When Will the PGA Dump Caddies?

Times are tough.

Imagine you have a job:

  • that is 100% commission
  • you only work every four days, but the after the first two days you may have to go home with no money.
  • only the very best are allowed to work the very same area you do
  • if you don’t do well you have to compete to the opportunity to work regularly
  • your job requires you to travel extensively at your own expense – meals, lodging, etc

Now imagine peer pressure says you MUST have an assistant. Even though that assistant does little more than carry your laptop and tell you the keys you selected to write that email were perfect, and the assistant cleans your keyboard at every opportunity.

You pay the assistant a salary and they get a cut of your commission.

That’s golf/PGA.

The PGA reports that caddies are paid based on how well their golfer does on the green. First they receive a base salary of $1,000 a week, then 5 percent of tournament winnings, 7 percent of a top ten placement and 10 percent for a victory.

Your name isn’t Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, or David Duval. Your name is Lucas Glover or Ricky Barnes or Ross Fisher, giving away any of your income for a pretty worthless assistant wouldn’t be pretty.

When will the PGA take pity on the poor professional golfer who has to lug around this assistant to carry clubs, when there are mechanical devices that will do the job better?

Oh, about the same time, they allow short pants during competition, and limit beer sales at tournaments (oh wait, they already did that.

It’s time to dump caddies. Let technology takes it’s place in golf. There are fantastic electric bag haulers. If the PGA demands the players walk, let them use an electric cart that follows the player.

Let the players use the laser range finders to know the exact distance to the pin.

In addition to reducing overhead for the players, think of  how this would speed up play.  How many times during the long, long, long U.S. Open did you watch player and caddy agonize over a yardage book? How many times did you watch a caddy wave and point and wave and point and nod his head and then the player reached into the bag and pulled his own club?

Silly assistant. Silly PGA professionals. The PGA should eliminate caddies.

The PGA better start making changes now because sponsors are drying up, and unless they are willing to cut the amount they donate to charity, the prize money will be reduced. This means a less competitive field. This leads to lower TeeVee ratings and reduced purses.

Golf is in trouble. If the PGA doesn’t start making changes now, they are shanking an opportunity.

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