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Where have all the caddies gone?



Professional golf events often support certain causes or foundations, helping to raise both money and awareness. The BMW Championship, one-of-four events in the 2014 FedEx Playoffs, has raised over $16M for the Evans Scholars Foundation, which has sent over 10,000 student caddies to college. Having carried hundreds of loops myself, I couldn’t help but smile by the pleasant reminder of how caddying positively impacts the lives of the kids who partake. My nostalgia for caddying stems not from good money made, but life lessons learned.

Since caddying meaningfully connects kids and adults through golf, it begs the question, where have all the caddies gone?

90’s Golf Real-Estate Boom: Caddy-Killer

My assumption is that a decrease in caddy programs occurred in the 1990’s when 60 percent of the golf courses built were tied to real-estate development. David Hueber, former President and CEO of the National Golf Foundation, explains in his piece “Code Blue”: For Golf Course Real Estate Development: “Code Green” For Sustainable Golf Course Redevelopment that:

Too many golf courses were built, too much was spent on developing them and, as a result, many of these golf courses are not financially viable enterprises. Also, these golf courses were often too difficult, too expensive and took too long to play, which has eventually translated into having a large number of golf courses that do not meet the needs of the golf industry’s ultimate consumers… average golfer

Hueber goes on to examine the cost of building courses from the 1960’s to the 1990’s where the average range rose from $190K-$380K (60’s) to $540K-$1.08M (70’s) to $2M-$4M (80’s) to $3.8M-$7.6M (90’s) across the respective generations. Hueber’s point — that real-estate centric golf courses are not economically sustainable — makes sense according to research from the National Golf Foundation stating that there are currently 4,050 private clubs in the U.S. representing an 18 percent decrease from the golf course peak in 1988.

With economically unsustainable business models, private clubs will do what they must to survive, including cutting caddy programs to make six-figures of cart revenue. According to the Club Managers Association of America’s 2014 Finance and Operations Report, 32 percent of all private club respondents have caddy programs. The report also shows that the the median private club cart count sits at 60 with median total club cart revenue at $207K+.

More Caddies in Massachusetts

I was pleased to learn that caddying is on the rise in Massachusetts. I spoke with Colin McGuire, Assistant Executive Director at the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, who provided some interesting statistics:

There are currently about 30 caddie programs and roughly 3,000 caddies in Massachusetts. The population has actually grown in last few years as more people like to walk as a form of exercise.

I also reached out to Frankie Cartaglia, veteran Caddymaster, Starter, and Outside Operations Manager at the Wellesley Country Club who explained:

For my first 10 years I never got caddies out during the week. The last five years it’s all changed. I now have guys texting me asking for specific caddies when they bring their guests. At our major member guest, half of the field now walks with caddies.  The game changer for us occurred when taking a caddy on weekend mornings became “recommended.”  People didn’t love it at first, but when they actually experienced how much better golf is with a good caddy, members started requesting caddies all the time.

Cart Golf is Bad Golf

As courses continue to close, we as a golfing community need to work together to bring back the wonderful traditions of the game such as caddying and cut out the fat, specifically economically unsustainable, real-estate-centric golf courses. In my previous article, In Search of Answers to Improve Pace of Play, dozens of folks lamented how carts are slowing down the game because many golfers don’t understand cart etiquette. I believe that properly trained caddies could help speed up the pace of play.

[youtube id=”IhknFgI8tJY” width=”620″ height=”360″]

While Tony D’Annunzio (the caddy above) may have some off-the-course troubles, he nonetheless does comically demonstrate the ability for caddies to help speed up pace of play. Many of 21st century cart-riding, beer-chugging, pot-smoking, 100+ shooting hackers are not that different than the elderly couple when it comes to pace of play. And for the record, I have no issue with people crushing beers (a great course revenue source) on the links, just don’t take over five hours while doing so.

So Who Wants A Caddy?

Unfortunately for most of us, caddies are not available at the local public courses we play. Further, I don’t have the money at age 25 to pay an extra $70 for someone to carry my bag. That said, as I breezed through a quick round this past Saturday morning at Putterham Meadow, a muni just outside of Boston, the thought occurred to me that I might actually want a caddy. And I’m not talking about a lifer, but a local middle or high-school-kid that wants to make $50 bucks carrying two light bags for four hours. I’d even be willing to pay an extra $5 to get the course behind the program and mitigate lost cart revenue.

While not all caddies become golfers, all will learn to understand, appreciate, and even love the game of golf. My mind continues to boggle as some people view footgolf as the game’s next savior while caddying — one of the game’s most storied traditions — seemingly fades away. I’m interested in bringing caddying back to golf; who is with me?

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Mike Belkin is a Co-Founder of Nextgengolf & Director of College Golfer Happiness. Mike played varsity golf at Amherst College, currently resides in Boston, and is passionate about growing the game for millennials. Contact Mike on Twitter @MikeBelkin11 or [email protected]




    Jan 7, 2015 at 2:08 pm


  2. James

    Oct 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    A lot of interesting comments but there are more complex issues concerning the costs of hiring a caddie. Economics being the biggest one. The economics of today don’t make caddies viable. If they work now over a certain number of hours which I suspect the government will be all over, then the course is going to have to pay their healthcare. That won’t happen so they won’t get but a couple of days to loop. Two, the cost of everything has shot up due to higher energy prices and higher taxation on us all and not just income taxes mind you. More of our income goes to various taxes than ever before. Three, other than healthcare, government regulations play a role as well. These aren’t the all the problems by any means but the simple fact is a dollar doesn’t buy nearly as much today as it did in 1960.

  3. Pingback: The Lost Caddy Conundrum - The Golf Shop Online Blog

  4. Mike

    Oct 15, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Mike, I’m a firm believer in the “conservation of revenues” law. The golf revenue pie is shrinking every year. Re-jiggering the splits to make room for more caddies seems pretty utopian, and will accomplish little more than shutting down more golf courses per year, since the pie is fixed in size.

    On the other hand, if you want to grow the pie a little, if you want to get more revenue from the golfers, you have to offer something of value to them. I walk, and haul my bag for the exercise, so paying someone else to do it is of no value to me. Help in finding lost balls and reading greens is of some value, but no where near minimum wage. I don’t hit that many errant shots, and I’m not that good a putter. I’m not sure there is an answer.

    Alternately, you could work on reducing the caddy cost, replacing monetary gain (at the expense of cart fees) with something of value to the caddies. Free golf is great for some, I’m sure. The hope of a scholarship is also great, for some. Perhaps free lessons for others? How about equipment or clothing discounts? I think if you build this list out, and stay focused on reducing the cost of caddies, you’ll see demand increase.

    BTW….I don’t buy the pace of play side of this. Some of the slowest guys I’ve EVER played with had caddies hauling their bags, and cleaning up after them. They were just slow, and they just didn’t care. I suspect if they didn’t have caddies they’d still have played in 5 hours. But no divots would have been replaced, and no ball marks would have been fixed, and they still wouldn’t have cared.

  5. Bob

    Oct 15, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I caddied as a private club in the early 60s. I got $3.25 for a round, and hardly ever got tipped. So much for the finances. I did, however, learn things about golf that my friends I play with will never know. I enjoyed every moment of it. I’m going to Bandon this winter, and will definitely hire a caddy. I have a hunch that a good caddy can take four strokes off my score. I’ll find out.

  6. Sam M

    Oct 15, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Anyone know the name of a caddy at Cordevalle think it was Julian or something? Proper legend.

  7. kevin

    Oct 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Being a caddy myself throughout the season on Long Island, I have now had the opportunity through a regular loop to play Shinnecock and Friars Head with a caddy. I will say that Ray and Norman and Shinnecock made the experience so much better with their experience, course knowledge, and stories about Tiger before the 2004 Open, and Phil who they truly adore because he takes care of everyone when he comes, even taking them all over for a chipping lesson. I will also say that my experience at Friars Head was incredible because it was a course designed for caddies, and that there is not a divot left unfilled, or ballmark to be found on the greens. Aside from this, I do feel a lot of peoples anti-caddy sentiment. It truly is an expense that everyone cannot afford, and to be honest they shouldn’t be forced to if they don’t want to be. There is nothing worse than being out with a group that doesn’t want you. However, I have seen the program grow some lazy kids into little, responsible adults that now love the game.

  8. Rich

    Oct 11, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    This article only focuses on the US scene. I’ve been playing golf for 35 years in Australia and I’ve never known any clubs to have dedicated caddies. Caddies are still a must in most of Asia when you play but I’m not sure about the UK or Europe. Perhaps a more diverse article article would be useful. BTW, if all caddies looked like the blonde in the photo, I’d always make sure to hire one!

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 13, 2014 at 6:22 am

      Haha thanks Rich. I’ve only played golf once abroad during a trip in Ireland (which had great caddies, by the way). I realize the WRX community is global so appreciate the feedback.

