Brooks Koepka, who was speaking ahead of the LIV Golf Team Championship in Miami last week, spoke about how everyone involved in the series’ inaugural year, from caddies to coaches to players, to managers.
“It’s been great to see more smiles on peoples’ faces. After his round with Donald Trump, Koepka said that everyone is genuinely happy. “I think the food the caddies get, the way they treat them like humans, is nice. I have seen both sides and not everyone has seen both.”
The four-time major champion said the same thing about caddies being treated as human beings back September. While it is an unfair comparison to the PGA and DP World tours’ treatment of caddies, there is a marked difference in a looper’s experience with LIV compared with the other tours.
You feel more connected. It’s the little things, like being able to walk into the player dining area and have a meal, or my wife being able go in there with me and get air conditioning. They also let Austin Johnson, Austin Johnson’s brother, caddie for Dustin Johnson, LIV’s 24-time winner and season-long champion, comment. “The Tour was wonderful to us, it wasn’t hard to do our job, and LIV offers a better caddie work environment.
He said, “I’m probably the most-spoiled caddie ever in the history golf,” but he added, “But like a lot other guys, to have all expenses paid for, and to show up at work knowing they’re going to get a paycheck, it can make your life a lot easier.” It is.
“I don’t mean to be negative about the PGA Tour. I just want to emphasize how amazing it is here. Although I sound like a spoilt little child, it’s nice to finish the round. I can sit in the air conditioner, have lunch with Dustin and eat a decent meal, rather than walking to a tent hoping for food.
Travel. Hotel. Shuttles. Food. LIV covers all of it. These caddie costs are paid by LIV for the other tours. You and your player will be left empty-handed if you miss the cut. LIV’s 54-hole events are not cut, so it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Chris Rice, who carries the bag in honor of Harold Varner III, said that “it’s just different here.” He spent nine years on DP World Tour and five years on the PGA Tour. It’s clear that there is no cut which helps. Everyone has a smile because the PGA Tour is about your livelihood.
Rice stated that the absence of a cut relieves some pressure, while Johnson claimed that he feels more pressure when Dustin and he are in contention at LIV events than when they were on Tour.
He said, “There’s so many on the line. The difference between first- and second place is almost $2 million.” “That’s huge. “That’s huge.
LIV’s seven regular season events saw first place win $4 million and second place $2.125 millions.
Johnson stated that the level of competition is so high that everyone is like “Oh, there’s no cut. What’re you concerned about?” But these guys want victory, they want each other to win. We see each other all of the time. We tee off and eat together. Do you think these guys enjoy watching Dustin dominate the individual thing?” It’s as competitive here as you can get.
LIV will move to its current 14-event league format by 2023. Officials hope that the team aspect of the product will help commercialize it and create a new revenue stream. Although fans have been slow to sign up, players and caddies seem keen to join the teams.
Johnson said, “The team aspect of it is my favorite.” We go to team dinners, and we hang out together. Sometimes we even travel together. It’ll be more effective next year with the team aspect. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It has been a refreshing, a breather of fresh air.”
Rice said, “The whole team aspect of it is great because everyone’s working for each other,” Rice agreed. Rice said, “It’s more than just about playing for oneself. Because you are playing for a team. It’s a completely different experience than what we usually play for.
LIV offers players bigger payouts, which also means that the caddies get more. While money is great on other tours, it doesn’t compare to LIV where first place earns $4 million and the 48 last earns $120,000. To make this much at the PGA Tour Mexico stop, a player must finish in the top 20 (18 th – $125,050, and 19 th – $116,850).
Johnson used Pat Perez’s long-time looper Mike Hartford to illustrate. Flying around the globe for 30 weeks per year, sharing hotels, renting cars, eating pizzas, and making a lot of money. This shouldn’t be allowed in America, particularly not from a company that makes hundreds of million dollars from the men who work. This is not right, in my opinion.
Since 2002, Hartford has been walking alongside Perez since his first year on Tour. Perez has made $29,103 072 on Tour over the past 20 years. Perez made more than $8million in LIV’s inaugural year. He won seven LIV events with the best finish at T-15.
It’s a life-changing experience. Hartford said that he was glad Perez invited him to join the team and that he is grateful for his support. Hartford and Perez were instrumental in the 4Aces winning the inaugural team championship. LIV has made Hartford’s experience positive and more than just money.
We feel more like we are part of the team. Pat and I can go to the restaurant together, they pay for my hotel, my travel, and all transportation. It’s amazing to feel like you’re just another team member.
Rice stated that caddies constantly ask Rice if there are any jobs available and that he cannot resist the temptation to “wind up” the boys when they do. Rice is open about his experiences so far when it’s time for him to be serious.
Rice said, echoing the sentiment shared by many LIV caddies, “If you have an opportunity to come here, it could be life-changing.” “I believe that eventually, I believe everyone will begin to come together. We’ll wait and see what happens.
An anonymous LIV caddie told Golf Digest that “I respect the opinions and those who wish to stay away form LIV due to its complicated and controversial connections.” “But, I can tell you that half my caddies on Tour are trying to get to LIV. It’s an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss for many of us.”
Since the series’ inception, LIV has been at odds with its sponsors over this money-versus-morals issue. LIV Golf, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as its sole supporter, has been long criticized for being a way for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to sportwash its human rights record. Saudi Arabia has been accused in a wide range of human rights violations, including torture, forced disappearances, politically motivated killings, and inhumane treatment for prisoners. Saudi royals and the Saudi government were also accused of being involved in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, a Washington Post columnist and journalist from Saudi Arabia.
“I don’t get involved much and I don’t read too much into it. Everybody will have their own opinion and it’s theirs. Rice said, “I can only give you my opinion about how it was since I’ve been there.” Rice said, “I believe that if someone has the chance, they will definitely come out.”
Austin said, “It’s almost like they put together a bunch of caddies and asked them to create a tour.” “I don’t know how they could make it better. Having someone carry the bag for us is the best thing I can think of.”