And they’re off!

No, really, they’re off. In “you’re gonna poke someone’s eye out” motherly fashion, the PGA Tour has banned the caddy races.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open has been donned “The Greatest Show on Grass.” The climax of the show occurs at the par-3 No. 16, which resembles more of a fraternity tailgate party than a golf event. It’s standing room only with 20,000-plus sports fans packed into stadium seating and skyboxes surrounding the 162-yard hole. They spend the day drinking beers, making bets and cheering on the competitors.

In recent years, fans began gambling on which players’ caddy will reach the putting surface first. This led to caddies, lugging 45-plus pound golf bags, running from the elevated teeing area through grass and desert sand to the green trying to beat their fellow loopers. It was a scene unlike any other.

In a game built upon reverence and respect, it’s fun to see grown men acting like kids. However, the adolescent behavior from the spectators, players and caddies caused an unsettled feeling in the not-so-pleased, over-protective parents.

[youtube id=”Wb4EWPybZjo” width=”620″ height=”360″]

A caddy, who was in the lead in one of the 2013 races, tripped over a grass hill and took a tumble. The golf bag and clubs flipped over his body, and the two other caddies sprinted past him. Rowdy fans cheered and jeered as the caddy somersaulted.

[youtube id=”F0MJGLZEHMo” width=”620″ height=”360″]

The PGA Tour, however, apparently wasn’t amused and has prohibited the contest.

The tournament host itself showed nothing but support for the comical tradition. It even developed an app where the fans can guess which caddy would prevail in each group. The fan with the most correct guesses would earn tickets to the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The caddy races have been outlawed, but you can bet the 20,000 inebriated fans will come up with another juvenile game to gamble on.

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Andrew Tursky is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.


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  1. Come on PGA, Loosen the top button and breathe. For a sport that is diminishing and tends to put TV viewers asleep on Sunday afternoons; you might be taking away the one venue that some non die hard golf fans enjoy. Put down the fine China and 100 year aged bottle. Grab a few bud lights and some buddies and go have fun!

  2. Sounds like somebody’s momma is worried that her waddle marsmewwo could get hurt and no one would be there to tiss his boo boo. Or her boy lost and its not fair that some one can run faster. Talk about WUSSIFYING something fun ya panzies.

  3. Hey: i just think the tour is like the rest of society today in that they are being very protective so they won’t have to pay out for medical or law suite if a caddie or two get’s injured. It should be do it at your own rist policy. Thanks

    • Agreed J. The WM is that one event all year that is completely different. Having been there once it is more like a rock concert more than a golf tournament. That being said I think there are alot of players that love playing in it. Not a fan of banning the caddie races. I guess the PGA tour’s philosophy is if you can’t beat um join um. Instead of fighting the anchoring ban, they ban caddie races. Time to grow a backbone. They are the biggest presence in the game, not the USGA or PGA of america. Grow the game! Pull the stick’s out of your…

  4. As per the comment above, in a rather more serious tone, the Tour does need to sort out all the shouting milliseconds after impact.

    Get the focus right.

    P.s. reading in the news on the East side of the pond that the PGA Tour are seriously looking to take over in Europe – personally I think this is a great idea (even as a European) and would be interested in any GolfWRX insider knowledge on the subject?

    We have so many great courses, players and fans willing to support events over here where more big names are present, I think it can only be a good thing. A bit like creating a World Golf Super Tour, getting rid of some ho-hum events in the States and making most Tour weeks equivalent to WGC or Major fields.