Behind every PGA Tour star is a world-class caddie chipping in with vital information and advice that shapes each player’s game.
They are the calming influence when things get tense and they are the voice of reason when a golfer is hot under the collar.
Viewers have had the privilege of hearing a number of player-caddie conversations at the WM Phoenix Open this week, offering an insight into the minds of professional golfers work.
We were treated to a conversation between Justin Thomas and his looper Jim ‘Bones’ McKay in the first round on Thursday, as well as Jon Rahm and his right-hand man Adam Hayes discussing the spin rate of his new wedge on the 6th hole.
During Saturday’s scintillating third round, Xander Schauffele and Austin Kaiser masterminded a great recovery shot from the desert on hole 13 and Tom Kim and Joe Skovron were also caught on camera preparing for an approach to the same hole.
After pulling what he thought was a “perfect 4-iron” from his bag, Skovron immediately corrected Kim and asserted that landing the ball short of the green was the play.
The 20-year-old hit a pin-point approach from 224 yards to set up an eagle opportunity which turned into a birdie. He had his caddie to thank for the vital pre-shot adjustments that were made.
We also saw the customary Jordan Spieth-Michael Greller chat at TPC Scottsdale, but maybe the cameras missed a trick in the third round when the three-time major champion hit what his caddie described as the best bunker shot he’s seen him play on the 17th hole.
Spieth splashed out from 77 yards to two feet on the penultimate hole, a shot that the television cameras also neglected to pick up – though luckily a fan was on hand.
Much like the walk-and-talk features we have seen in 2023, it appears the PGA Tour is deploying numerous strategies to provide viewers with new cutting-edge experiences.
Golf fans watch hundreds of golf shots struck every week, which is great, but the viewing experience is greatly enhanced when we’re allowed to delve into the details that go into each stroke.
This week’s event at the Stadium Course in Arizona may feature the finest talent that the sport has to offer, but the circuit has documented the quality and intellect of the caddies too.
The importance of strong player-caddie relationships is being emphasised by the Tour and it shows those with the clubs in their hands aren’t the only stars of the show.