Casey Boyns is a Pebble Beach legend.
Boyns, 63, who answers to the nicknames “Pro” and “Legend,” has been a full-time caddie at the world-famous resort since October 1981.
“I also caddied there as a kid, occasionally, and did about six months before and after the 1972 U.S. Open,” he recently told The Caddie Network.
In his busiest season, Boyns said he looped 260 rounds at Pebble. Just last year, he recorded 187 rounds. All told, he says his best guess is that he’s logged 8,000 rounds as a caddie (300 of those as a player) at the iconic links, which has been called, “the greatest meeting of land and sea” in the world.
Along with being an incredible caddie – and the resort’s second-most senior looper – Boyns has been quite the player over the years.
He won California State Amateur Championships at Pebble, in 1989 and again in 1993. His 16 titles in the Northern California Golf Association makes Boyns the all-time leader in wins. He’s also won a record four Public Links championships, along with two Four-Ball titles and two Amateur Match Play crowns. He’s a four-time NCGA Player of the Year and was inducted into the California Golf Hall of Fame (2009) and the NCGA Hall of Fame (2017).
For this week’s 119th U.S. Open at famed Pebble Beach, Boyns – with all his knowledge of virtually every blade of grass on the property – was enlisted by the USGA as a consultant of sorts for course set up.
That’s a pretty remarkable accolade — an organization that runs one of golf’s four biggest events coming to you for help on course set up for its crown jewel event.
“I walked the course with the ‘Set up Committee’ a couple of weeks ago to go over hole locations and a few other things,” Boyns said. “I was thrilled to be able to be involved with the USGA process. Definitely honored.”
And Boyns is certainly no stranger to U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach. He’s caddied in three of them.
“I worked the 1992, 2000, 2010 U.S. Opens, caddying for Bill Bergin, Charles Warren and Jason Allred, in that order,” he said. “In 1972, there was a lottery for caddies and I drew alternate, so I fore-caddied on No. 8 for three days and No. 14 for the final round. After Nicklaus went by 14 the last day, I followed him in and saw the 1-iron shot on 17. In 1982, I was out because of appendicitis.”
“I also caddied in two U.S. Amateurs, but no winners,” Boyns said. “In fact, both players missed the cut for match play. I have one second-place finish in the AT&T Pro-am team competition and caddied for Don Parsons, who won the 1988 State Amateur at Pebble. That experience helped me win the state title the following year.”
Though the U.S. Open hasn’t been contested at Pebble Beach since Graeme McDowell won in the tournament’s 100th edition back in 2010, Boyns said – in contrast to what you might think – he’s not overly excited about the week ahead.
And for good reason.
“I don’t have a player yet,” he said, “so, I really don’t care. I’m older now and it’s hard work both physically and mentally. I wouldn’t mind just doing practice rounds though.”
If he doesn’t get a bag, Boyns can sit back, relax and take pride in the fact that while players are grinding to contend in a major, it’s on a course he knows better than anyone and one in which he was asked for input in setting up.