      • Bob Houle

        Aug 9, 2019 at 11:27 am

        This comment about caddying abroad reminds me of the lithesome lasses old Joe Kennedy always had in Europe back in the day, As I recall one looked like Brigitte Bardot.Played Putterman during Open at The Club twenty years ago when I was only 61. Walked yesterday pulling/pushing cart and bemoaned the lack of caddies. So my research led me here. Any updates? Caddied 1948-1954 MANCHESTER CC Manchester, NH. 1956-57 WILSHIRE CC, Hollywood,CA
        Need I say I loved it? Free golf Mondays at Manchester CC. No such perk at Wilshire.needless to say.

    • Bunty

      Oct 13, 2014 at 7:22 am

      Agree. Play in Perth, WA.

      Have not seen a caddy on a golf course in Aus. Always thought they were just for the pros. Turns out there is some substance behind caddy shack now.

    • Ed Bardoe

      Dec 31, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Minimum wage in Thailand is $10 a day (recently raised to that level) so caddies are still possible. With so many older people now playing here in the states, I think you miss the importance of carts to them. If I were a rich man (sounds like a song) I would hire a caddie for the service, but would still need a cart to haul my bad back, ankles, knees etc. around the course.

  9. Double Mocha Man

    Oct 10, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I caddied as a kid back in St. Louis. Had to wait around most of the day until all the regular caddies were out. Not sure if the Caddymaster liked me ’cause I’d end up on the end of the bench, all scrawny 115 lbs., hangin’ around until mid afternoon.

    It all became worth it one summer afternoon when I was among the only available caddies left. Much to my surprise and delight I was assigned to caddy for the Manager of the St. Louis baseball Cardinals! In a foursome that also included the television play-by-play announcer for the Cardinals. I’ll never forget that. I even learned a few new curse words that day.

  10. Jeremy

    Oct 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Amusing side note, the first time I played with a caddy was in India, because it was mandatory. I caught him cheating on my behalf, and then at the end of the round he was angry that I’d paid him “only” the amount I was told by the starter. Good times.

  11. David

    Oct 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Mike-great article and insight. I caddied for 5 years and thought it was a great experience for a young person. I made better $ than friends working fast food jobs etc. and it taught my how to converse and work with adults from a young age. I credit caddying as much as my parents with forming me into the man I am today. I support the Ouimet Fund often and take a caddy any time I can. Public/resort courses can be successful with a program-just look at Bandon Dunes and Chambers Bay. Classic courses that were built by Tillinghast, Ross, etc. were designed for walking-makes carrying 2 bags much easier if the next tee is near the green and not 1/4 mile away. If designers would get back to that style of development more people would walk I believe and caddies would be more in use.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks, David. I would love to see a return to building classic courses that utilize less land. We don’t need 7,000+ yard courses for amateurs. Make the course walking friendly, add caddies, and improve the golfing experience for all!

  12. Jim

    Oct 10, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Lot of great points in this article. I worked at a club on Long island with a great caddie program through HS and College. Its a great tradition, grows the game and is a great job. For the person who thinks they are working for “minimum wage” i’ve never seen a good caddie walk off after a loop unhappy with their pay.

  13. Mat

    Oct 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Please allow that this is very crass… however I’ll say it anyhow. If you want a caddy program, you have to find someone willing to work for 5 hours outside with minimum wages at best. Those folks exist, but places often get in trouble for “hiring” them.

    If you want to think “outside the box”, I would imagine that a “caddy” isn’t a human being anymore. Just as your car isn’t a horse, it isn’t economical anymore. My thought is that carts have to become single-person mode of transport to move the game along. If you’ve ever seen a foursome with four carts, they’re fast as hell usually.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      High school kids are willing to work for minimum wage, receive straight cash, work when they want, and also get free golf and life lessons.

      Folks have mentioned one-man carts in previous threads….but what about the capital expenditures that would go into that for courses?

      • Golf Symantics22

        Nov 5, 2014 at 10:36 am

        Im a highschooler and would Be thrilled to be a caddy. Golf is my sole passion and being on the course is great. The payment may not bethe best but the benefits of working at a golf course are phenomenal.

    • john

      Oct 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      Anybody who has candied over the past 30 years knows it’s nowhere near minimum wage. The place I grew up caddying now pays +$80 per bag. That’s big money if you carry 2 bags. Long live the looper!

    • bradford

      Oct 13, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Do carts find wayward shots, repair the course, rake bunkers (properly), offer conversation, or clean your clubs? Nobody allows foursomes with four carts, not even most privates, or even courses where people own their own carts. If you’ve seen it, it was the exception, not the rule. That being said, I will bet all day a twosome with a caddie plays faster than a twosome on a cart.

      • dot dot

        Oct 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        Twosome with a caddie faster. I’m not buying it. lets see some supporting documentation for your argument.

  14. Sean "Shack"

    Oct 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Awesome. Just awesome.

    As a professional caddie who travels between NJ during the summer and South Florida for the winter, more people need to see it this way.

    If you get to play at a place with a reputation of a good caddy yard, which is basically any course on the top 100, even to top 200 courses, more than likely you’ll wind up with a lifer, a pro jock. You’ll be surprised how far throwing him or her a c note for their work will do for your game.

    And for the high school student up in Boston, how does the Cape for the summer or Nantucket sound to make some cash? You might just fall in love with the job and the game…

    thumps up. Keep walking ladies and gents.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Yeah you can make out fabulously well as a caddy on the Cape / Long Island / Vineyard areas in the summer.

  15. David

    Oct 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I think there are a large number in the golfing public who have never played with a caddy. I myself just recently played with a caddy for the first time after almost 25 years in the game because the course required it, and to be honest it was a bit uncomfortable because it was something I had never done before. I didn’t grow up at a country club and wasn’t a caddy in my youth, so now that I’m in a position to be a member at a club and have the option of having a caddy, carrying my own bag, or riding a cart, I choose to carry my own bag 99% of the time (the other 1% I ride because that’s what my playing partners “grew up” doing and I can’t convince them to get out of their comfort zone and walk). I know I should try using a caddy, because I agree that caddy programs are certainly good for the game, but change can be hard and I think for alot of people today use of a caddy is a change.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      It often takes a caddy a round or two to figure out your game and provide valuable advice. Of course, not all caddies are good caddies and some are there just to carry the bag and not add much strategic value to your round.

  16. Jason

    Oct 10, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I would love to have a caddie but I can’t afford to pay $25-$50 extra per round plus a tip, I quit riding around in carts to save the $15-$20 cart fees. I would love for it to be a feasible thing, I have a 15 year old son who is a 10 handicap golfer that would love to work on the golf course as a caddie and it would be a great experience but I couldn’t justify him having a job that after 4-5 hours of work you made enough for 4 gallons of gas, unless you live on the course it just wouldn’t be feasible. I would love to see the caddie come back but I don’t know how it would be affordable for the golfer and worthwhile for the caddie.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      Everything you write is true. There was have to be some serious changes in the caddy structure and how it is supported to make it available and economically feasible for “regular” courses.

    • Sean "Shack"

      Oct 10, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Base rate at most places is more than 4 gallons of gas.

  17. bradford

    Oct 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    It seems pretty clear that $$ can’t work as an incentive to caddy. It’s a 4-5 hour job that doesn’t pay quite as well as some others. Carrying two bags may make it worthwhile, but again, few people are willing to pay the $60-70 for it.

    Clubs provide non-monetary (ie little overhead) incentive programs to caddys. This could EASILY be done through earning free rounds of golf for carrying for a set number of rounds. Hell, I would do it. “Carry 3, Play for Free” You wanna bet me that a course offering cheap caddies doesn’t fill it’s books all day every day? I’ll take that bet.

    Caddies who show up and can’t get a loop–RANGER the course. Go out and patrol and help out in other ways. Same incentive program. Proper rangering–>faster rounds–>lower cost to you AND more profit to the course.

    • bradford

      Oct 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      To clarify, this would still make the course “cart” money, and you’d half to tip the caddy, but now we’re MUCH more reasonable at normal fee plus tip for caddy.

      • Mike Belkin

        Oct 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

        I like your creative thinking, Bradford.

        • jeff

          Feb 6, 2015 at 10:52 pm

          Have it set up like waiters and waitresses pay. 2.25 an hour tip based program. 15 dollar caddy use fee to course so they dont cry about their carts being abandoned.

    • kevin

      Oct 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      Not in Long Island, 4 hours of work for 160 minimum for a double bag. I’d say that is a little better than minimum wage.

  18. Wally K

    Oct 10, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I love to walk every time I play and would entertain a caddy also. Please tell me where I can get a caddy for $25?! It isn’t happening no matter where you go now a days for that price.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

      You can’t find caddies for $25 right now. Wouldn’t it be nice….

      • jchris74

        Oct 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

        Senior caddies at my club are $45 tops, including tip. The base rate is $20. A cart is $28. I’d rather walk and pay the differential…

    • bradford

      Oct 13, 2014 at 10:25 am

      See above, I think it would get pretty close

  19. Ryan

    Oct 10, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I wish my local courses had the opportunity to work as a caddy when I was growing up. I would’ve jumped right on it.

