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19th Hole

Caddie Corner: 13 questions with PGA Tour caddie Kurtis Kowaluk



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 this week’s edition, we talk to PGA Tour veteran caddie Kurtis Kowaluk from Ontario who played college golf at the University of Wyoming. Let’s get right into the questions!

What’s your name, who do you caddie for, and who have you caddied for throughout the years?

Kurtis Kowaluk, and I currently caddie for Brendon Todd and have done so for maybe 10 months. Prior to Brendon, I was caddying for Danny Lee. Prior to Danny was 2.5 years with Cameron Champ. Prior to that was about 4 years with Danny Lee.

How’d you end up being a caddie on the PGA Tour? What was your career progression to get there?

It started in Ontario with a junior golf buddy slash guy I looked up to, David Hearn. I followed him to college. He went to the University of Wyoming, and at the time he was one of the best junior players in Canada. I was like, well, he’s going to Wyoming. His dad reached out to my mom and he was like, “Hey, the coach wants to talk to you, he’s interested in maybe having Kurt coming for a visit.”

So yeah that’s kind of how it worked. He went there for a year and was this kid I looked up to and could never beat. I’m going to go, and our relationship took off from there.

He was out of school and I was finishing up, and he was playing the Canadian Tour. He invited me to caddie in a tournament over the summer schedule. He invited me to caddie at the Ontario events, so I did a couple two summers in a row. I quite enjoyed it. It was kind of fun watching the guys. There’s a lot of good players on the Canadian Tour. Keep in mind this was 20 years ago.

Then when I graduated from college, guys from my home time were getting together money and trying mini tours and q-school. So I gave that a run and nothing really came of it. 74s aren’t really printing checks, right?

Long and short of it is, fast forward two years later and he’s off the Canadian Tour, through the Tour, and now he’s on the PGA Tour. Nearing the end of the year he says, “Hey, do you want to come down to Florida and caddie for me next week?”

I was like, “Yeah sure.” It’s like late October in Canada, so I’m thinking, “This is gonna be great.”

So we did a few tournaments, then q-school, then he asked me if I wanted to come with him on the Nationwide Tour. That was 2006. I did the whole season with him in 2006, and that was it from there. It’s like, if I didn’t go that college, if I didn’t have that relationship with David, then that door wouldn’t be open. When you think of forks in the road, I think of David and I and he gave me that option and I took it. Now I’m here, and I’m happy to be here.

What job do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t caddying?

When I started traveling to junior tournaments, I was fascinated with air travel. Growing up in a small town in Canada, it was like you could drive 12 or 15 hours to a tournament. But then I started going to go to AJGA tournament in America and it turned out to be really cool. I was 16 or 17 traveling to Kentucky or Atlanta to play AJGA tournaments, and I was just fascinated with it. I thought maybe I could be a pilot. Being a pilot would be cool. And then, the idea of a scholarship came up around that same time, 16 or 17, and when I was 18 I went on a golf scholarship. But that’s kind of how it took place. It was just David inviting me to caddie and I was like, OK. I’ll do this for a bit, not thinking I would do it for a long time. I just thought it was something cool to do when you’re 24 or 25. Then I left caddying for men and went to the ladies tour for 5 years, and in 2013 I came back here with the encouragement of my buddies who were caddying out here.

How’s your game these days?

It’s kind of rusty. A couple months between golf games, but when it’s there, obviously hanging around these guys you learn so much. You just absorb so much information. I slowly put it into play in my own game. These guys are hiring the best coaches, the best putting coaches, the best short game coaches, and you’re watching some of the most elite lessons in the world. If you’re paying attention, you can do nothing but learn.

What would you say is the most important lesson that you’ve learned from these guys?

They just keep stepping up to the plate. There’s swings and misses, and I know I’m making a baseball analogy, but, there’s swings and misses. They just keep going. It’s a perseverance thing. You can have a tough stretch, but maybe just a little shift in thinking or shift in something in their swing and bam, a little spark of confidence and the candle’s lit. You go and have one good round and add a little bit of lighter fluid on there and bam you have a full blaze, and then you ride it until you can’t ride it anymore.

