Caddie Confidential: Surprising, funny and strange observations from fan-less Tour events

Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the first installment of our “Caddie Confidential” series, with monthly inside-the-ropes perspective on rotating golf topics. First up, we get caddie insights from a season without galleries.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been little-to-no fans at PGA Tour events since June 2020. Isn’t it strange to see the best golfers in the world — at regular Tour stops — playing with the same fanfare a foursome of buddies at the local muni encounter during a Sunday morning round?

With no fans, there certainly were some sights on the course that caddies aren’t accustomed to. We wanted to know what some of those things were, so we asked.

“I feel like I saw a lot more players and caddies peeing on trees (myself included),” one caddie said. “Since no fans were around, you didn’t have to wait three holes for a port-a-potty!”

See what the rest of the caddies said below.

What’s the funniest or most interesting thing you saw on a fan-less course in 2020 that couldn’t have otherwise happened?

Here is a collection of the responses we received from the dozens of PGA Tour caddies we surveyed. To keep them honest, we allowed the caddies to answer anonymously but also allowed them to attach their name if they wanted to:

Tiger with no gallery just isn’t right.

Each week (virtually every day) I had to ask a volunteer to be quiet or stop moving.

Endless on-course advertising.

Watching the protesters outside of hole 4 at Colonial march down the street on their bullhorn.

I saw caddies eating food… Inside the clubhouse… on multiple occasions… I mean what’s funnier than caddies being treated as part of the tournament? Hilarious.

The conversations on the tees during waits was more engaging. The true personalities of the players were brought out when no one is around to listen in on personal conversations. The guys were less “guarded.”

Two shots within 3 feet and no cheering.

How many players lost their ball.

Players actually commending each other on their play. Normally fans take care of that. Now it was quiet when a player would make birdie or better. Guys would say nice things for once.

Tiger playing golf whenever he wanted.

A hole out from 176 yards with no reaction or clap.

The funniest moment happened at the beginning of the final round during the Travelers Championship on the first tee when Ian Poulter forcefully released gas right after my player hit his opening tee shot. The PGA Tour Live mic operator was perfectly positioned for a once in a lifetime opportunity for Poults to express himself. He didn’t hold back! It was rather impressive! The fart heard around the world! It even made TMZ!

How different the course looks.

Without fans you could see and notice other groups on other holes and so you notice bad shots like shanks. It was funny to me because it happens more than you ever see or hear about.

Tiger Woods and Brooks. Playing on the weekend at Muirfield and not a soul in sight.

Interested in more from our January 2021 installment of Caddie Confidential? Be sure to check out the best (and worst) of PGA Tour events without galleries as well as whether or not — in the eyes of their caddie — Tour pros fared better or worse without fans.

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