How Much Do LPGA Tour Caddies Earn?

How much LPGA Tour caddies earn depends upon the caddie and the player

Allisen Corpuz and her caddie at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Women's Open GettyImages-1526456904
(Image credit: Getty Images)

How much do LPGA Tour caddies earn?

How much LPGA Tour caddies earn depends upon the caddie and the player; in particular, on how well the player plays. Each caddie is an independent contractor, thus is self employed. As such, he or she negotiates their own deal with the player that they caddie for. There is no LPGA caddie set standard for caddie’s remuneration.

So what follows has to be a generalisation. Caddie pay is not something normally publicly talked about by either caddie or player. Indeed, it is said the reason why Tiger Woods dismissed his first caddie, Mike ‘Fluff’ Cowan was that Cowen had revealed details of his pay ($1,000 a week and bonuses up to 10 percent of Woods’ winnings in this case).

But caddies get a two-part payment. The first part is base pay for a tournament, the second part is, in effect, performance-related pay based on how the player does, with the caddie getting a cut of the player’s prize money. Caddies and players set this percentage but I have not heard of any caddie getting more than 10% and often this figure is only for when the golfer wins the tournament. Typical figures mentioned are 10% of the prize money for winning; 7% for top 5 or maybe top 10; and 5% otherwise.

Gary Player, recalled being greeted by his Augusta National caddie, Eddie McCoy at the 1978 Masters: “Mr Player we’ve got to win, I’m in a trouble and I need a new house.” Player went on: “I don't know what kind of trouble Eddie was in, but when I came from seven shots behind to win on Sunday, you've never seen a man as happy as Eddie.”

Caddies are responsible for paying their own expenses. The base pay is money given by the player to the caddie for the caddie to use however they wish, but it provides funds for travel, accommodation and meals when getting to and from, and working at, a tournament.

Base pay rates you hear mentioned are between $1,000 and $2.500 per tournament. Typically if a caddy if not working at a tournament, he – or she, although most caddies on the LPGA tour are male – does not get paid. Tour caddies make the bulk of their money from their percentage of the prize money.

The 2024 LPGA season offers over $116 million in prize money with 10 regular tournaments offering at least $3 million and the five Majors having purses of between $5.25m and $11m. The winner of the U.S. Women’s Open gets $2million. Presuming their caddie is on a 10% share of this, that caddie will earn a $200,000 bonus that week.

Roderick Easdale

Contributing Writer Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests and he was contributing editor for the first few years of the Golf Monthly Travel Supplement. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He also compiles the magazine's crossword. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around two dozen countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is the author of five books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.