What’s the best restaurant you go to during a PGA Tour season where you’re like, I can’t wait for the that tournament so I can go to that restaurant?

It’s probably not the healthiest food, but I find if you have a table of 4 or 5 caddies and you’re hanging out at the Yardhouse, for example, there’s just so many options. The menu has like 125 things on it, then you’ve got a bunch of different beers and ciders. I mean, Yardhouse is certainly one of them. Maybe on one of those late-finish/early-start type situations, you have a short turnaround, sometimes I like to go to a nectar juice bar and just get a juice and an acai bowl because it’s light so you’re not going to tax your body too much. Those are my two spots that jump to mind.

Do you think there’s a slow play issue out here? And if so, how do you fix that?

That’s a really good question. I feel like sometimes based on the challenge and the toughness of the course and the weather, sometimes it’s just impossible. Not pointing any fingers, but sometimes whoever sets the time bar, maybe they should take an extra second to think about it.

What’s your go-to snack on the course?

I’ve got these Bob’s Red Mill food bars, but they have a lot of good stuff out on the course like fruit and granola bars. Then sometimes mix in electrolytes and make sure you’re chugging some and getting some water in.

What’s your favorite sport aside from golf and what are your favorite teams and players?

Hockey for sure. I grew up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. I live in Las Vegas, so I root for the Golden Knights, as well. Some people are like, “You can’t have two teams.” Well, yea I can. I have an Eastern conference team and I was a Western conference team. And then my favorite player right now is probably the goalie for the Hurricanes. He used to be the goalie for the Leafs and we let him walk in free agency, which kind of bothers me, but it’s a pro sports team so it’s not my business what they do with their players. But yeah, I’m a goalie at the moment, later in life. I was a defenseman growing up, but I’m a goalie now. I like Marc-Andre Fleury who was a star goalie for the Golden Knights, and Freddie Andersen was a huge part of the team for the 5 years he was there. So those are my soft spots, for those players.

Caddies are known for having the best stories. Without incriminating yourself at all, what’s your funniest story that you have about caddie life?

Wow. I’m always apprehensive because usually the story is funny because something crazy happened. I think some of the funnier things that were more light and fun were the caddie races looking back. I never actually took part in them, though. Maybe 1 time I was there when they were going on in 2007, but the other caddies in my group didn’t want to do it. But I remember some of my buddies were like laying out and diving like their touching first base. They’re on YouTube, and it’s funny to watch. There’s all sorts of things, though. We’ll go out and play matches, and we’ll play for peanuts or for dinner, so those are fun times. But yeah, in terms of the stories that happen during a round, I’d probably like to go mute on those. I’ve seen some crazy s***.

What’s your favorite stop to caddie at, whether it’s the course or the perks?

My first, growing up in Canada in like January or February when the weather is terrible, I’m watching TV. Andrew Magee had a hole-in-one at the Phoenix Open. To me, they showed the aerial views from the blimps in the early 90s. I was like, wow, there’s a desert and then they’ve got green grass. I was probably 11 or 12. So that was big for me to watch that. Then the first time I went to go caddie there, before it was a huge carnival, this was back in 2007. It wasn’t exactly what it’s like today. That was just always one that stuck in the back of my head. It’s not the most amazing course, but it was just that I watched it in the cold in the Canada winters, so that one always had a special place for me. Then to go there and actually play the course on a non-tournament week and to caddie in it was really cool.

What’s your favorite course you’ve ever played?

Well, B.Todd here invited me to play Cypress. It certainly was, in terms of prestige and eliteness, to be invited to go play…one of his old Pebble Beach pro-am partners is a member there, and he invited me us to come out. So we went to go play on Sunday before Napa last year, and then we replayed it again Monday morning and drove up to Napa. That was certainly like, when you think of bucket list things, I didn’t even think it was a thing that I’d ever be able to play there. So he made that happen.

