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Caddie Corner: 20 questions with PGA Tour caddie Derell Aton (caddie for D.A. Points)



In this new GolfWRX feature, called the “Caddie Corner,” we’ll be firing off questions to a different caddie every week on the PGA Tour.

Caddies, or “loopers,” as some call them, are the too-often-overlooked people who actually have a huge impact on players every week on the PGA Tour. They’re tasked with many objectives – everything from carrying the bag, raking bunkers and getting yardages, to playing psychologist on the golf course as their player competes for millions.

If you’re curious to learn more about the caddies, as well as their stories, lifestyle and insights, then welcome to the “Caddie Corner.”

In the first two editions, we spoke with Shannon “Shan” Wallis (caddie for Jonas Blixt) and Gerald “G.W.” Cable (caddie for Kevin Chappell). This week, we grilled Derell Aton – caddie for D.A. Points – about a bunch of different topics, including his diehard fandom of the 49ers, tips for amateurs, and the hardest course to walk on tour.

To listen to the interview (and a wrap-up of all the gear changes this week at Pebble Beach), click the SoundCloud link below. To read our interview with Aton, skip over the podcast and enjoy!

So we’ll start off with a very easy one. What’s your name, who do you caddie for, and who have you caddied for in the past?

My name is Derell Aton. I’m caddying this week for D.A. Points. I worked a year for Hunter Mahan, and I worked 3 years for Mackenzie Hughes.

How did you end up being a caddie on the PGA Tour, and what’s been your career progression to get out here?

So basically I started club caddying while I was going to college at Cal State, Monterey Bay. I caddied at a place called The Institute. They held a tournament called the Frys Open. And from there, because we got to see a lot of tour caddies, I networked myself. Once I graduated college, I told myself to give it three years to try and see if I could make it happen, and I’m still here.

How’s your golf game?

My game is, I feel like I have a fairly decent short game and I’m not a very good ball striker. I would say I’m a gambling 5 handicap, so I’ll stick with that.

If you didn’t caddie, what job do you think you’d be doing right now?

I don’t know. Like I said, I told myself I had 3 years but I didn’t really have a backup plan. I still see myself as doing this.

Sometimes it’s best not to have a backup plan right? Just commit…

I just committed. I would have worried about that if that was the case, but I’m still here.

Speaking on tour life, what’s the best restaurant where you go where it’s like, I can’t wait for that event so I can go to that bar or restaurant?

Man, I think the people that live in Jacksonville – The Players event is one that I look forward to, and Jacksonville is a good spot. There’s this place called TacoLu. The locals will probably say it’s a tourist trap, but I’m a tourist, so it traps me there.

What’s your go-to snack on the course, like what do you always have to have in the bag?

For me, I’m not a big eater. I hydrate a lot. But normally there’s these cookies at the turn, and normally I’ll eat that. But I’ll normally crush after the round.

Sucker for some cookies?

Yeah, cookies for sure.

We were already talking about this before, so I know the answer, but what’s your favorite sport aside from golf, and who are your favorite teams and favorite players?

Football for sure. The 49ers. I’m pretty die hard. I definitely follow them like crazy. I’m up 2-3 hours at night watching press conferences and seeing what they’re all talking about – what the buzz is.

You’re no joke about your football. That was a tough loss you guys suffered last week. I’m sorry.

Mhmm. It was a tough loss, but I think seriously, you know who your real friends are: the ones that don’t text your after the loss. The ones that text you it’s like, OK, I might have to rethink our friendship.

What’s on your music playlist right now?

Believe it or not, I’m currently a country fan now. Just because on the road there’s been a lot of country concerts, so just been listening to a lot of country. But I feel like I’m very flexible. Rap and hip hop from the Bay Area, that definitely gets me going if I need to get pumped up.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way about caddying or golf in general?

I think for the most part is just to enjoy it. I think everything is stressful at some degree. There’s obviously levels to stress, but I think it’s just to appreciate it. Enjoy every moment of it, even though at moments it feels like it’s impossible.

