Who Is Brooks Koepka’s Caddie?

Northern Irishman Ricky Elliott has been Brooks Koepka's bagman during all five of his Major wins

Who Is Brooks Koepka’s Caddie?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Who Is Brooks Koepka's Caddie?

Brooks Koepka's bagman is Ricky Elliott, who is originally from Portrush in Northern Ireland. He grew up with 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell and is also close friends with Ian Poulter.

The caddie, who played at Royal Portrush as a junior, was a promising youngster, winning titles such as the Ulster Boys Championship and the Ulster Youth Championship.

Elliott represented Ireland at the 1990 European Youths Championship with Michael Hoey, who has gone on to win five times on the European Tour (now DP World Tour). He also went to college in the states at the University of Toledo in Ohio.

The Northern Irishman attempted to make it as a pro on the mini-tour circuit in America before becoming a caddie, a choice that has reaped dividends in recent years. 

Elliott was on the bag for Dutchman Maarten Lafeber and 2003 Open Champion Ben Curtis before starting work with Koepka in 2013. He was with Ben Curtis during his 2012 Texas Open win and also caddied for Matt Fitzpatrick during the 2014 Masters.

Brooks Koepka and his caddie Ricky Elliott

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Ulsterman was part of all five of Koepka’s Major victories at the 2017 and 2018 US Open, and the PGA Championship wins in 2018, 2019 and 2023.

Following Koepka’s second US Open victory, in an interview he gave to ESPN, he said of Koepka: “He's just a real strong mental guy, he's unflappable. When he hits a bad shot, he never gives me any grief. He gets on with it. I mean, to this day, if we hit one over the back [of the green], he'd probably just turn around to me and go, 'Well, I hit that quite a bit hard'. Which is unusual for a good athlete or player. He takes a huge responsibility in what he's doing out there. Makes my job very easy.”

Koepka is also full of praise for his bagman. “He keeps it light,” said the American ahead of The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019.. “He knows not to talk about golf while we’re out there. He knows if I’m getting a little bit tense, maybe upset, angry, whatever it is, he can tell just by my walk. He can tell, just body language. I think that’s what makes a great caddie. A lot of times he’ll tell me to slow down, slow my walk.

"If I get angry, my walk just gets a little bit quicker. And then under pressure he knows exactly what to say at the right time, and that’s what you want in a caddie. I wouldn’t want anybody else on my bag, I know that. He’s been tremendous. He’s part of the reason why I’ve had the success I’ve had. And I love the guy to death."

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Elliott actually seemed to shoot to prominence around a rules issue at the 2023 Masters, which later saw him being questioned by The Masters Committee.

After Koepka's second shot on the 15th at Augusta National, Elliott appeared to say the word “five” to playing partner Gary Woodland’s caddie, Brennan Little, potentially indicating the club Koepka had used. That led some to speculate that it could be construed as giving advice. 

However, The Masters later released a statement explaining that it had determined there hadn’t been a rules breach. It read: “Following the completion of Brooks Koepka’s round, the Committee questioned his caddie and others in the group about a possible incident on No.15. All involved were adamant that no advice was given or requested. Consequently, the Committee determined that there was no breach of the Rules.”

Brooks Koepka and his team with the PGA Championship trophy in 2018

Koepka with coach Claude Harmon (left) and caddie Rickie Elliott (right) after winning the 2018 PGA Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Koepka was once again full of praise for Elliott at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

"I think we've been so successful because I don't understand him half the time," he joked. That's probably why we work so well together. He's a great dude. He was a groomsman in my wedding. He's one of my best friends.

"We hang out on the golf course, off the golf course. He'll sometimes even pop down to him or I'll pop up to him in Orlando and just kind of spend a weekend up there hanging with him. It doesn't always need to be golf. We're very close, and I think that's translated to success on the golf course.

"I think the ideal caddie is just knowing what your player is going to do before they even do it. He can sense if I'm tense, if I'm a little too relaxed, if I'm pissed off, if I'm kind of lackadaisical. He can sense that and kind of get the ball rolling and snap me back into it."

How Much Does Brooks Koepka's Caddie Make?

When you're cleaning up in the Majors (Koepka won 4/8 from 2017-19) then your percentage is going to work out very nicely. Take 2018 for example: Koepka won both the US Open and US PGA, as well as six top 10s, which brought in over $7m. 

The US Open paid out $2.16m and the US PGA $1.98m so, on a rough basis of 10 per cent, Elliott probably collected north of $400,000 from those two weeks alone. Then you can throw in the basic, top-10 percentages and the bonuses and the Portrush man is on a very nice gig.  

Koepka is now a LIV Golf player, of course, and the American has enjoyed a profitable time so far on the new circuit, winning the event in Jeddah in October 2022 to claim the $4 first prize. 

For more content on Koepka, take a look at our posts on his wife Jena Sims, and Koepka's what's in the bag setup.

Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.