    I’m also happy to read of the re-increase in walkers – however anecdotal it may be. I can’t walk and push my own bag anymore because of physical issues, but with a caddy carrying, it’s possible I might get through a round. I use a cart now full-time, and hopefully we continue to see that the only ones who use carts are the people with physical issues that actually need them to play the course. Walking is a wonderful way to enjoy life and the course’s scenery.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Thanks Ryan. It’s great that carts help you stay in the game. But there is no better way to play than with a caddy as you say!

  20. gvogel

    Oct 10, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Only 1%’ers can afford caddies. As the disparity in incomes in the United States has grown tremendously in the past few decades, the rest of us struggle with equipment and green fees. Who can afford caddies?

    When the segment that used to be labelled “upper middle class” starts to grow again, caddying may become more popular. I have no idea of how to fix the economics.

    Until then, I advocate that players should play with 6, 7, 8, or 9 clubs, and carry their clubs themselves.

    • bradford

      Oct 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

      But how then will they carry a 30-pack of beer?

      • Mike Belkin

        Oct 11, 2014 at 7:23 am

        I was once caddying for some guys in a major member guest and in addition to playing mental coach, picking all clubs, reading all putts, I also was also feeding them beers the entire day from the bags.

  21. Kevin

    Oct 10, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I’ve learned so many life’s lessons in the caddy yard and on the course; what to do, what not to do, whom to admire, whom to avoid. This goes for players and caddies. I feel like I’m paid 4X: cash, exercise, free golf and by and large a positive working environment. What part-time job offers as much with as much flexibility? And caddy programs remains the most reliable feeder program into the game. Palmer, Hogan, Byron Nelson, Trevino, etc., all caddies before we knew them. It’s not cheap to take a caddy, but the joy of the walk, and the great service when provided are worth the expense. Support caddies: for them, for you and the good of the game.

  22. vjswing

    Oct 10, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I caddied during my high school years around 1981-1982, and made a grand total of $7 for each bag I carried. Nearly every player just rounded it up to $10, with the exception of a couple of a-holes.

    Economically, it still only came out to $2.50 an hour, which was less than the going minimum wage of $3.35 at the time, but it still wasn’t a bad entry-level job at all, given the perks, which included the opportunity to play the course on specific days and times.

  23. DontChase

    Oct 10, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I think the one issue ignored here is that course design completely destroyed the chances of bringing back caddies. I could think of 8-10 courses nearby that could financially sustain a caddy program. But the courses themselves were built to be completely unwalkable. There are some unfathomable drives between green/tee which just makes it a complete impossibility unless you employ some kind of shuttle system. But course design in the mid to late 90s meant that most of these courses could never employ caddies even if they wanted to.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Yes, caddy programs won’t work at cart-centric courses, no doubt.

      Many of these failing real-estate based courses will likely fail over the next decade or two in my opinion.

      • bradford

        Oct 10, 2014 at 11:53 am

        I’ve noticed a bunch of non-golfers lately that want to live on a golf course. I guess it provides security that you won’t ever have another house in your back yard. Problem is, they don’t buy into the club and it fails. You end up with a $10 muni with Mcmansions all the way through it. I can name 2 of these within 5 miles of my house.

  24. Jafar

    Oct 10, 2014 at 9:52 am

    That’s all we need is high school kids hanging out with beer drinking pot smoking adults.

    I think I see why caddying was some of the fondest memories for some of you all.

    And the 80’s were great. But you gotta let go to move forward.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Move forward to what, Jafar?

      • Jafar

        Oct 10, 2014 at 10:03 am

        A game that can sustain itself without massive debt.

        Isn’t that what you article points out, the decline of golf courses and their cost for maintenance, and caddies?

        • Mike Belkin

          Oct 10, 2014 at 11:12 am

          Yes, but I am specifically highlighting that real-estate cart-centric golf courses that were overbuilt in the 90’s are unsustainable…These courses aren’t build for caddies and will go bankrupt over the long haul in my opinion.

  25. Alex Megrey

    Oct 10, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I’m currently the caddy master and outside operations manager at a prominent club in Pittsburgh, PA. While some clubs in the area are struggling to maintain a solid Tuesday-Sunday caddy program, others are flourishing. For me, there’s nothing better than seeing our Saturday morning men’s group be predominately (roughly 92 %) walking. Our membership contain avid walkers who actually dislike to be in carts. To me, its refreshing to see that perspective in a day in age where carts dominate the golf scene. I wished that more courses would make an effort to strengthen their caddy programs, or even start a program at their courses. Its risky to try and change your consumers perspective on how the game of golf should be played, but in the instance of a caddy program, I think it’s worth it.

    PS. Loved the article Mike!

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Thank you, Alex. I look closely at ways we can grow the game and one of the biggest issue the game faces today is that the EXPERIENCE of playing golf isn’t good enough across the board.

      Issues such as pace of play, non-walkable courses, and lack of basic golf etiquette can ruin your experience on the links. And it may not be the guys or gals in your group, but the group in front of you that doesn’t know what they are doing at take 5.5 hours to play.

      Making caddying ubiquitous and properly training caddies to promote the playing of Ready Golf would make golf SO much better that people would pay slightly higher greens fees because the experience of walking a round in 3.5-4.5 hours is just that much better.

  26. Paul

    Oct 10, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Mike I totally agree with you and have been talking about this very thing as one component in growing the game. I too did some caddying when I was young 1) to earn a little spending money(better than picking berries) 2) to play a premier private club on Mondays. As a 46 year old golfer who is focused on staying heathly I would be happy to pay $25 to a caddy and have an opportunity to get to know and teach the game to a young boy or girl. If the course split the caddie fee and kept $10 and you had 4 caddies in the foursome then the golf course just made $40 for that foursome which would be more than they make on carts after maintenance. The caddie makes $15 plus tip and gets to play free golf on one designated day during the week. The PGA of America and the Tour start a massive scholarship program to encourage more kids to caddie with the hope of getting their college paid for if they get good grades and serve as good citizens!

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

      Now you’re talking….

    • Alex Geanakos

      Oct 10, 2014 at 10:11 am


      As being a caddy throughout my adolescent life and still currently looping during the summers, I see the main detractor of taking a caddy as being the cost. Your cash figures are below minimum wage, so I don’t see your hypothetical as being viable. I’m sure everyone would love to shell out only ~$25 for their bag, but virtually no caddy is willing to loop for that price. I receive $80 per bag plus a $10-20 tip, and while I understand that this paycheck is clearly in the higher percentiles, the caddy still needs to be compensated appropriately. Irrespective of caddy credentials, age, wealth of club members, etc, I feel that a caddy must receive $50 for a day’s work per bag.

  27. Evan

    Oct 10, 2014 at 9:03 am

    A caddy program needs to be just that, a program. There needs to be benefit apart from money. Realistically, a High School kid could carry two modern bags (just as a cart is shared) and make $40 for a loop, which comes out to $10 and hour for caddying. Yes, that’s not a great wage, it sure as heck beats McDonalds, though. So that’s $20 per player for caddy services. That caddy would also probably get free or discounted golf as compensation. The likelihood of that caddy creating beneficial relationships by caddying is also much greater than working in fast-food.

    I do think it should be an option at most courses. It would most definitely speed up play as a cart does not have local knowledge, can’t find lost balls, can’t pull the pin, replace divots, fix ball mark, etc. that could greatly speed up a round. For the cost sensitive and many public courses, a four sided cart could be created and one caddy/ on course assistant could accompany one group for $40-$60 total. This person could also be included as staff and their wage built into green fees. Many people will also tip, so the upside to this job would be pretty good for a young/ retired person. If a caddy went out with every group, a ranger would not be necessary.

    • Jon

      Oct 13, 2014 at 6:01 am

      Great points Evan. The caddie program should adjust to the times. Caddies do not need to increase the cost to play but help create jobs, mentoring, increase pace of play and educate all on the rules & etiquette. The cost of a cart plus tip is reasonable. As for those concerned about the added cost and choose to walk, employ a caddie when you can or want to support caddie programs. Denver, CO is actively growing caddie programs for high school kids at public courses for roughly cart fee plus tip. Entrepreneurship, Evans Scholarship, employment and social skills are just a few of the benefits. It would be great to book a caddie that could go to any course a group/player chooses.

  28. Nick

    Oct 10, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I caddied at a high end Country Club in my community when I was a kid too. Loved it. But you answered your own question at the end. It all has to do with the cost. I grew up and lived in Boston all my life. Green fees at your average public course were 40-60. Throw on an extra 50 for a caddie and its getting way too expensive. I recently moved to Florida and the average price for golf with a cart is 30-50. If you told people showing up to your average public course that the green fees are now 20-40 but you gotta get a caddie for an extra 50 their heads would explode. I know you wrote in the comments that the average green fees are 26 in the US but people arent willing to triple that to have a caddie.

    And you mention the average golfer, the beer chugging pot smoking 100 shooting guys. I dont think they need or should have a high school student out there caddying for them.

    20 years ago when I was caddying you only thought about caddies at exclusive top end country clubs and very high end prestigious public courses. I dont think that state of mind has changed. Thats still as I see them. Thats where you have the guys that dont blink at the thought of paying an extra 50 every time they play. Caddies at your standard public courses where 95% of us play would never work.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 9:10 am

      I’m not saying that the current caddy model would work at average public courses. I do, however, have a vision for a different type of caddy system that would be cheaper, involve more high school students, increase the number of golfers, and most importantly, improve the golf experience. How this would occur is beyond the scope of this article.