Awesome. What’s your take on the slow play issue in golf, if you think there is one?

I mean, for me, my take is that I get where they’re coming from. They’re playing for a million dollars a week, so I think it’s not as easy to just speed up play. But I think if you start penalizing people they’ll definitely speed up. But, again, they’re playing for a million dollars. The PGA Tour has a standard so amateur golfers start to follow that, even though they’re not playing for a million dollars. So that’s the tough part of it all.

What caddie is the most fun to be around whether it’s inside the ropes or off the course?

Hm. Caddie? No one officially comes to mind. I’m blanking out right now to be honest with you. For me, I’m just so focused on my guy that I’m not really paying attention to the others.

That’s fair. What’s the hardest course to walk?

For sure Kapalua. I was lucky enough to be there one year. Quick thing, I think number 9 is the hardest walk. After my guy hit the second shot I would hurry up to the ball as quick as possible so I could catch my breath before he got there and not feel like I’m tired.

Caddies are known for having some of the funniest stories. Without incriminating yourself, what’s the funniest story you have about caddie life?

Funny story, hm. For me, nothing stands out. I’m fairly serious when I’m on the golf course, so I think the funny stories are typically ones I hear from the other guys. I normally stay out of the stories. I’m just the listener.

Gotcha. What’s your biggest, “Uh oh, I messed up” moment of your caddying career?

I’ve given a bad number. I feel like all caddies have given a bad number. Luckily, the bad number that I gave my player, he didn’t hit a very good shot and I was saved. I didn’t add enough of the line cover, and he hit it left enough that if he hit it how he was supposed to it would have been in the water. But he saved me and hit it left, and he looked at me was like, ‘Hey what was that number?’

I’m like, ‘Hey, that was on me.’ But he saved me by not hitting it where he was supposed to hit it.

Do you have any advice for amateurs when they’re like trying to get a number, or trying to club themselves? What would you say is the biggest mistake they make?

For amateurs, from my eyes, because I’ve club caddied, as well – especially in college – I think they don’t play enough club. You just have to be honest with yourself, especially with the irons. It’s not how far you hit them, but you have to know how far you’re hitting it. You have so many different clubs – 14 clubs – as long as you know how far each one goes, just be honest with yourself instead of that one time it went X (amount of yards).

In general, what advice would you give amateurs to improve their games?

I just think to let loose and be free. I think everybody is too tight including myself. When you’re more free and not trying as hard in a sense, which is hard to do because we’re perfectionists, but I think you’ll hit better shots.

If your player is a bit nervous going into the first tee shot, or say they have the lead coming down the stretch, what’s something you might say to him to kind of ease the nerves?

For me, what I do is I start talking to them about random things. Normally like, whatever sports scores happened last night, or news, just to let them think about something else. Just basically talking to them and then eventually when we get to the shot, that’s when we think about the shots we’re going to hit.

Last question: What’s your favorite course to caddie at?

My favorite course to caddie at, it has to be this one (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am). I’ve been going to this event since I was a kid. We did the standard bearers in high school, so this was my first golf tournament. This is basically a home game.

So it’s full circle. Standard bearer growing up, and now you’re inside the ropes caddying and doing the real thing.

For sure. Like I said, this is a dream come true to be inside the ropes.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned 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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Everything you need to know about PXG’s new 2023 Gen6 golf clubs



Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) has officially announced the release of its new Gen6 family of products, which replace the company’s previous Gen5 lineup.

The new Gen6 stable includes two driver options (o311 and 0311 XF), two fairway woods (0311 and 0311 XF), two hybrids (0311 and 0311 XF), and two iron models (0311 P and 0311 XP).

PXG offers two different versions of each club type to satisfy the varying needs of different golfers. The standard 0311 metalwoods and 0311 P irons offer players a combination of forgiveness and performance, whereas the 0311 XF metalwoods and 0311 XP irons are made for players who need a little “X”-tra forgiveness on mishits.

