In a brilliant interview with GOLFTV, Tiger Woods' caddie revealed that he considers his boss the greatest player of all time
Joe LaCava: Woods The Greatest Of All Time
Tiger is often referred to as the 'GOAT' - Greatest Of All Time, and many people share this view, although traditionalists liken that honour to others like 18-time Major champion Jack Nicklaus and perhaps players like Ben Hogan or Bobby Jones.
However, in an interview with GOLFTV, Woods' caddie Joe LaCava, stood next to his employer, said that his boss is the greatest of all time.
The pair were interviewed together by the new digital golf content provider and it made for an entertaining watch, with the duo clearly sharing a special relationship.
It's also a great opportunity to see Woods relaxed and happy in a way that wasn't seen so much in his heyday.
LaCava revealed that the pair's bond is more brotherly than employer-employee, with LaCava hanging out with Tiger's children, flying and eating with Woods and staying at his home.
Woods also revealed some horrendous shots witnessed in pro-ams and why he chose LaCava, Fred Couples' long-time bagman, as his caddie.
Watch and read the interview below:
Q: You guys have been together for 8 years, Tiger, what is the best caddie trait from Joe?
TW: (Laughs) The best? Is there a best?
Q: What are the do’ s and don’ts of carrying Tiger's Bag?
Joe: What I haven’t got used to in 8 years is having a fresh glove on the first tee.
TW: Yes, true.
Joe: You worked for Fred (Couples) for 21 years with no glove, and Tiger’s looking at me on the first tee like, well? Well what? Where’s my glove? There’s really no do’s and don’ts. You know, Tiger’s great about me giving advice. You know that’s the thing about both of us… we always think we’re right. Yet he’s willing to listen to you and he cares and wants to hear what you say. He trusts you in that respect. At the same time I know he’s the boss and he has the final decision.
Q: Today was pro-am day. Do they always go as planned?
TW: I played one at Westchester. The guy hit down so hard he drove it into the ground, hit it backwards off the tee. Which I thought was very impressive! I had one guy who hit one right off the heel, it hit his shin – which I didn’t think was possible – and then we get all the way round to 18 and he hit one off the toe of the club that went straight right that hit a gentleman in the mid section (laughs), and dropped him. So he had two shots in one round that I’ve never seen.
Joe: For me the pro-am’s are about having a good time with the guys but more than that, I look forward to when we play Peyton Manning or Markie Mark Wahlberg, or stuff like that. So I get jacked up about that. And I’ve seen those shots from all of these guys but they’re nervous or having a tough time out there but generally good guys it’s an easy day.
Q: There’s a new rule that allows you to putt with the flagstick in.- will you be trying this?
TW: I’ve been trying, experimenting and testing at home quite a bit. Trying to figure out what speed, what distance, what range, what would happen if I left it in with my read change, lines change, speed change. Just trying to figure out if it is advantageous.. does it change my perception of how I should hit the putt. If not, does it alter in a good way or a bad way… and we’ll see what happens.
Q: Why did you want joe as your caddie?
TW: When he was on Freddie’s bag for a number of years, was so nice to me when I was playing practice rounds wth Fred and I’d ask a bunch of different questions and I’d play him in the major championships when I was an amateur. And even when I was early on in my pro career, and Freddie’s become like a surrogate dad to me.. And Joey was kind enough to come on board and we’ve had eight wins together… what, nine? Were both pretty feisty out there. We’re both pretty competitive. We don’t really talk a lot but we’re both pretty emotional when we’re playing. He’s an unbelievable green reader. It’s great to have a verification of eyes and he’s read some pretty important putts.
Q: What makes caddying for Tiger so special?
Joe: I consider him the greatest player of all time so people to me all the time and go, you’re a pretty loyal guy, hanging around when he was hurt and other stuff. And I didn’t feel that way. I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am, and so I feel lucky to have the spot I have. Tiger treats me like a buddy. I hang out at his house. I hang out with the kids. I fly with the guy. I stay at his house all the time. We go to dinner. So we’re buddies first but I also get it. He’s the boss and I work for him. But he doesn’t treat like that at all.
Q When you hear in a recent interview he’d have waited a hundred years for you.. how special is that?
TW: Pretty romantic (laughs)
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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