      • bradford

        Oct 10, 2014 at 9:45 am

        Sure, there are great ways to do it. I love caddies for the purity of it, but as far as pace of play the Ranger system works better IF you have them properly assisting (rather than just sitting in carts telling people to speed up and play faster than the people in front of them), their contribution will do more than a caddy can.

        • Mike Belkin

          Oct 10, 2014 at 10:06 am

          The overwhelming majority of rangers I see don’t do a good job of pushing pace of play. The average golfer just doesn’t understand basic readygolf etiquette. It’s not the rangers job to teach ready golf, they are there to say speed up.

          But if you don’t know how to play fast, a ranger saying “speed up!” not going to help anything and just make everybody’s day worse.

  29. ca1879

    Oct 10, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Reality check Mike. I can’t get the local kids to cut my grass for $20 an hour, and you want them to carry bags for $12/hr? Not to mention that even the guys I play with at a mid-range private club are looking to cut their golf costs, not increase them. Caddying is a fringe aspect of modern golf, at best.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Yes, you’re right. Per my comment above, I’m not saying the current caddy model will work. Trying to think outside the box here and reshape the caddy model.

      I do think local middle/high school kids would carry bags for $12/hour, however.

      • bradford

        Oct 10, 2014 at 9:47 am

        12/hr/bag—It should be commonplace for them to carry double.

      • CairnsRock

        Oct 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm

        So $12/hr for 4:15 hours = 5 x 12 = $65. Sorry, not going to happen.

        Nice to think the fuzzy images of the “good old days” but they are so gone.

        One of the exales mentioned guests which sounds like a business environment where a customer event is being expensed and cost is no object. May be attractive in that scenario, the caddie may need to be a knowledgable and entertaining character vs your average high school kid.

        Sounds elite and expensive and diametrically opposed to the needs of current trends in the golf industry.

  30. Kirby

    Oct 10, 2014 at 4:05 am

    I also caddied from the age of 11-18.I loved being able to play and fish one of the top 3 courses in my state on mondays. Best benefit.When I was 18 they hired a new pro who outlawe any caddies from playing.I never showed up again.I became a master caddy at 17 and was the personal caddy for one of the part owners of the club, who now I just recently found out is the richest man in the state of Missouri! I got paid $20 plus tips,that gentleman eould tip me $5. Looking back now I think he should of tipped me more.LOL. I also had a great experience there on one occasion, they were holding the regional I beleive U.S Open qualifier and a young guy needed a caddy and I volunteered.He had just graduated college from North Carolina and he ended up winning the event and playing at the Olympic Club. His name is Mark Wilson. If you have never used a caddy before and have a chance, do it, you will not regret it, in my opinion having used friends as caddies for different qualifiers over the years that is my favorite way to play.

  31. markb

    Oct 10, 2014 at 12:45 am

    As a former caddy and old timer I remember that by-gone era with fondness, but it will never return.

    Here’s the reason: the pro’s and/or the municipalities keep the revenues from cart rentals. They get little to nothing if you hire a looper.

  32. TinWhistle

    Oct 10, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Caddied at a great club for 10 years growing up. Platt scholarship to college. CEO of a company for 7 years. Caddying still the best job I ever had. Carts kill!

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 10, 2014 at 7:53 am

      It would be interesting to see how many former CEOs are caddies.

      • Chuck

        Oct 11, 2014 at 12:02 am

        Mike I don’t know the answer to your question, but I do know that among collegiate scholarship programs, the Evans Scholars is one of the most successful (in producing successful alums) in the nation.

  33. paul

    Oct 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    If the problems with golf are time, cost, and difficulty, and you want to bring back caddies to improve the game. Doesn’t that just take more from the cost category? If I have to pay double to play golf my wife and son (he’s 2 years old) would shoot me. If I told her it would help me play faster and better it wouldn’t even matter, I would still be shot for wasting money. The common golfer or hacker doesn’t need or want to afford a caddy. Caddies are for the excessively wealthy. Which is only a small portion of golfers where i live. Once again another article detailing all the problems and giving one small solution that might work a little bit at some courses.

    Yearly golf budget $2000
    Virtual golf (its cold here) $500
    Real golf $1000
    Lessons $200
    Clubs $300 (or whatever is left of budget because they make the least difference in my score)

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 9, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Fair enough, Paul. I’m by no means suggesting that all players should be taking caddies.

      What many people don’t realize, however, is that the median US greens fee is $26. Golf ISN’T actually that expensive.

    • 2

      Oct 10, 2014 at 2:28 am

      $200 for lessons…….. pffffffft! That’s all you spend on lessons? What’s that – like 2 hours?

    • CD

      Oct 10, 2014 at 8:26 am

      This is eye-opening. There is no culture for long lessons (half hour being the average) and I’m yet to see a club that offers caddies in the UK. The UK is seeing the same decline in members and green fees and it is interesting to see what responses are different sides of the pond. Re: slow play, there just isn’t a culture for beer swigging (pot-smoking?!!? Does that actually go on in USA? Incredible) and a buggy is a rarity used by the occasional person who can barely walk and wants to be secretly laughed at. But then… It is colder, out courses are shorter and less tied to project development – you don’t see cart paths, holiday villas etc. Which might go some way towards explaining the five hour rounds that seem to come across as the norm as posted by people on this website. I’m stewing when my round takes 4 hours and that’s with a break on the 9th for a coffee and a bacon sandwich!

      If the article is suggesting caddying is a solution to the drain of players I’d suggest that is not addressing the key issue. Changing to shorter courses and ‘quicker’ mentality (ditch carts, beers etc) might help the US game maybe? Arresting the slide in this country is another question. Maybe more beers, jeans in the clubhouse and cutting down 18 holes to 12 or so for example, is needed to stay with sports that cost less and don’t take the whole day: football (soccer) tennis, running.

    • Jack

      Oct 10, 2014 at 8:29 am

      What could be great about caddies is golf courses maybe splitting the bill with golfers. The real benefits are a) better golfers and b) faster play. Faster play could mean more revenue. People tend to be less ridiculous about looking for balls with a caddy watching them. Or maybe just have one employee stationed at places where balls usually land. Basically more marshals that take the place of caddies, and can and will advise club selection and when to hit.

      • Mike Belkin

        Oct 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

        I respect your point, but disagree that marshalls could help with club selection or any of the nuanced services caddies provide.

  34. Mccance79

    Oct 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I would prefer a caddie however you make a point about the increase cost in an already expensive industry. And as the cost to build a and maintain golf courses increases Golf courses need functions of profitability to maintain quality I unfortunately feel that caddies will continue to be a luxury item versus a norm

  35. Lincoln

    Oct 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Former caddy here through high school and college. Not only was it a great way to make spending money through school, I also got to play free golf once a week at a top 30 course, I got to meet many great really important people, who outside of their round may be in the spotlight, but when they are on the course you get to see who they really are. It makes you appreciate people in service roles, it makes you a better tipper, and I feel it helped me in the business world now as a graduate. Not only do I feel comfortable talking to the CEO/1% types, but I also can generally establish a pretty good connection from my time as a caddy. Our course was special, and so was our program, It won’t work at all courses, but the ones that make it work can really make a great impact.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 9, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Wow, thanks so much for the commentary, Lincoln. My experience as a caddy mirros this.

      Amazing how people who caddy have such a great appreciation for the game.

  36. Chris

    Oct 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Great article. I have one thing to add: treat your caddy with respect. My wife hates golf and golfers because she caddied as a teenager. Attractive teenage female caddie + (dirty) old men = distorted view of the game people and the people who play it.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 9, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Interesting. There were no women caddies at the place I caddied.

      It’s tough growing women’s golf in general and one might hope that caddying could play a role in it some day.

  37. Cormac

    Oct 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    The people I have met in the last few years caddying will be the greatest connections I ever make in my life. The opportunity for high school and college kids to form real relationships with executives from some of the biggest companies in the in the country can’t be duplicated. Not only do these relationships lead to career opportunities, but they provide many life lessons from very successful individuals. The benefits of caddying are endless and I hope young people for generations to come can reap those benefits.

  38. TR1PTIK

    Oct 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I have never had a legitimate caddy to help me on the course, but I think it would be great and can certainly see how it might help speed up play. One time, my father-in-law (who doesn’t play golf) was nice enough to ride with me for 18 holes and help with getting me clubs and managing the cart. I played that round horribly, but still finished 18 holes in just under 2.5 hours! I can only imagine how much faster it might have been had he been able to offer advice that would help me get the ball in the hole a little sooner.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      There is no better golf experience than playing a morning round with your good friends and caddies. Seek it out and try it!

  39. acemandrake

    Oct 9, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Etiquette. This what is learned from caddying. Too many players who take up the game later in life never get the chance to learn it.

    The game would be more enjoyable for all if everyone practiced conscientious etiquette.

    It’s as if it has become a lost art form.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Yes, etiquette and how it ties into pace of play in particular are key things to learn to play properly!

