Welcome to the first installment of our 2022 “Caddie Confidential” series, with monthly, inside-the-ropes perspective from dozens of Tour caddies on rotating golf topics. First up: Caddies provide their insights on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Investments and what it could mean if big-name players choose to play.
The PGA Tour has made it clear to players that you’re with us, or you’re with them when it comes to competing on with Saudi-backed LIV Golf Investments. Though, many players have received releases to play in the Saudi International, which will be contested opposite the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
However, there are conditions. If a player has played Pebble Beach at least once in the past two years, he must play in either the 2023 or 2024 event. Those who have not played the tournament in the last five years will be required to play in two of the next three AT&Ts.
With all the big money talked about when it comes to LIV Golf Investments, we wanted to know if caddies believed it could pose a serious threat to the PGA Tour when it came to stealing away talent.
“Not if the PGA Tour decides taking care of their players is priority No. 1,” one caddie said.
“One hundred percent. The tour, for years, hasn’t listened to the players,” another told us.
Here’s a look at more responses from the nearly three dozen caddies we polled, who were promised anonymity in an effort to get their most honest answers.
Do you think it could pose a serious threat to the PGA Tour in terms of stealing away talent?
Check out this selection of responses from caddies:
Absolutely. Without actually knowing the individuals it already has.
Money talks. Always has, always will.
It’ll be tough though for them to create a sustainable product, as they haven’t appeared to show how new talent feeds into their Tour down the road. Are they going to continue to just poach PGA Tour players or by-pass that and go to high school and college kids before they turn pro? You need a feeder system, and poaching PGA Tour players doesn’t seem sustainable or cost effective.
It will fail. The Tour will do what it takes to keep the core players here.
Less than 50/50 chance.
I think it’s a threat to interfering with putting the best product (world-class players) competing against each other. Having a limited number of players competing only against each other does not warrant true world ranking points.
If somehow it works, yes. I feel like guys will have a hard time turning down the “guaranteed” money.
I think that the pro talent is very strong and to lose a few would not hurt the No. 1 tour in the world.
Talent will always go to the best product. So… what’s there to lose if you are providing the best stage for the talent?
Maybe. I think mostly older stars who are seeing an opportunity to solidify their retirement accounts and not necessarily the younger superstars who could jeopardize their futures with the PGA Tour.
Yes. But it would be smart to work together.
Interested in more from our January 2022 installment of Caddie Confidential? Be sure to check out caddie thoughts on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Investments, if they think their player would seriously consider leaving the PGA Tour and what the PGA Tour could do to detract players from playing elsewhere. You can also look back at our archive of Caddie Confidential pieces from 2021 by clicking here.