Caddies File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Private US Golf Club

Montclair Golf Club in New Jersey is alleged to pay caddies lower than the minimum wage

Close-up of a club hitting a ball off a tee
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Caddies have launched a class-action lawsuit against a private US golf club for allegedly violating state wage laws.

According to a report in Golfweek.com (opens in new tab), Montclair Golf Club in New Jersey is alleged to have paid caddies lower than the minimum wage and failed to pay them overtime. Lawyers acting for around 250 caddies who have worked for the club since 2019 have launched the legal action, with the suit filed at the Superior Court in Newark on 7 April.

The complaint states that caddies at the club don’t receive wages. Instead, players are said to pay a $60 fee for each caddie’s golf bag and generally tip them. Caddies typically work between one and two shifts a day. Meanwhile, it states that the most recent raise to the $60 fee was in 2016. The complaint, which names four caddies, also alleges that peak season hours can involve 14-hour days working six or seven days a week.

The complaint also claims that a “caddy master” controls the caddies, including setting them unpaid chores, such as cleaning golf carts and bathrooms, setting up for tournaments, and fetching drinks for the players from the clubhouse bar. It is also alleged that late arrival for work or unavailability during busy periods sees caddies made to wait for work that sometimes doesn’t appear, leaving them unpaid for the day. The caddies allege that the club is in violation of New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Law and seek their unpaid minimum wages and overtime pay, damages and reimbursement of lawyer fees.

According to the complaint, initiation fees to become a member of Montclair Golf Club are reportedly between $40,000 and $70,000, with annual dues of between $5,000 and $15,000. The club, which opened in 1893 and has hosted both the men’s and women’s US Amateur Championships, also recently unveiled an $18 million renovation scheme.

Golf Monthly has contacted Montclair Golf Club for comment, but it has yet to respond. 

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.