      • paul

        Oct 9, 2014 at 10:33 pm

        I play half the time by myself and half with a group of friends and they all drive me crazy. Take forever to line up shots and humm and haw over club selection and miss the green 80% of the time. I have talked to them about planning ahead and thinking before arriving at the ball, they told me to screw off and they will play how and when they want. They play in 5.5 hours in carts and I play in 3.25 by myself. Its enough to make a guy quit playing with others.

        • Mike Belkin

          Oct 10, 2014 at 11:18 am

          I hear you. I used to play slowly and have picked up my pace and now play better because I think less.

        • Wally K

          Oct 11, 2014 at 8:35 am

          Playing in 3.25 hours alone? You are playing on a 7K+ yard course or walking at a snails pace. It should take you 2.5 hours.

    • Chuck

      Oct 11, 2014 at 12:08 am

      Acemandrake: “Etiquette. This what is learned from caddying. Too many players who take up the game later in life never get the chance to learn it.
      The game would be more enjoyable for all if everyone practiced conscientious etiquette.
      It’s as if it has become a lost art form.”

      Perfectly well-stated.

      I’ll add this… Anybody who is wondering about the decline in new golfers picking up the game; look no further than the decline of caddie programs. In the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, before carts became standard, caddies were everywhere at private clubs and whole generations of knowledgeable golfers were created. Not from the well-to-do kids who were members at the clubs, but from the caddie yards.

  40. Jeremy

    Oct 9, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Personally, I don’t prefer a caddie. Sure, at an unfamiliar course it’s nice to have someone who knows the layout, and can perhaps help me read the greens. But I only ever get them when I play at my friend’s private club, and I think the idea of paying someone $80 to carry my bag, clean my clubs, and hand me the wrong club (because they don’t know my distances) is ridiculous. I’ve got GPS or a rangefinder to give me distances, I’ve got a cart to carry my bag, and I can wipe my own club after a shot.

    I get that this article is mostly lamenting the loss of interaction between younger caddies and older, well-off adults and the opportunities that can come from it. But to me the caddy system is a relic of the older days of classism and elitism. These are traditions I’m perfectly happy to let fall by the wayside.

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      Fair point. I was trying to make the point that caddying should be looked at as a grow-the-game initiative, I guess my point didn’t come across to you. Some caddies are not properly trained, it’s too bad you haven’t had a good one (yet).

      • Jeremy

        Oct 9, 2014 at 8:49 pm

        I suppose I didn’t get the grow-the-game part of the article, even after re-reading. It sounds like you and other commenters are talking more about the life-lessons and opportunities that caddy programs afford younger people, and I completely understand that. But when I’ve used a caddy I don’t find that it speeds the game up. While they can do things like rake my bunker to speed things up, overall the round takes longer because it just feels more serious. I take more time to get things right. I talk to the caddy about is it a 5 or a 6 iron, rather than just grab a club and swing with confidence. I wait for the caddy to read both sides of the putt, rather than just leave it close and two-putt like I would anyway.

        And for what it’s worth, I’ve had a few good caddies at my friend’s course. They’re not kids though, it’s what they do for a living. They’re friendly, they know the course and how to serve their client, and the best one I’ve had even caddied on tour for a couple seasons. I could tell he was a credit to his profession. But at the end of the day I still felt like it was $80 I really didn’t need to spend.

        I guess, in this day and age, I just don’t understand the point. Perhaps companionship when you’re playing alone? Someone to bounce shot ideas off of? Someone to blame when you hit a bad shot? All of these things are just not worth the cost to me, and I can’t imagine thinking different if my income were 10X what it is. Again, I can carry my own clubs. I can look at my wrist to get a yardage. I can fix my own divots, rake my own bunkers, and clean my own clubs.

        In the end, to me, caddies are the equivalent of the bathroom attendant at a bar. Turns on the faucet, squirts you with soap, hands you a towel, and then gets paid for doing all the things you do for yourself the other 99% of the time.

        • Mike Belkin

          Oct 9, 2014 at 10:34 pm

          You make perfect sense, Jeremy. At this point in my life, I feel the same.

          That said, outside the scope of this article, I envision a new style of lower-cost caddying that proactively helps promote a ready golf style of play at public & semi-private facilities that does not exist today. It’s a longer conversation than what I intend for this forum, but my goal here was to have gentleman like yourself really explain their view on the value of modern day caddying.

        • Steve

          Oct 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

          Mike your too nice! Jeremy you sound like a complete squid. No looper wants to watch you shoot a million anyway!

          • Robert

            Oct 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

            Nice response Steve. That’s typical of spoads like you that can’t handle reasonable criticism. Jeremy is dead on with his comments. Caddies aren’t economical, at any reasonable rate, for 99% of the people out there. The only value they could add, for me, is local course knowledge. What is that worth? A few bucks? The only time I’ve used a caddie is at a handful of courses like Harbour Town and The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. I’ve used both caddies and forecaddies and the forecaddie is more than enough. The only place in golf for caddies is high end private clubs and high end public courses. If I’m willing to drop $200-500 on a round of golf then I might be willing to pay extra for a caddie just to say that I did.

          • Jeremy

            Oct 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm

            Gosh, first time I’ve been called a squid. Way to form a coherent counterpoint to my well-reasoned opinions though, Steve.

            Wait, no, that’s not what I meant. Oh right; way to be what’s wrong with the internet, Steve. Name-calling and making (incorrect) assumptions about people you don’t know from behind the safety of your screen.

            FWIW, I’m an 8 handicap, and at least a couple of “loopers” (that means “caddies,” right? I don’t know, I only speak Squidish) have told me it IS fun to watch me “shoot a million” because I hit the ball a freaking mile. I wouldn’t normally brag about this because it certainly doesn’t always translate to low scores, but since you felt the need to call me out, I thought I’d contend that my million is more fun to watch than yours.

            Tell me, Steve, since I don’t see you making any other points on this topic, what’s so great about caddies? Why isn’t it a waste of money for those who don’t have the money to waste? Honestly, I’ve seen so many posts on this site about how prohibitive the cost of this game is. Seems to me the first thing on the chopping block would be the redundant golf butlers who tend to cost nearly as much as the round itself.

        • Wally K

          Oct 11, 2014 at 8:58 am

          As much as I (PGA Member) hate to say it I have to agree agree with your views.

        • kevin

          Oct 14, 2014 at 8:29 am

          Jeremy, I am a looper and I have to agree that if a person does not want to take a caddy, then they shouldn’t. There is nothing more annoying as a looper at a high end country club on Long Island than being forced to go with a group that doesn’t want caddies, but wants to walk when the club rules state that you cannot carry your own bag until 3, which they should know when they join. I get why you don’t want to take a caddy, you would get the bottom of the barrel because all of the good caddies would be out already because they would be requested, and to be perfectly honest the people that I normally loop for pay me enough to not worry if certain people don’t want a caddy like yourself. I will say this though, you may fix your ballmarks, and divots, but our greenskeeper always says that he sees the groups without caddies leave ballmarks, and not sand fill or replace, and that after 3 is when his greens look the worst. I think public course caddy programs are economically unfeasible, however, if they remain a thing for the 1%, that is fine because at the end of the day it is a good paying job if you are in the right place, just ask the 13 year old Junior caddy that made 10 grand last summer.

          • Jeremy

            Oct 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm

            Totally get your take on it Kevin. I have no doubt it’s a job that I would have enjoyed growing up. But then why not get paid to carry the rich kids’ books to school? The class dynamic is something that just rubs me the wrong way, I guess. But that turns into a much larger conversation.

            You do make a good point that, for maintenance reasons, it’s in the courses best interest to have caddies taking care of the little things in the wake of players who may not care as much about keeping the course in pristine condition.

            I think we’re in agreement that for public and municipal courses, it doesn’t make much sense. But yes, I get that there’s a market for caddies as a luxury item.

        • kevin

          Oct 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm

          Not gonna lie Jeremy, the class dynamic bothers me sometimes too when I am looping for a total hack, or a person that is just entitled when I worked my butt off growing up to get myself through school on a golf scholarship, and became a teacher. However, I am fortunate to have steady loops where the people that I go with are genuinely good people. Because of this, I have gotten to play Shinnecock, National, Friars and so on, where I otherwise would of had no chance in my life. Yes caddies are a luxury item, but in a sense they always have been, and will continue to be that way. I don’t see golf growing either, but I also don’t care because I mostly play country clubs that will maintain through the recessions now, or enjoy the fact that the local muni’s are less crowded. Golf will still always be there though.

    • JD

      Oct 10, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      I was going to write something until I came across this comment which is really spot on. Sure, I got a caddy when I went to bandon (no cart), played pebble and spyglass (cart path only), and even had to have mandatory caddies at other courses, recently shadow creek and cascata primarily for the experience but I felt I didn’t need it. For me, it wasn’t about shooting the lowest score possible, and really the relationship with the caddie (all nice guys who were not kids btw) were short and not meaningful (i’m there to play golf, not to develop a relationship with the caddie). If my club didn’t have carts and there were kids caddying, that would be different (and the club in that case should require every member to walk). I don’t see it as a big deal and there are alot of mentoring opportunities off the golf course.

