TPC Tradition

Posted: May 7, 2009

No one can pinpoint exactly when it started, but Wednesday of the Players Championship is host to a wonderful tradition. Wednesday is the day the caddies take their games to the famed island green at TPC Sawgrass.

What started as school-yard style dare has evolved into the official Caddy Competition, complete with a leaderboard and prizes. If he or she chooses, each caddy can take a turn on the tee at the 17th hole. There are no mulligans, there is no drop zone. The caddy closest to the hole wins.

Click here to view a few images from the famed 17th hole at Sawgrass:

Pete Dye's most fearsome creation - the Island Green at 17

For a long time, the Tour players would toss some money into a kitty on the tee box. It was winner take all, with the caddy closest to the pin assuredly buying the first round that night.

Several years ago, it was proposed that the kitty be split 50/50. Half of the purse would go to veteran Tour caddy Bruce Edwards who was suffering from ALS. Of course the winning caddy immediately donated his half to Bruce’s care as well, and a new tradition was born. Since then 100% of the money donated on 17 tee is donated to the Bruce Edwards Foundation.

That doesn’t mean the most accurate caddy has to settle for mere bragging rights. This year CDW donated a new laptop computer and an iPod touch to the looper who would be lining up the shortest birdie putt.

The spoils went to Gareth Lord, long time caddy for Titleist Brand Ambassador Robert Karlsson. He stiffed his own pitching wedge to 6’1” and, for the record, he made the putt.

This tradition is no longer a secret of PGA Tour insiders. The scoreboards on hole 17 scrolled through the closet to the pin leaderboard, the “balls in water” stats, and posted each caddy’s name as he teed up his only shot of the day.

The competition has gained such a reputation that former President George H. Bush spent a couple of hours taking in the action on the 17th tee box. While he didn’t attempt the shot, it was clear to all who spoke to him that “41” wished he too was out playing a round with friends.

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Robert Sellman

What is Adam Scott gaming this week...on number 17 today, Faldo said that Adam used a pitching wedge, and it looked like the 200 Series Vokey he used to game.  Could you guys provide a detailed 'in the bag' for Adam this week?


Robert Sellman


Same set-up from <a href=" rel="nofollow">The WGC-CA Championship</a> with the exception of the driver shaft - he's gone back to the UST Mamiya Proforce V2 86-X.

Robert Sellman

Watching some of the Titleist pros at Sawgrass, it looked like they were wearing a different version of the Flex Fit Tour hat. It did not seem to have any mesh like the retail version does, and it had a different logo on back. Any info on what these are?

Robert Sellman

I have a question about Jay Haas. Do you guys know what the lie angle is on his putter? I know he is a Champions Tour player so you guys may not know.

Robert Sellman

We currently have two performance materials being used in our <a href="" rel="nofollow">Flex Fit headwear on Tour</a>.  The first is the Sports Mesh that has been popular in recent seasons.  The other is a material that is similar to the T-Tech cap currently available in golf shops.  We have introduced new logo treatments on the caps, with a new rear Titleist logo and an enlarged side Pro V1 logo.  These changes will be incorporated in the 2010 headwear line available in golf shops.

Robert Sellman

Jay's putter has a 69° lie angle.