Why Are Caddies So Expensive (Top 10 Reasons) (2023)

Why Are Caddies So Expensive (Top 10 Reasons) (1)

Playing golf with a caddy can be a great experience.

Caddies can offer unique advice, be a fun person to enjoy a round of golf with, and help you to play your best golf game possible.

However, there is one major negative to playing golf with a caddy.

This negative is that caddies are expensive.

There is really no way around this because, regardless of where you play and the caddy you use, you can expect to pay quite a bit of money for the caddie.

There are, however, some reasons behind this, and some of those reasons will help you to understand why you are going to run into this issue of caddies being expensive.

If you are debating whether or not a caddy is worth the money, you will probably have to spend an afternoon with one to make this decision for yourself.

Why Are Caddies So Expensive (Top 10 Reasons)

1. Private Country Club

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Caddies are typically only offered at private country clubs.

If you have been around the world of golf for quite some time, chances are you understand that private country clubs are expensive.

There is no easy way to put this, but playing golf at a private club is expensive and is made for those who have lots of extra money to spend.

It is assumed when you go to a private club that you have enough money to afford all of the finer things associated with golf.

Therefore, before you join a private club, you will need to carefully consider how much money it will cost to play golf with a caddy each time.

Some clubs will allow you to play on your own without bringing a caddy, but others will require that a caddy comes along.

With prices being $80 or more for a round, this is going to add up quite quickly on top of your membership dues.

Whether you have worked your entire life to be able to join a private country club, or you have been grandfathered in because people in your family have been members for generations, and it is assumed you will have money.

This helps to set the pricing for caddies as high as it is.

If $100 to have someone carry your set of clubs around the golf course seems like a lot, chances are you should not have joined a private country club.

Those who use caddies each weekend as part of their golfing experience are not going to flinch at the price of the caddy.

At a private country club, it is not just the caddy that will be expensive.

This is where golf lessons, clothing, and even food can run a bit higher than you will see at public golf courses.

Of course, this is not the case for all private clubs as some try to provide a reasonably-priced experience for their members, but caddies working at a private country club have raised the overall pricing that is charged.

2. Cost Of Labor

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Labor costs are some of the highest costs around.

To have people complete tasks costs quite a bit of money.

This is why so many companies are switching to having computers and machines complete tasks for them.

The computers and machines are going to be less expensive, and they will probably complain quite a bit less as well.

The increasing cost of labor is partially what makes it so difficult for people to find jobs.

Having a caddy carry your clubs for you is certainly employing a person for their services for a good portion of their day.

Therefore, the caddy must be adequately paid for what they do.

The cost of labor is a bit cheaper for those who are paying for a caddy because they won’t have to pay taxes or fees on the total cost that is given to a caddy.

Caddies have to report the money they make and then pay the appropriate taxes on that.

However, anytime you need a person to complete something for you, you should expect to pay more.

Since caddies are not going to become electronic at any point in the near future, expect these caddy costs to remain high for quite some time.

3. Only Money They Make

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Caddies are going to spend a good portion of their day with you.

They will show up to the course and hope to get a round of golf in.

Some days, caddies will come to the course and wait around for a “loop” but find that there are no golfers who are going to play that day.

On days like this, the caddies do not get paid.

This is probably one of the significant reasons golfers who take caddies will be sure to pay them well for their services.

Since the caddy will not make any money outside of the money they are paid when caddying for you, the pricing is higher.

The club where the caddy works may give them lunch and a place to hang out to wait for rounds, but they are not going to give them any money.

The only way that a caddy makes money is when you pay them for the round of golf they play with you.

This is similar to when you tip an employee who you know is making a lower hourly rate.

With caddies, there is no hourly rate.

Whatever you give them for the day is all that they will make, and this fact should be considered when you are paying your caddy.

Some caddies will try and get more than one round of golf in during a day so that they can make more, but depending on your tee time, this may or may not be possible.

4. Local Knowledge

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Golf caddies have to have an excellent understanding of the local area and golf course.

Every golf course is very different and has its own unique characteristics.

You need to play the golf course a many times before you can fully understand what it takes to play well at a golf course.

The local knowledge is truly invaluable, and nobody has more local knowledge than an experienced caddy.

When you watch golfers on the PGA Tour, they are often looking at yardage books trying to understand the way the green rolls or how a golf shot will carry or fly.

The caddies at local golf courses have all of this information in their heads without even having to look in a yardage book.

This type of knowledge is something that most golfers are willing to pay for.

If you have a putt that is straight uphill and you think that it is going to break left to right, your caddy may tell you otherwise.

Listening to the caddy and trusting their ideas and advice will only help you to score lower and to learn more about the golf course that you play each week.

Some players find that they have been playing a golf course for many years but have never fully understood how to play it until they worked with a caddy.

In addition to reading the greens, caddies are typically able to give players a good line to play each hole and some tips for getting around the course in fewer strokes.

Playing the golf course the right way is hard.

There are so many holes where you will want to hit a driver when you know that this is not the best club choice, or you keep hitting your six iron on a hole when it should be a five iron.

The idea is that caddies have knowledge that you can’t buy in books and that you must wait to learn over hundreds or thousands of rounds of golf.

When you pay for a caddie, you are basically paying for access to this type of knowledge.

5. Swing Advice

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Some golf caddies will provide swing advice.

Swing advice can come as a good or bad thing at times.

Make sure that if you are playing with a caddy, you are very clear about whether or not you want swing advice before starting your round.

Some caddies get a bit too involved in this process, and you may end up feeling overwhelmed or as though you were given too much information during your round of golf.