  41. William

    Oct 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Im a current Caddie Master in Cleveland and agree that Caddie Programs need to grow more and more in every way! I’m in the process of strengthening my program as well. It’s not easy!

    • Mike Belkin

      Oct 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      What is the biggest challenge for you guys, getting people to pay for caddies or just finding people to come out and caddy?

    • Brandon

      Oct 9, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      What course are you at in Cleveland?

  42. Brandon

    Oct 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Caddies are one of the greatest things about playing golf. Rather older or younger caddies, they are very vital to the experience a member/guest or anyone has while playing a certain facility.

  43. Rob Rashell

    Oct 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm


    Great stuff here, I went to the University of Washington on an Evans Scholarship, and still maintain some of the relationships I built caddying from middle school through high school. Just something great about walking and enjoying the day.


  44. Gary

    Oct 9, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Caddies are essential to the pure game of golf

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19th Hole

Vincenzi: The 8 best prop bets for the 2024 Masters



We’ve finally reached The Masters and excitement is at an all-time high. The world of golf has been fractured for the better part of two years, but for a week at Augusta National, all of the outside noise will disappear. All of the best players in the world will be together seeking to make history.

In addition to betting on The Masters champion. This is one of the few weeks of the year where there are so many more markets to explore, with value to be had in plenty of different categories.

Throughout this article, I’ll discuss all of my favorite props and players for the 2024 Masters.

Placement Bets:

Tony Finau Top 5 +750 (DraftKings):

I badly wanted to include Tony Finau in my outright betting selections, but I simply ran out of room on my card. Additionally, it’s slightly difficult to see him hitting the putts necessary to win the Masters on back nine on Sunday. However, I do strongly believe he will play great golf this week at Augusta National.

In his past 24 rounds, Finau ranks 4th in Strokes Gained: Approach is always amongst the best drivers of the golf ball in the game. Back in 2019, Finau had a great chance to win The Masters. I expect him to be hanging around over the weekend once again in 2024.

Gary Woodland Top 20 +550 (DraftKings), Gary Woodland to make the cut -110 (DraftKings):

Last season, Gary Woodland had his best ever finish at The Masters in his eleven tries. The 39-year-old finished T14 and played incredibly steady across all four rounds.

In Woodland’s most recent start at the Texas Children’s Houston Open, he struck the ball incredibly well. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Approach (+8.8) and Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (+10.0).

Gary has been working with Butch Harmon and absolutely flushing the ball both in tournaments and during practice.

Woodland appears to be healthy once again and in a great place physically and mentally. If he can build off his impressive performance at Augusta last year, he can place inside the top ten in 2024.

Additionally, the make the cut number on Woodland seems generous considering the number of players who miss the cut will be relatively small this week. Woodland is striking it well enough to make the cut even if he’s hindered by a balky putter once again.

Thorbjorn Olesen Top 20 +400 (FanDuel):

The Thunder Bear, Thorbjorn Olesen, made his Masters debut in 2013 and finished an incredibly impressive T6 for the week. In the two additional starts he’s made at Augusta National since then, the Dane has continued to be incredibly solid, finishing T44 and T21.

This week, Olesen heads into the week playing some good golf. He gained 3.8 strokes on approach and 5.52 strokes around the green at last week’s Valero Texas Open on his way to a strong T14 finish. Back in January, he won the Ras Al Khaimah Championship on the DP World Tour.

Olesen has the skill set to be successful at Augusta and seems primed for a good performance this week.

Top Nationalities:

Sergio Garcia Top Spanish Player +280 (DraftKings):

I believe Sergio Garcia can get into contention this week with the way he’s striking the ball in addition to his good vibes with a refurbished version of the Scotty Cameron that he used at the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah.

I am slightly concerned about the emotional letdown he may face after losing in a playoff at LIV Miami, but I believe a veteran and former Masters champion should be able to regroup and focus on an event far more meaningful.

This is essentially a tournament head-to-head with Jon Rahm at +280. While Rahm deserves to be respected this week, the history of the lack of success of defending champions at The Masters is difficult to ignore.

Joaquin Niemann Top South American Player -230 (FanDuel):

While I hate paying this much juice, I don’t see a world in which Joaquin Niemann isn’t the top South American this week at The Masters. Joaco comes in playing better golf than anyone in the world not named Scottie Scheffler and has a serious chance to win the green jacket.

He only needs to beat two players: Emiliano Grillo and Camilo Villegas.

Tournament Head-to-Heads:

Justin Thomas -110 over Collin Morikawa

JT isn’t having his best season but is playing a lot better than he is getting credit for at the moment. In the past three months, there are only six players on the PGA Tour who have averaged 1.7 Strokes Gained: Tee to Green or better. Justin Thomas (+1.7) is one of the six and is currently tied with Rory McIlroy (+1.7).

Morikawa, on the other hand, has been extremely poor with his irons, which is incredibly uncharacteristic for him. I can’t help but feel like something is completely off with the two-time major champion.

Tony Finau -110 over Wyndham Clark

I explained in the placement section why I’m so high on Tony Finau this week. With how well he’s striking the ball, it seems as if his floor is extremely high. I’m not sure if he can make the putts to win a green jacket but I believe he will be in the mix similarly to 2019 when Tiger Woods emerged from a crowded pack of contenders.

Clark is a debutant, and while some debutants have had success at The Masters, it certainly poses a challenge. I also don’t believe Augusta National suits Clark as well as some of the other major championship venues.

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19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 Masters betting preview: Niemann to play star role at Augusta National



It’s been over nine months since we saw Brian Harman parlay a dominant performance at Royal Liverpool into a claret jug. After another major offseason filled with a feud between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, talks of a merger, and a multitude of questions regarding the future of the game, the golf world is desperate for all of the best players in the world to come together again for a major championship. 

We return to Augusta National with excitement at a fever pitch. Scottie Scheffler has separated himself as the best player in the world heading into the Masters. At the moment, the 27-year-old seems to be an unstoppable force. However, questions about Scheffler’s up-and-down putter once again resurfaced as he missed multiple short putts at the Texas Children’s Houston Open including a 5’11” putt to force a playoff with Stephan Jaeger. 

Additionally, a handful of the PGA Tour’s top players such as Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood and Jordan Spieth make their way to Augusta National with their current form in question.

Plenty of LIV golfers may be up to the task of conquering Augusta, but with so much time in between the last two majors, it’s not always easy to decipher how their games will stack up against Scheffler and co.

Last year, some important changes were made at Augusta National. The par-5 13th (Azalea) was lengthened by 35 yards and now measures 545 yards. Last year, Azalea played as the toughest of the four par 5s, and players averaged 4.74 for the week, which was down from 4.85 in 2022. However, eagles, birdies and bogeys were all up, so the lengthening achieved less pars, which equals more excitement. 

Without further ado, let’s get into the course breakdown and analyze some important statistics for Augusta National.

Augusta National is now a 7,510-yard par-72 with lightning-fast Bentgrass greens. The course’s primary defenses are the contoured greens, swirling crosswinds, the topography of the course, which creates uneven lies and the small landing areas that golfers will need to hit to avoid tight run-off areas around the greens.

Past Winners at the Masters 

  • 2023: Jon Rahm (-12)
  • 2022: Scottie Scheffler (-10)
  • 2021: Hideki Matsuyama (-10)
  • 2020: Dustin Johnson (-20)
  • 2019: Tiger Woods (-13)
  • 2018: Patrick Reed (-15)
  • 2017: Sergio Garcia (-9)
  • 2016: Danny Willett (-5)
  • 2015: Jordan Spieth (-18)
  • 2014: Bubba Watson (-8)
  • 2013: Adam Scott (-9)
  • 2012: Bubba Watson (-10)
  • 2011: Charl Schwartzel (-14)
  • 2010: Phil Mickelson (-16)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For Augusta National

Let’s take a look at the six most important metrics at Augusta National and determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds. This should give us a good starting point for building out a betting card.

Strokes Gained: Approach

Approach is historically the most important statistic at Augusta National. The sloping, speedy greens and run-off areas create small landing spots that can be difficult to hit.

 Last year, Jon Rahm ranked 6th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. Overall, five of the past seven winners at Augusta have ranked in the top 6 in the category. Distance helps, but Augusta National is a second-shot golf course.

Total Strokes Gained: Approach in past 24 rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+1.30)
  2. Corey Conners (+0.99)
  3. Shane Lowry (+0.88)
  4. Tony Finau (+0.85)
  5. Austin Eckroat (+0.85)

Course History

More so than any other course on TOUR, familiarity with Augusta National is crucial. Only one player has ever won the Masters on their first try — Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Meanwhile, there are 17 golfers in history who have multiple green jackets.

In most cases, the Masters champion has shown some good form at Augusta in the past. Prior to Scottie Scheffler’s 2022 victory, he finished T19 and T18 in his first two trips to the course. Prior to 2023, Rahm had finished in the top-10 of four of his six starts at The Masters. 

