our other blog posts if you liked this one!

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