When I first read this article in the January issue of Golf Magazine, I really wasn’t too surprised to find more than half of the 50 caddies surveyed have witnessed some form of cheating during a PGA Tour event. Think about it. With the amount of money on the line and the amount of prestige that comes along with winning on the PGA Tour, it’s human nature for these players to try and gain even the smallest competitive advantage.
The caddies were surveyed anonymously so they can speak their minds without the fear of backlash, and one of the quotes given by a caddy is something I see almost weekly played out in front of all TV viewers.
“I have seen a lot of ‘manipulation of the rules,’ if you know what I mean — people wanting drops that aren’t exactly ethical but that they’ve somehow justified in their minds,” the caddie said.
How many times have you seen on TV a player call over an official to say the scoreboard or TV tower is in their line of site and they need a drop. Then they spend 10 minutes trying to plead their case with the official and finally getting a drop? It’s things like this that are not technically cheating, but like the quote said, they manipulate the rules to gain an small advantage.
Now I don’t want to sit here and call PGA Tour players cheaters. because 99% of them are probably stand up guys who actually will call penalties on themselves. Do you remember the 2010 Verizon Heritage when Brian Davis called the penalty on himself after nicking the branch in the hazard? It lost him the playoff and his first PGA Tour victory. All the cameras were on him and you clearly saw it during the broadcast. But are you telling me if he was on his second hole in the first round he would have called that same penalty on himself when no cameras were around? Like I said, I don’t want to question the integrity of Brian Davis or any other PGA Tour player, but I find it hard to believe that these guys are not out there trying to gain a small advantage, and this survey proves that to some extent.
The survey also reveals some other good stuff that doesn’t really surprise me as well.
- 50% to 48% said they would have stuck with Dustin Johnson if they were Joe LaVaca.
- 50% said Steve Williams is overrated.
- 52% say they have been hit on by a female fan…. (And one caddy said he has taken them up on the offers as well…)
- 14 % say Augusta National has the hardest greens to read, with CordeValle (8%), Montreux GC (8%) and Kapalua (8%) right behind.
- 44% say they are paid about right, with 26% saying they are underpaid and 10% say they are underpaid.
- 46% say they admire the Phil/Bones relationship
It’s a good survey and interesting to see what these guys think when they know they can speak freely. We should have more surveys like this with players getting involved as well. Just think all the time these guys spend together traveling each year, I am sure there are some good stories.
Shout out to TPC San Antonio as well, which one caddy said, “They’re the most poorly designed greens every.” So his player must have missed the cut the last two years during the Valero Texas Open…