Caddies unfazed by safety precautions on site at The Open Championship

Caddies report that despite strict protocols at the Open Championship, everything has run smooth so far this week in Sandwich, England. Credit: Sandra Mailer-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret the protocols to this year’s Open Championship have been very strict compared to tournaments on the PGA Tour in the U.S.. Understandably, the U.K. is under different rules and the R&A is keeping things buttoned up this week.

From caddies’ perspectives things haven’t been that bad though.

“The protocols have been pretty much what we thought they’d be,” Ben Hulka said. “Masks when we’re walking around the clubhouse/dining area, but most everyone has their off. I haven’t seen many fans with them on honestly, only the volunteers.”

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Veteran Paul Tesori has been fine with the protocols thus far.

“It’s a lot easier than I thought it would be,” Tesori said. “I think the fact that they knew ahead of time, they made sure we were fully prepared. I was anxious before coming but it’s been simpler than I imagined.”

Tesori said it was easy to get through the checkpoints upon arrival at the airport too.

“They created a concierge at the golf course where you order from any restaurant in town and they send drivers to pick it up and have it delivered at whatever time you choose, groceries too.”

Jace Walker likes the food offerings on site as well.

“They almost treat us like players this week, and the food is amazing,” Walker said. “We are offered frozen dinners sitting in a big freezer on the way out, so when you leave, you can take this steak and potato or chicken dinner back with you.”

Caddies and players are also offered rides from the course to where they’re staying. When they get dropped off, they can just request what time for pick-up the next morning and it’s pretty seamless.

During Colt Knost’s PGA Tour Radio show “Gravy & The Sleaze” on Wednesday, he mentioned that a player had told him there was a security officer from the R&A at his hotel and stopping people from leaving at night.

Though Walker is not staying in a hotel this week, he says his player Mackenzie Hughes has not seen such strict security at his hotel this week.

Bottom line though, Walker does appreciate the effort the R&A has made to keep caddies and players safe and he says the excitement level for the championship is palpable among the staff members he meets on course.

“I’ve never been to a tournament where on the grounds they’re so happy to have you and will do anything to help you or point you in the right direction,” Walker said.

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