The Gen 6 clubs are available for purchase on PXG’s website, or in PXG in-store locations, as of Thursday, March 23. The Gen 6 driver is selling for $499, fairway woods $299, hybrids $289, and irons $219 apiece.

Below, we break down the new technological enhancements in the Gen 6 family.

PXG’s 0311 and 0311 XF drivers

The PXG 0311 driver model (pictured above and below) offers a traditional tear drop shape and a compact profile, and the PXG 0311 XF model has a larger footprint and shallower face to help players who hit mishit the ball more often.

New this year for PXG is a robotic polishing process that helps with tighter CT tolerances to boost ball speeds for product users. PXG has also improved sound and feel compared to previous iterations by using what the company calls High Modal Frequency Designs.


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Additionally, each head is designed with a 3-port adjustable weighting system in the sole, and they’re built with high-strength Ti412 face structures to increase speed.

The 0311 driver is available in 7.5, 9 and 10.5 degrees, and the PXG 0311 XF is offered in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees.

PXG’s 0311 and 0311 XF fairway woods

The PXG 0311 fairways (13, 15, 18 and 21 degrees) and the 0311 XF fairways (16, 17, 19 and 22 degrees) each have adjustable sole weights – three weight ports in the 0311, and two weight ports in the 0311 XF – and each are designed with flatter soles to lower the overall mass of the heads to increase forgiveness. The 0311 XF model, in particular, is designed with a Railed Sole Geometry to help create lower friction to help with turf interaction.

The Gen 6 fairway woods are built with AM355 steel bodies and HT1770 steel faces.

PXG’s 0311 and 0311 XF hybrids

The PXG 0311 hybrids have a more compact shape at address, while the 0311 XF features a larger shape that offers more forgiveness. As with the Gen 6 fairway woods, the soles of the hybrids are flatter to keep weight low, and the XF in particular has protruding split rails to enhance turf interaction.

The 0311 hybrids are available in 17, 19, 22 and 25 degrees, and the 0311 XF hybrids are available in 19, 22, 25, 28 and 31 degrees.

PXG’s 0311 P and 0311 XF irons

PXG’s new 0311 P and 0311 XP irons now have a 15 percent thinner face, and PXG is calling them “the fastest irons we’ve ever made,” and the “softest irons we’ve ever made.”

The faces are made from high strength HT1770 maraging steel, and they have milled channels behind the faces to increase face deflection, increase launch, and raise ball speeds. In between the faces and the back cavity, PXG uses its propriety XCOR2 material to enhance feel, energy transfer and durability. The bodies themselves are five-times forged from 8620 steel, and they have milled back surfaces to reduce wall thickness and increase precision.

PXG’s new 0311 P and 0311 XP irons also use Tungsten weighting in the low-and-back portions of the heads to increase launch and forgiveness.

According to PXG, the 0311 P irons are designed for low-to-mid handicappers and have moderate offset, whereas the 0311 XP irons have more offset, and they’re built for mid-to-high handicaps who want more distance and forgiveness.


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The Gen 6 irons are also offered in a PXG Black Label Elite option, which comes with an Xtreme Dark finish.

See more photos of the Gen 6 products here

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Whats in the Bag

Scottie Scheffler WITB 2023 (March)



Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (8 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

Irons: Srixon ZU85 (3: 20 degrees, 4: 23 degrees), TaylorMade P7TW (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 GOST Hybrid Prototype 10 X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-12F, 56-14F), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60.5-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless TourType GSS prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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Whats in the Bag

Billy Horschel WITB 2023 (February)



Driver: Titleist TSR3 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Black 6 X

3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees @14.25)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 70 6.5 TX

5-wood: Titleist TSi2 (18 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 6.5 TX

Irons: Titleist 620 CB, Titleist 620 MB
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (52-12F, 56-08M), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Onyx S400

Putter: Ping Tyne 4 Sigma 2

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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