Total Strokes Gained: Total at Augusta National in past 36 rounds (per round, minimum eight rounds):

  1. Will Zalatoris (+2.91) 
  2. Jon Rahm (+2.28) 
  3. Jordan Spieth (+2.22) 
  4. Scottie Scheffler (+2.22)
  5. Dustin Johnson (+2.01)
  6. Rory McIlroy (+2.00) 
  7. Hideki Matsuyama (+1.90)
  8. Justin Rose (+1.85)
  9. Rickie Fowler (+1.72)
  10. Russell Henley (+1.60) 

Par 4 Scoring Average

Since plenty of players can reach the par 5s at Augusta in two, par-4 scoring becomes more important. The golfer who separates themselves on the par 4s will be able to gain ground on the field.

Par 4 Scoring Average in past 24 rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+3.88) 
  2. Chris Kirk (+3.92) 
  3. Jordan Spieth (+3.93) 
  4. Peter Malnati (+3.93)
  5. Xander Schauffele (+3.93)

Strokes Gained: Around the Green

Golfers with a solid short game tend to fare well at Augusta National. The run-off areas are treacherous, and players will often be scrambling to get up and down.

The majority of players who have won at Augusta National have a great short game and have shown consistent ability to get up and down from tough spots.

Total Strokes Gained: Around the Green in past 24 rounds:

  1. Hideki Matsuyama (+0.71)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+0.66)
  3. Patrick Reed (+0.61)
  4. Xander Schauffele (+0.53)
  5. Lucas Glover (+0.51)

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

Augusta National is most definitely a second shot golf course. Golfers can get away with a missed fairway here and there, however, it’s important that the misses with driver aren’t too wide of the target or there is serious trouble to be had.

Total Strokes Gained: Off the Tee in past 24 rounds:

  1. Bryson DeChambeau (+1.04)
  2. Rory McIlroy (+0.85)
  3. Scottie Scheffler (+0.84)
  4. Xander Schauffele (+0.71)
  5. Ludvig Aberg (+0.68)

Strokes Gained Putting: Fast Bentgrass

The USGA calculates that, on average, the greens at Augusta National are the fastest greens in the country. Three-putting is fairly common at Augusta and golfers must be able to combat the speed of the greens with effective lag putting.

Total Strokes Gained: Putting on Fast Bentgrass in past 24 rounds:

  1. Justin Rose (+1.43)
  2. Sahith Theegala (+0.97) 
  3. Min Woo Lee (+0.88) 
  4. Cameron Smith (+0.70) 
  5. Patrick Reed (+0.70)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the six key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: App (25%); Course History (16%); Par 4 Scoring Average (10%); SG: Putting on Fast Bentgrass (16%); SG: OTT (16%). and SG: ARG (16%).

Last year, Jon Rahm ranked first in this model

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Xander Schauffele
  3. Hideki Matsuyama
  4. Tony Finau 
  5. Justin Thomas
  6. Shane Lowry
  7. Will Zalatoris
  8. Corey Conners
  9. Si Woo Kim
  10. Rory McIlroy
  11. Stephan Jaeger
  12. Jordan Spieth
  13. Chris Kirk
  14. Keegan Bradley
  15. Wyndham Clark
  16. Sahith Theegala
  17. Russell Henley
  18. Collin Morikawa
  19. Matt Fitzpatrick
  20. Patrick Reed

My 2023 Pick:

Jon Rahm (+950) (FanDuel)
A few months ago, I never thought that I’d be able to say that Rahm would be going slightly under the radar heading into the 2023 Masters. It’s not that Rahm has done anything wrong, but both Scheffler and McIlroy have undoubtedly surpassed him as the scorching hot, super-elite, top of the market betting favorite category.

Since his win at Riviera, the Spaniard has finished 39th at Bay Hill, withdrew at The Players Championship, and failed to get out of the group stage at the WGC Dell Match Play. On the other hand, Scheffler won The PLAYERS Championship and McIlroy finished third at the WGC Dell Match Play.

Rahm has made six starts at The Masters and has come in the top-10 in four of them. The 28-year-old has incredible power off the tee, a requirement at Augusta which always plays longer than the scorecard indicates. He’s also incredible around the greens and ranks third in the field in Strokes Gained: Short Game, which is a combination of around the green play and putting, in his past 24 rounds.

As we’ve seen over the years at The Masters, having the ability to chip and putt your way out of difficult situations is a fundamental aspect of getting it done at Augusta National.

While Scheffler has made a strong case to be viewed as the world’s best player, I still believe that title belongs to Rahm. This will be the year Rahmbo joins the ranks of Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal, and Sergio Garcia as natives of Spain to don a green jacket.

2024 The Masters Picks

Brooks Koepka +2500 (DraftKings)

In order to win the 2024 Masters, a player will have to go toe-to-toe with Scottie Scheffler, who’s hitting the ball as anyone in golf over the last two seasons. When building a betting card this week, it’s important for me to choose players that I believe can stare Scheffler down on the weekend at Augusta National. Brooks Koepka fits that bill.

Koepka’s lackluster performance at LIV Miami is concerning, but he’s the type of player who can turn it on quickly during the week of a major championship. Although I’d have preferred, he played well last week, I’ll take the odds discount we got as a result of his most recent results.

Prior to LIV Miami, Koepka appeared to be in solid form. He finished in the top twelve in four of five starts on LIV this season. When it comes to the five-time major champion, it’s well known that he has another gear for major championships. Everything he’s done both in the off-season and during the LIV season is to gear up for the year’s first major at Augusta National.

In his past five starts at Augusta National, the 33-year-old has three top-7 finishes, including two runners-up. The two years when he played poorly (2019 and 2020) were when he was nowhere near 100% healthy. All signs point to Brooks being in a great place physically as we enter major season.

Last year, Koepka was the 36 and 54-hole leader prior to letting the green jacket slip away to Jon Rahm. He used the result as a springboard to win his 5th major at Oak Hill at the PGA Championship.

Brooks enters the week looking to get one step closer to achieving the career grand slam and golf fans would be foolish to rule him out.

Joaquin Niemann +2800 (BetRivers)

Full disclosure, I bet Niemann the second he was invited to The Masters back in February at +8000. Although the odds have shortened dramatically since then, I can’t pretend that the Chilean isn’t one of the players who has a real chance to win the 2024 Masters.

While I was speaking with Niemann back in March, he told me how much he loves Augusta National.

“Yeah, it’s a place that I love. I’ve been playing good golf. Especially last year, I wasn’t playing my best golf, and I had a good week there and made triple on 11 that kind of killed me a little bit.

I feel like I’m getting more ready and more prepared every time. My game is getting better too. I know that I’m playing good enough to be in that situation that I can have a chance to win the Masters and it’s all about how I react to that situation.

So yeah, I’m going to prepare myself to be ready for that situation if it happens and I can fight for the title on the Sunday which would be awesome.”

As Niemann alluded to, the Chilean was able to have his best career finishes at The Masters (T16) despite not being in the best form. This year, Niemann comes into the week playing better golf than anyone in the world with the exception of Scottie Scheffler. The 25-year-old has won three times since December and has shown the world why he was regarded as one of the games future stars since he was a teenager.

Historically speaking, Joaco’s win at Riviera a few years back seems to be an indicator of potential success at Augusta National. Fourteen players have won at both historic courses including Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson and Ben Hogan.

Niemann has all the shots to be successful at Augusta National. His low stingers will come in handy on plenty of holes down the stretch and he can work it both ways, playing the high draw or the low fade. He also putts best on Bentgrass greens and likes them fast. Whether PGA Tour or LIV, talent will always reign supreme, and I’ll always bet on that talent.

Cameron Smith (+4000) (FanDuel)

Cameron Smith is another player who we should get an odds discount on based off of the results at LIV Miami. Smith was forced to withdraw prior to the second round due to food poisoning. In my opinion, the number has drifted to a place where I’d consider it a “bet the number” play on the talent.

Smith is a contender for the green jacket anytime he tees it up at Augusta National. The Australian absolutely loves the golf course and has four top-10 finishes in his last six trips to the golf course. In both 2020 and 2022, Smith had a real chance of winning The Masters and came up just short, finishing T2 and T3 in those two tries. In his past 36 rounds, he ranks 4th in Strokes Gained: Total per round at Augusta.

In order to be successful at Augusta National, players must be creative around the greens and be shot makers who have plenty of ways to get around the golf course. Cam has all the shots required to be successful at the course at his touch around the greens will continue to serve him well in his hopes for a green jacket.

Smith is arguably the best putter in the world and has the capability to win a golf tournament on and around the greens. He’s already taken down Rory McIlroy at the home of golf on his way to a claret jug and is one of the few players who can stare down any of the world’s top golfers on the back nine at Augusta National.

Justin Thomas +4000 (FanDuel)

With how he’s been playing since his 2022 PGA Championship win, you may be shocked to see the name “Justin Thomas” in this preview. However, JT has drifted to a place on the odds board where I believe it’s worth taking a shot on the talent of a two-time major champion in his prime.

It’s not all bad for Thomas this season. He finished T6 at the signature Pebble Beach event, T12 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T12 at the signature Arnold Palmer Invitational. In his last 24 rounds, JT ranks 8th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, 14th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green and 29th in Strokes Gained: Putting on fast Bentgrass greens.

