Caddie Confidential: Which major is the most stressful for caddies and why?

The U.S. Open has caused plenty of headaches for players and caddies over the years. Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the third installment of our 2022 “Caddie Confidential” series, with monthly, inside-the-ropes perspective from dozens of Tour caddies on rotating golf topics. In this edition, caddies share what major causes the most stress.

Golf can be stressful at any level, but on the PGA Tour, it is immeasurable. That added pressure falls onto both the player and caddie, and it becomes a test of who can handle it the best.

However, no PGA event is as stressful as a major championship.

In this March 2022 edition of Caddie Confidential, we polled two dozen caddies to hear which major is the most stressful for caddies.

CADDIE CONFIDENTIAL: Our 2022 archive page for monthly Caddie Confidential topics

Many of them said the U.S. Open. “It’s a BEAST!” one caddie said.

Others favored the Open Championship because of the travel and weather.

And, of course, the Masters got a few votes as well. “I always feel like I’m being watched by the eye in the sky,” someone said.

Here’s a look at more responses from our caddies, who we promised anonymity in an effort to get their most honest answers.

Which major is the most stressful for caddies and why?

Check out this selection of responses from caddies:

The U.S. Open. Traditionally it’s held under the most challenging course conditions and that creates difficulties in picking just the right club and deciding where the best miss is.

The U.S. Open because places to stay become a joke how expensive they get.

The U.S. Open. It’s a BEAST!

The U.S. Open because the USGA usually tries to throw a few curve balls to test your preparation.

The Open Championship. You can typically use the courses in so many different ways that it takes a while to learn.

The British Open travel and weather.

The Masters. I always feel like I’m being watched by the eye in the sky. Plus mistakes there are very, very costly.

The British Open. Most caddies aren’t from the UK so changes in culture and timezone can be a big factor.

I believe the British Open because you are normally learning a new course and also probably dealing with bad weather.

The U.S. Open because the course setup is always shit and unfair.

British – hardest to find accommodations.

U.S. Open usually because of the course setup.

U.S. Open or whichever has the worst weather.

U.S. Open. It’s always set up goofy and on different courses. It’s the only event of the year where the committee has to explain their reasons for the setup of the golf course.

British Open because of travel and weather.

The Open because of traveling overseas during these Covid times.

British Open. The travel, COVID restrictions, finding reasonable accommodations, transportation is difficult (just not as easy as it is in the U.S.).

The Masters. The difference between a great approach shot and finishing in an area with a possible 3-putt bogey is minimal on many greens with the swirling winds.

The Open. The travel and the terrible food.

U.S. Open, a lot of prep with rough and where to leave your shots.

Masters. The wind and pin positions are extremely challenging.

Masters mainly because the players get so worked up it becomes more than just a golf tournament a lot of times.

Interested in more from our March 2022 installment of Caddie Confidential? Be sure to check out when players start zeroing in on the Masters, what is different about practice sessions ahead of the Masters and which major caddies most look forward to. You can also look back at our archive of Caddie Confidential pieces from 2021 by clicking here

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