Then in terms of favorite courses. Obviously Augusta National is a pretty special place, and that was my first tournament with Brendon. That was really cool because I had qualified with Danny Lee. He won Greenbrier, I just didn’t make it around the horn with him to The Masters. Then with Cameron Champ, he won the Fortinet in 2019, and I didn’t make it around the horn with him until November 2020. So I felt like I had two rugs swept from under me, then to have something happen like that with Brendon was really special. In a sense, he guided me around the course. He taught me a lot about the course because I think it was his third Masters.

Last question here: Based on working so closely with tour players, what advice do you have for amateurs trying to improve their game?

I think it’s time spent. You can’t play once a month and be good. That’s exactly it. If you’re going to only have a game every month, or one game every couple weeks, you have to be doing something small so the club isn’t a foreign object in your hand. It’s not easy. These guys are failing all the time. I always am teaching my girlfriend to golf, and we’ve been together 3.5 years. She didn’t know what a birdie was at first, but now she’ll hit two good ones in a row, and then hit one way offline get mad. But I use the term “Embrace the Suck.” Embrace that you suck, and with that I’m saying golf is hard. It’s not going to help getting mad, you just have to put the time into it to make small improvements.

“Embrace the suck” needs to be on a t-shirt right now. Thanks for the time, Kurt. 

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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.



  1. B. GIRL

    Mar 15, 2022 at 9:40 am

    Love that you’re finally doing this feature! It was awesome. Good job AJJT ?

  2. no one

    Mar 13, 2022 at 7:17 pm

    Embrace the suck reminds me of an old one…

    “Pain is the suck leaving your body.”

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19th Hole

‘You’re f***ing hilarious, aren’t you?’ – Shane Lowry snaps at spectator during WGC Match Play



It’s been a struggle for Shane Lowry throughout his career at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play. Since 2019, the Irishman is now 3-6 at the event prior to the 2023 version of the event.

The struggles continued on Wednesday for Lowry as he found himself two down to Taylor Montgomery on the 17th hole when a fan said something to him after his tee shot.

The frustration finally showed through and Lowry snapped back at the fan.

“You’re f***ing hilarious ,aren’t you?”

Laura Davies on Sky Sports reacted immediately, saying “Apologies for the language.”

Lowry will give it another crack tomorrow as he faces off against Mackenzie Hughes on Thursday at 11:59 A.M. EDT.

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19th Hole

Ex-Golf Channel host Holly Sonders returns to sports in new NSFW venture



Holly Sanders, who was a host on Golf Channel working on “School of Golf” and “Playing Lesson with the Pros,” before going to Fox Sports until 2019.

According to her post on Twitter, the 34-year-old is about to be back in the world of sports in the form of a topless sports league.

Sonders also made an Instagram post about her new venture, saying she was still looking to “add talent” to the league.


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A post shared by Holly Sonders (@holly.sonders)

“I will be watching over all operations making sure the content is of the highest quality possible, and that the girls are safe, having fun and enjoying themselves. This league is owned by women and will be run by women. Feminists should praise this as it’s creating opportunities for women.”

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19th Hole

Nelly Korda responds to fans following ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in latest video



LPGA Tour superstar Nelly Korda recently signed a deal with both TaylorMade and Nike. In a promotional Instagram video for TaylorMade, Korda was hitting the Stealth 2 driver.

The post read: #Fargiveness with a view. ? #TeamTaylorMade is gearing up for a big week in Arizona and striping their #Stealth2Drivers around Superstition Mountain.”


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A post shared by TaylorMade Golf (@taylormadegolf)

However, the post didn’t go as planned, with some users comparing Korda to Rickie Fowler because of her wardrobe choice, while one user simply said: “Orange pants with red shoes? Bruh for real?”

Korda responded on Instagram shortly after, saying “Don’t hate me for my Orange pants and red shoes,” she wrote. “It was a bit of a wardrobe malfunction.”

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