Despite missing the cut last season, Thomas has played pretty well at Augusta National. He ranks 13th in Strokes Gained: Total in his past 36 rounds at the course. He finished T4 in 2020, T21 in 2021 and T8 in 2022.

I believe the 2024 edition of The Masters is completely wide open. The past few years has been frustrating for Thomas fans, but I believe his peak form may be a bit closer than people realize.

Sergio Garcia +12000 (FanDuel)

Earlier this season, Garcia dueled with Joaquin Niemann before finally losing on the fourth playoff hole late into the night. Despite the loss, the 44-year-old seemed to gain confidence in his game. The results that followed weren’t spectacular, but in terms of his ball striking he’s shown some flashes of vintage Sergio.

At LIV Miami last week, Garcia played well on a massive golf course, losing in a playoff to Dean Burmester. He continued pumped the ball into the fairway and hit massive iron shot after massive iron shot. He also used a refurbished Scotty Cameron that he used in the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah. The putter served him incredibly well until he missed a short putt on the 18th hole to win the event. Overall, he gained 7.1 strokes putting at Doral.

Sergio Garcia is once again headed to Augusta National with a chip on his shoulder. Of course, having a chip on the shoulder is nothing new for the fiery Spaniard, but this year, the 2017 Masters Champion will arrive at Augusta with his game clicking on all cylinders.

Sergio winning a second green jacket is seemingly an almost impossible feat, but magical things tend to happen on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National.

Adam Scott +11000 (FanDuel)

Betting Adam Scott over the past handful of years has been a Masters staple for me, and like many traditions, has been a hard one for me to let go of.

Last week, Scott finished T14 at the Valero Texas Open in a windy and difficult week. I believe the wind will be a major factor this week at Augusta National, and the more difficult the tournament plays, the more I favor Scott. Scott also ranks 5th in his past 24 rounds on Strokes Gained: Putting on Fast Bentgrass and has the short game these days that could help him contend in a major.

Since his win in 2013, Scott’s history at The Masters has been spotty. He has some poor finishes alongside a T9 in 2017 and a T18 in 2019. He’s been playing some solid golf this season, finishing T8 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T19 at the Genesis Invitational.

(All photos in piece belong to LIV Golf)


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Opinion & Analysis

The 22 players who can win the Masters



Since 2013, I have created a filtering process to help determine the players who are most likely to win the green jacket based on criteria that have strongly predictive outcomes to success at Augusta. The list of players that can win at Augusta is usually filtered down to 20-24 players and in that time I have correctly shortlisted every Masters champion.

This includes last year’s winner, Jon Rahm. Even though Rahm essentially walked away with the green jack and did not make it very close, there were some close calls on top of the leaderboard as I had filtered out Phil Mickelson (t-2nd) and Patrick Reed (t-4th) as the LIV Tour is still behind on providing advanced analytics for their tour. Russell Henley was also filtered out and finished t-4th, five strokes from Rahm’s winning score of 276.

If you’re watching at home, the “critical holes” that will likely determine the top finishers will be holes No. 7, 8, 11 and 13. The 11th hole is projected to be the most critical of holes as over the past five Masters the top players have gained nearly a 1.5 strokes for the tournament on that hole alone.

Just like last year’s column I will get the LIV Tour players I’ve filtered out of the way. Since LIV Tour does not provide ShotLink or Trackman data, it’s more of a guessing game as to how certain LIV Tour golfers are playing. I did utilize recent performance as well as performance at Mayakoba and Doral as they were two former PGA Tour courses that have some semblance of crossover to playing Augusta.

Phil Mickelson
Thorbjorn Olesen
Charl Schwartzel
Cameron Smith
Bubba Watson

Admittedly Cameron Smith and Phil Mickelson are hard to leave out, but both have not played well as of late.

Next, I filtered out the amateurs and all first-time professional attendees. The Masters has only been won three times by a first-time attendee: Fuzzy Zoeller was the last to win in 1979. Prior to Zoeller though, it was Horton Smith in the inaugural event in 1934 followed by Gene Sarazen in 1935

Ludvig Aberg
Akshay Bhatia
Wyndham Clark
Eric Cole
Santiago de la Fuente (a)
Nick Dunlap
Austin Eckroat
Stewart Hagestad (a)
Ryo Hisatsune
Lee Hodges
Nicolai Hojgaard
Stephan Jaeger
Jake Knapp
Christo Lamprecht (a)
Peter Malnati
Denny McCarthy
Grayson Murray
Matthieu Pavon
Adam Schenk
Neal Shipley (a)
Jasper Stubbs (a)

Out of the first time invitees the data likes Ludvig Aberg and Eric Cole to play the best at Augusta National.

I also filter out old Masters champions that I do not believe can get into contention anymore.

Fred Couples
Jose Maria Olazabal
Vijay Singh
Mike Weir
Tiger Woods

Recency has a strong predictive value for player performance and missing the cut in the event in the prior week greatly reduces the likelihood of winning the following week compared to players that miss the cut, take a week off, and then play the following week. Therefore I filter out all players that missed the cut at the Valero Texas Open last week.

Byeong Hun An
Harris English
Rickie Fowler
Ryan Fox
Zach Johnson
Tom Kim
Erik van Rooyen
Camilo Villegas

I will also filter out the players that have never made the cut at the Masters:

Kurt Kitayama
Adrian Meronk

A Tradition Unlike Any Other…

Augusta National has traditionally favored longer hitters and even moreso in the past 20 years of the event. Of course there has been exceptions as in 2007 the short hitting Zach Johnson ended up winning the event.

Critics of my filtering system point out Johnson’s victory as a case for short hitters being able to win at Augusta, but they neglect the fact that Johnson’s victory came in historically low temperatures in the 40’s with wind gusts reaching 35 mph. That made the par-5’s almost unreachable in two shots and the course stressed wedge play and short game around the green where Zach had a sizable advantage.
It is projected to rain early on Thursday and then the weather is supposed to be sunny and warm for the rest of the week. It depends on how quickly the course dries up, but if it does dry out fairly quickly that will give the longer hitters the advantage as they will be able to reach certain par-5’s in two shots that the shorter hitters cannot reach if they don’t hit a quality tee shot and there may be par-5’s that some of the long hitters can reach in two shots with a short iron. Therefore I will filter out the following players due to a lack of distance off the tee:

Corey Conners
Lucas Glover
Emiliano Grillo
Brian Harman
Si Woo Kim
Chris Kirk
Shane Lowry
Colin Morikawa
JT Poston
Justin Rose
Sepp Straka

Out of these players the data likes Lowry and Morikawa the most. Both have good history at Augusta and they both just narrowly missed the distance benchmark set in the filter and both are excellent long iron players.

Last year I created a new formula to better determine ball height as Augusta has historically not taken too kindly to a low ball flight. Out of the 5 players filtered out for low ball flight using the new formula the best finish was only t-29th by Si Woo Kim. This year I’ve filtered out the following players.

Matthew Fitzpatrick
Sungjae Im
Luke List
Joaquin Niemann
Justin Thomas

Every year I filter out the poor performers on approach shots from 175-225 yards as Augusta National puts a lot of stress on those shots. Last year I filtered out nine players and three of them missed the cut with only Jordan Spieth finishing in the top-15 (t-4th) as the rest of the players were never a threat.

Here are the golfers I’m filtering out due to poor play from 175-225 yards:

Patrick Cantlay
Cameron Davis
Jason Day
Tommy Fleetwood
Russell Henley
Max Homa
Rory McIlroy
Jordan Spieth
Nick Taylor

Rory had a nice outing at the Valero Texas Open and hit his irons better there, but appears to be struggling with a leftward miss. Other than that, Rory still has the game to win his first green jacket. Henley is usually one of the better iron players on Tour, but he has struggled this season from 175-225 yards and is a short hitter anyway.

I will also filter out Danny Willett as he is coming off injury and making his comeback at the Masters.

That leaves the 22 players that can win the Masters:

Keegan Bradley (150/1)
Sam Burns (60/1)
Bryson DeChambeau (25/1)
Tony Finau (50/1)
Sergio Garcia (100/1)
Adam Hadwin (175/1)
Tyrrell Hatton (80/1)
Viktor Hovland (35/1)
Dustin Johnson (40/1)
Brooks Koepka (16/1)
Min Woo Lee (70/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (20/1)
Taylor Moore (300/1)
Jon Rahm (12/1)
Patrick Reed (80/1)
Xander Schauffele (18/1)
Scottie Scheffler (4/1)
Adam Scott (100/1)
Sahith Theegala (50/1)
Gary Woodland (250/1)
Cameron Young (50/1)
Will Zalatoris (35/1)

Here’s my personal top-10 picks:

Keegan Bradley (150/1)
Sam Burns (60/1)
Bryson DeChambeau (35/1)
Tony Finau (50/1)
Viktor Hovland (35/1)
Dustin Johnson (40/1)
Hideki Matsuyama (20/1)
Jon Rahm (12/1)
Xander Schauffele (18/1)
Scottie Scheffler (4/1)

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