Michael Greller (right), caddying for Jordan Spieth
The vast majority of professional caddies’ life savings amount to little more than a couple of spare quarters that double as ball markers. But, at the very top of the PGA Tour, a few are pocketing decent green for a job that’s a cross between a psychologist and a pack mule.
Take Michael Greller, who earned an estimated $180,000 for four days of caddying for 21-year-old US Open champ Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, in mid-June. That’s based on a typical commission structure of 10 percent of the purse if a caddy’s player wins the tournament and 8 percent for a top 10 finish. Details vary widely—there are no contracts between PGA Tour caddies and players, just verbal agreements—but for a finish outside the top 10, the man on the bag of a rank-and-file player probably gets about 5 percent; if his player misses the cut, the caddy makes nothing more than $2,000, which is quickly swallowed by travel expenses.
Still, Forbes estimates that 10 pro caddies pocketed north of $600,000 last year, led by Micah Fugitt caddying for FedEx Cup champ Billy Horschel. For 2015, Greller, like his boss, looks hard to beat: Spieth has won three tournaments, including the Masters and the US Open, and has finished in the top 10 at seven more, for total on-course winnings of $7.9 million.
Golf’s Ten Highest-Paid Caddies in 2014 1. Micah Fugitt (caddies for Billy Horschel): $1.6 million