Swing advice helps players who are struggling with different aspects of their game.

If you happen to struggle with your golf swing, you can always see what a golf caddy knows about the game.

Some golf caddies are actually golf professionals who are struggling to make it on Tour.

The caddies take the job to earn some money but also to have access to a golf course or a practice facility after hours.

Many golf courses are closed on Mondays, and caddies are typically allowed access to the golf course on these days.

This helps them work on their own game, and it is a nice benefit of a job that does not have too many perks.

Getting swing advice from a golf caddy can sometimes mean you are getting swing advice from a low handicap player.

This is a great benefit to have and something that many golfers will try and capitalize on when they are on the golf course.

If you find that your caddy is a significant help to your golf game, then you may be able to take them with you the next time you play a new golf course.

6. History Of The Game

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The history of the game of golf is something that no golfer takes for granted.

Perhaps more than any other sport, golf history is interesting, complicated, and full of stories and information.

You could study golf history for the rest of your life and still not know or understand it all.

Caddies are a big part of the history of golf and the way it became the game it is today.

With the history of the game having caddies involved in it, they have almost become a way of looking at the sport with more respect and tradition.

If a club has caddies, they are known for their higher-end nature and will very likely have a strong tie to the history of the game.

Golf clubs with caddies are often those with excellent playing conditions, classic-looking clubhouses, and lots of different golf rules to follow.

If you are someone who enjoys these traditions and wants to know more about the history of the game and keep golf as close to the past as possible, this could be a good option for you to consider.

The game of golf is partly what it is because of the involvement of the caddy.

Without this, the game would be entirely different, and this is just another reason that you will pay a good amount of money each time you head out to the course with a caddy in tow.

7. Not Necessary

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Playing a round of golf with a caddy is a luxury.

Certainly, there is nothing stating that you must have a caddy with you to play golf.

Therefore, if you think they are too expensive, you do not need to take one.

This allows golf courses and caddies to charge higher rates.

Essentially, if you can see the benefit and you are interested in that benefit, then you will likely have no trouble paying the extra costs involved with this process.

The fact that you can play golf without a caddy and still have just as good a time makes it possible to charge more for this caddy.

You need golf equipment to play, you need golf clothes to play, and you certainly need a golf ball to play a round of golf.

However, playing with a caddy is simply not necessary.

To try and save money, the next time you go to the golf course, you can always carry your own clubs and leave the caddy back at the caddy shack.

Although the benefits of the caddy are easily justified, this is undoubtedly a luxury, and therefore, you will not get any discounts for taking a caddy out with you on the golf course.

8. Carrying Heavy Golf Clubs

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We have talked about all the benefits that the caddy can offer you throughout your game, but there is one significant benefit that we have not talked about.

A caddy will carry your heavy golf clubs around the course, so you don’t have to.

There is no question that playing golf and walking the course is much more enjoyable than riding in a golf cart.

The problem, of course, is that when you walk the golf course, you have to figure out what to do with your golf clubs.

If your golf clubs are on your back the entire time, you will likely start to struggle with your back, neck, and potentially your knees as well.

Carrying heavy golf clubs is not an enjoyable experience, and you will need to ensure that your clubs are not overly heavy for a caddy, but they will still carry them for you.

Having your body able to swing and give your golf shots the full power necessary is a tremendous benefit.

In addition, when you walk with a caddy, you will always have the club you need right by your side.

We have all played golf courses on days when the fairway rules are cart path only.

When this happens, you have to ensure that you are parking your cart on the path throughout the day, and you will be continually running over to the cart to try and get the clubs that you need.

Overall, making sure that you have your clubs right next to you when it is time to play is a huge benefit of playing with a caddy.

This convenience is something that most golfers are going to find is well worth the money that they pay.

9. Tipping

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Tipping a caddy is another part of the process that just makes the caddy experience more expensive.

Tipping a golf caddy is part of the deal.

Most golf courses will have recommended amounts that you are going to have to tip the caddy, but for the most part, you can expect it to be anywhere from $20 to $50 per round.

When you combine the tipping costs with the total costs of the round and the cost of the caddy, the pricing gets incredibly expensive.

Tipping is a big part of the process because, yet again, a caddy is not going to make much more than what you give them that day.

Think about the fact that if you get a caddy for $50 to $75, they may not be able to fit in another round that day, and that is all the money they have.

Although this is really not your problem, it is something that most golfers are going to care about, and they will try and do something to help make the caddy’s day a bit better.

If you are not prepared to pay for the tip for your caddy in addition to paying for their fee, then it is best not to take a caddy.

This is a bit like going and getting a haircut and not tipping or going to a restaurant and not tipping.

If you are not going to pay the tip, don’t take the caddy.

10. Getting To Know A Player

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Last but certainly not least is that caddies need to do quite a bit of learning, and they must do it fast.

Caddies have 18 holes to help you with your game, and they can’t take all of those holes to learn your strengths and weaknesses.

They will have to quickly learn and observe during the first few holes of the course to see what makes you the player that you are.

If you happen to be very good at the short game or long game, they will quickly look at that and make recommendations around the golf course that can help.

The overall job of being a caddy and learning how to help players have a better game of golf is hard work, and it takes some understanding of both golf and people.

This is one of the many reasons that golf caddies can charge more for their services.


Hopefully, you now understand that the costs of golf caddies are very much justified based on the services that they offer.

If you are wanting to ensure that you can afford a caddy, call the course before arrival.

Find out what the rates are and what the tipping policy is before you head out to the course.

Overall, you will be happy with the caddy experience, even if it does cost quite a bit of money.

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