Here's what golfers have to say about the divisive topic of caddies and Olympic medals...
Should The Caddies Get An Olympic Medal?
Another Olympics with golf included has now passed and, while it has been a relative success, the same questions still remain.
People seem to be coming round to the format while there’s still a lot of talk about some form of mixed competition – another topic that gets debated is that of the caddie.
This year in Tokyo we’ve had extreme temperatures, not that that should warrant a medal on its own but it’s a big reminder of what goes into a round of golf when it’s blisteringly hot.
In Rio Mark Fulcher did pretty much all of Justin Rose's preparation, getting there early, walking the course every day and then doing all the on-course bits in the heat of competition.
The cox in rowing gets a medal so what’s the difference with golf?
So, should the caddies get an Olympic medal? Here's what golfers think...
Those in favour….
Yes. But which country would it count towards if the caddy was from a different country?
Coxes get medals in the rowing, I would say caddies work harder physically and have at least as much input into the success or not of the real sportsmen they are helping. So for consistency, yes, as a team, golfers should have a caddy of the same nationality and they should get a medal. Presumably the caddies are doing the job for free that week too, given that the golfers aren’t playing for prize money for a change.
I think they should get one but it shouldn't count towards their countries total. Like other team sports, each member gets a medal, but it only counts as one in the medal table. So if Schauffele did have a different nationality on the bag, he would get a medal but he won it as part of Team USA.
Why not? These guys are always talking about ‘we’ and ‘my team’, let them get some of the glory for a change.
’It’s ludicrous to suggest giving them a medal…’
They are effectively an on-field coach, they don't hit a shot and coaches don't receive a medal in any sport. They are part of the team surrounding the player but not more than that. I think the cox in a boat is a little lucky to get a medal but I'm guessing they may at least steer the boat, as well as doing other things. Until they actually swing a club I'm afraid they miss out.
Would that mean the caddy needs to be from same country? I've never seen a caddy handed a trophy, so maybe it is a no?
Should the horses get medals in equestrian events?
Do the corner people in boxing get a medal?
The caddy is employed by the golfer and isn’t selected on their own merits.
Does the caddy hit the shots ? Does a caddy get the Green Jacket when someone wins the Masters? Get the claret jug? Coaches don’t get medals, assistants don’t get medals.
They are a big part of a player’s support team but they don't participate in the actual play. All the Olympic competitors get data/feedback/info, physical and mental support etc etc from those in their support team and those folks don't get medals. It was the pro who was invited by his country to represent the country at the Olympics – the invite to represent Team GB was not made to Mr Tommy Fleetwood +1. If that pro decides to bring along a dedicated caddy to assist them then it's up to the player.
Personally I think caddies are an anachronism. Although some of them deserve some sort of a medal for putting up with the treatment they receive from their employers.
I think it’s ludicrous to suggest giving them a medal, Olympians train for years to be at their best for the Olympics. What does a caddy do? Carry a bag and walk around for five hours, give the player some yardages when a laser could do exactly the same job. It would devalue the achievement of winning a gold medal.
What about the money?
I’m not sure about golf but I can go from my experience in sailing. No money was given for getting a medal, the athletes as part of the Team GB squad (including the ones who didn’t get selected for the Olympics, in sailing only one person/team can go per event) get paid a salary from the UK Sport funding. The salary does vary depending on how good you are though. They are also allowed to get a certain number in sponsors to bring in extra funds.
It's up to each country to decide on remuneration (the IOC do not award prize money). Some countries reward the athletes for medals, e.g. USA, pay medal winners $37,500 for a gold, $22,500 for a silver, and $15,000 for a bronze. Singapore pay $737,000, $369,000 and $184,000! (Countries with smaller teams tend to pay more than ones with larger ones). Team GB do not reward for medals.
Maybe the caddies should get a token item, like an 'honorary' medal but not a real, counting one. Otherwise it causes confusion if they're from a different country to their golfer, as mentioned earlier. e.g. if Schauffele had a Canadian caddie, would Canada then get +1 in the gold medal table? You can't really give gold to two countries at once can you?
No prize money so no win bonus. Expensive week for the pro.... on the basis that the pro wouldn't be able to function on the course without their caddy, I think they should get something.
Take golf out of the Olympics....problem solved. I know I'm a grump but the time of the Olympics is over. When it began, it was a good chance to bring people around the world together since it was rather hard to do so. The world isn't the same anymore. World championship every year or two for every sport in their own locations....separate from the other sports. Grump over......
Let's be honest, it's a grown up sports day. Give them a medal to show their mum when they get home.
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.
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