The guy carrying the reigning champion's luggage is always ranked first. The remaining numbers are assigned in the sequence in which the caddies check in to register. All caddies at the Masters have the name of the player they are caddying for written in green script on the back of their overalls. They are allowed one personal item; if it takes up more space than a small suitcase, it must be checked.
At the Masters, all caddies are members of the clubhouse staff. They earn this status by working three years at the club and then can apply for membership. Until 2005, there was no salary attached to the job but now they are paid an average of $15 per hour.
The position has been held by many famous people including Jack Nicklaus who won the tournament five times, and Gary McCord who was the caddy from 1990 to 1993 when Nicklaus retired.
There have been several female caddies at the Masters over the years. One of them was Nellie Rathbone who worked from 1898 to 1901. She was the daughter of John Henry Rathbone who played at the Masters in 1894. Another example is Kathy Richardson who worked from 1980 to 1983 as a caddy while studying psychology at Georgia State University. After graduation, she returned to work as a caddy until 1986 when she became the wife of pro golfer Steve Jones.
Each Masters caddie's white jumpsuit has a number on the front. The No. 1 spot is always designated for the reigning champion's caddy. Tiger Woods' caddy, Joe LaCava, will wear that number this year. The other caddies will be assigned numbers by the Masters Tournament Commissioner's Office.
The caddies work for a variety of service providers at different times during the tournament. They include employees of the Augusta National Golf Club and contractors who are hired when the club hires more caddies than it needs itself. In addition to carrying bags and equipment down from the carts, some caddies also serve as runners by carrying messages from one part of the course to another or by collecting balls from lost players.
Augusta National Golf Club was founded in 1935 by Marvin Leonard and Jock Hutchison. The two partners realized that to make their new sport popular they needed world-class facilities in the best location possible. They chose Augusta because there was already a community of about 20,000 people living near the city center with many more coming every year thanks to its location near Savannah, Georgia.
The first official Masters tournament was held at Augusta National in April of 1934. It was an event that attracted only amateur golfers who competed for the American Cancer Society charity.
Caddies will enter the room since they frequently retain another scorecard. The official scorecards also feature a strip that can be peeled off; each player saves his own score on that strip to compare to his partner's score. The caddy with the higher number wins.
The first known written reference to a golf caddy was in 1723 when Sir Henry Lee wrote about "a man who carries balls for others to hit." In 1829, an Englishman named William Taylor established himself in South Carolina where he made and sold clothes as well as carried clubs for members of the South Carolina Assembly. He is considered the first professional caddy in North America.
Today, most major golf tournaments have their own caddies who are usually hired by the tournament owner. They help out on the bagging crew by carrying bags full of balls, clubs, and other equipment used by the players during the game. Some caddies also work the fairways or lie in wait at the next hole if one of their partners drops a ball. Others watch for trouble on the course such as heavy rain or high winds that could affect play. The most important job of a caddy is to make sure that none of their partners fall down!
There are some minor golf tournaments without caddies that can be played by four people per team.