One big perk for caddies at The Open? Bunker rakers assigned to each group

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm hits out of a bunker on the 17th hole during the first round of The Open Championship. Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Among the Open’s many traditions, having local players and greenkeepers — members of BIGGA (The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association) — rake bunkers for each group is something that got the attention this week of Webb Simpson’s caddie, Paul Tesori.

The tradition got traction on Twitter Thursday when Ryan Neale — the person assigned to Simpson, Sergio Garcia, and C.T. Pan’s group — tweeted a photo of two signed golf balls from Simpson and Pan, thanked all three players, and called it a great day raking bunkers for them.

Neale is a greenskeeper from Blackwell Golf Club near Birmingham, England.

So, is this a practice that would be helpful on the PGA Tour?

“Yes, yes, yes, yes,” Tesori sent The Caddie Network by text.

“I actually think it’s an area we could implement each week (on Tour).”

Tesori quoted Neale’s tweet, thanked him and called him a “stud,” but also pointed out how practical and helpful it is to have an assigned person to a group to help with raking bunkers.

“My thought is have a training seminar of some sort,” Tesori continued. “Maybe just get local colleges or high schools or, even better, green superintendent staff. No money but free tickets, etc. Have guys stay on their own holes.”

But as many of us know, tournament days during the summer are quite long. How would the schedule play out?

“Let’s say one guy has No. 1 in the morning and then a guy relieves him in the afternoon. Two big positives. One is speed up play! Two is if a rake job isn’t done properly, it’ll be easy to teach the person what went wrong. It would only require 36 staff daily.”

To show the level of seriousness Tesori has for this, he sent his ideas to a Tour official Thursday night.

We’ll see where it goes from here.

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