So when my friend Tyrrell Hatton asked me to caddy for him at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2019 Masters, it was the next best thing.
I first met Tyrrell when we played in England on the U18 team together. We became good friends and turned pros at the same time. We even lived together in Orlando, Florida, for the first few months of our pro careers when we were playing in mini-tour events.
I prepared for the Masters like I was playing myself. My experience as a player had some value when I was caddying.
It was hard to not be in control when it came to hitting the shot, and it took some time getting used to, but I’d still love to be a caddy again.
It’s rare to get the opportunity to caddy for your friend on the biggest stage in golf on one of the most famous golf courses in the world. I could’ve easily gotten carried away thinking about how amazing it all was, but I didn’t because I wanted to do a good job and be the best caddy I could be by providing Tyrrell with correct yardages and helping him make the best possible strategic decisions.
Caddying at the Masters was very different than anything I’ve ever experienced before.
It really did live up to my expectations with the prestige and flawless aesthetics. It’s almost got that magical feel of going to Disney World for the first time when you’re a kid.
Then, to add to the magic, you get on the range and there’s Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, and other golfers that are your childhood heroes.
There are some strict unwritten rules and traditions that, as a caddy, put you on edge and make you a bit worried about doing something "wrong" or even getting told off by one of the members in the green jackets, but it kind of adds to the excitement of being there in a weird way.
The main thing that surprised me about the course was how different some of it is compared to how it looks on TV.
The first time I saw the course, I couldn’t believe how many hills there were.
I’ve also never seen a course that has such an open expanse if you see it as a whole, but still feels so tight if you stand on each individual tee box. From the first tee you can see half the course.
Each day, the caddies would arrive at the entrance to the caddy hut, go through security, and then receive their famous white overalls.
The caddy hut itself is really cool, full of lots of snacks, drinks, comfy chairs, and TVs that are of course playing the Masters — definitely not a bad place to chill until your player arrives. We’d also get the daily pin positions from here.
The range is located right next to the hut, so most days I would wait in there while Tyrrell warmed up, note down the pins along with any other notes in my yardage book, then meet him on the range.
Once we were ready, we’d take a cart to the main clubhouse and onto the putting green by the first tee.
The atmosphere was always so cool because the crowds were huge around the putting green as well as the first and tenth tees.
When we’d head to the first tee, the starter would shout, "Fore please Tyrrell Hatton is now driving."
I couldn’t help but think of all the legends of the game that have had this line called out for them — and then there I was, watching one of my friends make it to that moment.
It was very inspiring. Then suddenly, there’d be dead silence, Tyrrell would tee off, and away we’d go.
What I enjoyed most about the experience was the practice rounds.
The weather was perfect while the sun was just going down, and there were no spectators allowed on site yet, so the back nine were empty, which allowed us to basically have the back nine of Augusta all to ourselves. That was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
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Jamie Killin May 20, 2021 at 07:57PM