Caddie Confidential: Hilarious and cringe-worthy stories of being fired – or quitting

When it’s time to move on, how do players break the news to their caddie? Several caddies shared their best stories of being fired – or firing their player. (Photo by Savannah Lakes Village on Unsplash)

Welcome to the eighth installment of our “Caddie Confidential” series, with monthly, inside-the-ropes perspective from dozens of Tour caddies on rotating golf topics. Up this month: we tackle player/caddie relationships, how they evolve and what happens when a player has to break the bad news to a caddie that he or she has been fired.

Getting fired from anything sucks. But the delivery of the bad news can make the moment even worse … just ask caddies.

We asked PGA Tour caddies to tell us about some of the ways in which they were fired.

“I got fired via text at midnight,” one caddie told us.

“A long, bumbling apologetic phone call with a separation bonus at the end,” another said.

We polled nearly four dozen PGA Tour caddies to get their opinion on a variety of questions related to player/caddie relationships in this month’s installment of Caddie Confidential, promising them anonymity in an effort to get their most honest answers.

Is there a story you can share that may not have been funny to you at the time, but you can laugh at now, about a time you were fired – or walked away – and how it all went down?

Check out this selection of responses from caddies:

No funny stories to tell, but every time I’ve fired a player they have cried and begged me to take them back. Very sad, really.

I got fired over text, but it led to me getting my next job, which worked out well.

I have too many to write about.

I got fired and the guy won the next weekend on the Korn Ferry Tour. But I ended up getting a very good job that I’ve now had for over three years.

Didn’t happen to me, but the funniest story I’ve ever heard about a caddie getting fired was this after a missed cut late Friday. Player missed the cut, wanted to practice so went to the driving range after the round with his caddie. Asked the caddie to video a swing and gave his phone to the caddie. As the caddie was taking the video, a message from the player’s wife pops up on the screen and says, “did you fire (caddie’s name) yet?” He lowers the phone and says to his player, “is there something you need to tell me?” Classic!

I quit Garrett Willis, he won his next event. I quit Eric Axley, he won his next event. I quit Vijay and he lost in a playoff his next event. I guess the secret is for me to quit you.

Never funny. Even if you forced it sublimely. It’s a shitty deep feeling in your gut that’s hard to wash off.

By talking to me face to face after a Sunday round.

“Sorry, but it’s just not working out. Here is a check to help out while you find a new job.”

Over breakfast.

Had the agent call me to let me go.

I got a text from his manager.

Face to face. At dinner. With a fat severance check.

Only really happened to me once, and it was a very respectful phone call. Wished each other the best and then I was in his wedding later that year.

The best way is always face to face. Texting or phone calls or through an agent are the coward’s way out.

Both times has been done professionally on the phone.

Fortunate to never be fired.

Face to face with a little extra bonus check. Makes you feel respected and appreciated on an awful day.

Honesty, short and sweet.

Face to face. Manned up. Text, phone calls and agents delivering the news is so chickenshit.

Interested in more from our August 2021 installment of Caddie Confidential? Be sure to check the player/caddie breakups our loopers found most surprising, as well as what caddies do to let players know they’re available.

You can view all the results from our entire Caddie Confidential by clicking here.

COMMENTS

  1. “Didn’t happen to me, but the funniest story I’ve ever heard about a caddie getting fired was this after a missed cut late Friday. Player missed the cut, wanted to practice so went to the driving range after the round with his caddie. Asked the caddie to video a swing and gave his phone to the caddie. As the caddie was taking the video, a message from the player’s wife pops up on the screen and says, “did you fire (caddie’s name) yet?” He lowers the phone and says to his player, “is there something you need to tell me?” Classic!”

    (Mike Darby). That was me. It’s a well-known story that appeared in an ESPN article. Not fun at the time but we all laugh at it now. No bridges burned………………………

  2. not me, caddy removed balls from a ball heavy bag in final round. Pgatour player took balls out of play then dumped 2 in h2o on 17. Out of balls, other player diff brand. Walk in.
    Player comes out of locker room, caddy What time tues? got to be kidding!
    Me on Lpga, rookie girl, we lost in playoff and top 10 in 7 events. We were on way to my 2nd ROY. Well, her best friend tells her she is paying me too much, and another well known caddy makes a play for her. After top 10 in parking lot she says I’m gone. Her father in lot is yelling at her to rehire me now. I start driving, her best friends(3) call me and offer me their bag. NOPE. She never top 10 again and lost card next yr and started caddying for her friend. I left lpga for pga, too much drama.

  3. I like DM’s story. There is no question that many LPGA/ Symetra girls fail because they don’t know how to pick or interact with their caddy. I did a pro/am event on LPGA with a player and had the Ams generally in stitches with great golf advice too (but never interfered with player’s interactions with Ams). Got the biggest tip I ever got from all the Ams. Player went to lunch with a friend of hers who I caddied for and is notorious for being hard (read wrong) on caddies (and now can only get her brother). I was fired the night before the first round. She picked up some old guy local who had no clue.

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