Here’s what it’s like for a caddie to take on a new bag on the PGA Tour

Golf Balls

As caddies begin with a new player it doesn’t take long to tell how often they like to either change or stick with their golf ball.

“Paul Azinger would take every ball out of play if it had a scuff. So we started with about 15 balls a round and we probably went through about 10 of them because back then they were a little softer and they would get nicked up,” Scott said.

Watson is a little more care-free about that subject.

“Bubba is a guy that will play 15 holes and then just change to a second ball really late in the round pretty much every day,” Scott said.

“So, it was a huge contrast for me as a caddie because you’ve got one guy who changes golf balls at seemingly every swing it felt like, and then the other guy I wanted him to change it I was like, ‘dude, change your ball’.”

Perhaps it’s a good thing for Watson and Scott that Watson didn’t care to change his golf ball at the 2012 Masters on that Sunday when the lefty struck one of the most famous shots in Masters history, the wedge out of the trees right of 10 in the playoff.

“In the (2012 Masters) playoff against Louis (Oosthuizen) he teed off on the 19th hole [of the day] with the same ball he teed off with on No. 1. It was just like, it’s fine. But it’s not superstition. Bubba grew up playing with one ball,” Scott said. “You know as a kid, you only have three golf balls and you go play in a tournament and you play with one ball until you lose it in the water or something.

“You get on Tour and it’s got a nick and you think it’s not going to be as good.

“Bubba’s just like ‘why? why would I change? It doesn’t matter I’ll just keep playing with this one’.”

But player preference on this subject certainly varies.

Walker said that typically Landry likes to use a new ball before a par 5 and will stick with a ball that has a scuff if he’s in the middle of a birdie run.

“When I caddied for K.T. Kim, anytime there was a scuff on the ball he would ask for a new one,” Barnes said.


  1. I’ve Caddied at the club level for years, the statements and advice above holds true for the Amateur level as well. The difference being, we need to analyze our player(s), read them and make adjustments in the first few holes. Our livelihood depends on it:)


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