Who Is Tiger Woods’ Caddie?

A major-winning bag man, Joe LaCava has been working for the 15-time Major winner since 2011

Joe LaCava Tiger Woods pictured together at the 2020 Masters, Tiger Woods’ Caddie
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tiger Woods captured his 15th Major Championship at the 2019 edition of The Masters (opens in new tab), winning his fifth Green Jacket in the process, and it was his first Major victory with Joe LaCava on the bag. Joe LaCava has been working for the now 15-time major winner since 2011, but he is a man that golf fans may not be too familiar with. So who is Tiger Woods’ caddie?

Who Is Tiger Woods' Caddie?

Joe LaCava came onto the bag of Tiger Woods after his acrimonious split with former bagman Steve Williams, who had worked for Woods for 13 years. Conneticut man, LaCava, joined Woods after a four-year spell with Dustin Johnson that saw Johnson rise steadily through the ranks. Crucially however, prior to that he had worked for Freddie Couples, a close friend of Tiger Woods.

One of the most striking elements to the relationship between the Joe LaCava and Tiger Woods has been the loyalty shown by LaCava. During their stint together, Woods has spent long periods out with chronic back and other injuries. Without a bag to carry, LaCava’s earning potential was greatly diminished but despite being told by Tiger to get another bag while he was injured in 2017, LaCava stuck by his man. 

He has once again remained loyal to Woods whilst the 15-time Major winner recovered from a near-career-ending car accident in February. The relationship between the pair is clearly strong as his son has acted as caddie for Tiger's son Charlie at both the 2020 and 2021 PNC Championships. LaCava did have stints caddying for both Fred Couples and Patrick Cantlay in 2021, although he remains in his primary role of caddie for Tiger Woods.

joe lacava with fred couples

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Joe LaCava made his name as a caddie while working for Fred Couples in the 90s and early 2000s. In fact, he spent 20 years working for the 1992 Masters Champion and helped Couples win a total of 12 events. The two split when Couples told LaCava to go and work for a younger player.

It has been striking to see the contrast between LaCava and Tiger’s previous caddie, Steve Williams. Whilst Williams was tough and outspoken (playing the role of part caddie, part bodyguard), LaCava appears to be a quieter, more unassuming character. 

tiger woods caddie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In an interview with Golfweek (opens in new tab), LaCava gave some insight into some of his favorite places and challenging courses.

"My favorite tournament is Augusta. That’s the easy answer. I think every caddie would say that. I do enjoy going to the British Open, no matter the venue. I think it’s a great atmosphere, great tournament, it’s where it all started. So those are my two favorite tournaments to work. In terms of the golf courses, I love Muirfield Village in Ohio. I love Riviera. And I love Sawgrass. Those are probably my top three that we play every (year). There’s plenty that we don’t play all the time that are great, classic golf courses. But in terms of seeing every year, those are my three favorites.

(In terms of which is the most challenging)

"Augusta! TV does it no justice. It’s up and down. It’s a long week. There’s a lot of late practice runs, long practice runs. That’s not a complaint. That’s a fact. That’s a grind. That’s a tough week. The British can be tough, too, because you never know what the weather is going to be like so the bag’s heavy. As we get older, that’s tougher for me. And that’s a grind. But it’s worth every minute of it because, like I said, it’s my favorite tournament to work outside of Augusta."

LaCava also gave some insight into when Tiger asked him to caddie for the 15-time Major winner.

"It meant the world to me. You got what I consider the greatest player of all time reaching out to you to see if you want to caddie for him. He was almost like, ‘I know I haven’t played much lately and I’m hurt a lot, but would you take a shot and work with me?’ I thought that was fantastic. My wife tells me all the time, sometimes you pinch yourself and sometimes I guess you have to pinch yourself because you don’t realize how great I’ve had it. Again, it’s been a lot of hard work up to this point but the fact that Tiger is calling me to caddie is the greatest thing ever."

For Joe LaCava, Tiger’s return to health and form marked the beginning of a new, exciting and potentially lucrative period in his own career, and it remains to be seen how the next phase goes with Woods' toned-down schedule in 2022.

Is Joe LaCava still caddying?

Yes LaCava still caddies for Tiger Woods at the moment, despite his employer taking some time to recuperate from his accident in 2021.

How much does Joe LaCava make?

Given Tiger's sporadic schedule, and no financial details being made public, it is difficult to estimate how much Joe LaCava makes at the moment. Usually caddies get around 10% of any winnings but we have found this to vary depending on the player-caddie relationship. Some also have a weekly salary as well. Given how they are good friends, and the amount of money Tiger has made in his career, it wouldn't be surprising for LaCava to make in the six-figure mark but this is an estimate. 

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last five years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He also loves to test golf apparel especially if it a piece that can be used just about anywhere!

As a result he has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice and tips.

He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since December 2017. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

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