PATH TO BEING A CADDIE
Matt Hall took leap of faith into caddying
Looper for Stewart Cink has been carrying clubs for 14 years
July 28, 2014
- Matt Hall currently works for Stewart Cink, pictured here at this season's Open Championship at Hoylake. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Since he began playing golf when he was 10 years old, Matt Hall has always found a way to be involved with the game.
In high school, he worked in a golf retail store. One summer in college, he worked in the bag room and in outside operations at Oakland Hills Country Club. After graduating from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., he worked as an assistant club pro for two seasons.
Trying out those jobs made him realize that he didn’t want to make a career out of any of them. In hopes of figuring out what to do with his life, Hall decided to give caddying a go.
“I was like, ‘Well, I love golf. I like to travel, and if you get with a decent player, you can make a pretty good living,’” he said. “So I thought if I don’t do this now, I’ll never do it. So I gave it a shot.”
Two years after college, Hall picked up and moved to North Carolina from his native Michigan. The first player Hall carried a bag for was Eric Johnson on the Buy.com Tour. He caddied for D.A. Points the longest and was looping for him when he won the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. For the past two years, he has worked for Stewart Cink.
Like many caddies, Hall started out on the developmental tours. He moved up to the PGA TOUR in 2004 with Mark Hensby after picking up his bag at the end of the 2003 Buy.com season.
“He’s like, ‘Let’s give it a go next year,’ ” Hall said. “He got off to a great start in 2004. I’ve kind of been out here (on the PGA TOUR) ever since.”
But it wasn’t until the last couple years that Hall felt he really belonged.
“Until you really get a lot of experience, until you have some high finishes and get in contention with a player, that’s really (when he became comfortable),” he said. “You can’t go to a school. Someone can’t teach you. You just have to do it.”
Hall, 38, likes the freedom being a caddie affords him.
“Yes, we are gone roughly half the year for travel,” he said. “But when I’m home, I’m not working. I play husband and am able to do things around the house.”
After 14 years carrying a bag, Hall has no regrets about becoming a caddie.
“It’s a very high-risk, high-reward job slash profession,” Hall said. “It definitely takes a leap of faith, and it’s something that you have to want to pursue and go after. I’m one of those people where if I didn’t do it I would have probably always had that question in the back of my mind, kind of a what-if thing. At least I gave it a shot. I’m still here, so I guess it worked out.”
Inside the PGA TOUR
Path to Being a Caddie: Matt Hall