The Loop

How Jordan Spieth’s caddie might have earned more than $2 million for the PGA Tour season


2015 Getty Images

September 28, 2015

Michael Greller was a sixth-grade teacher at Narrows View Intermediate School in University Place, Wash., reportedly earning $77,000 a year, when Jordan Spieth hired him to caddie in 2013.

Greller took a leave of absence beginning in January of that year, and when he soon realized that Spieth had a future in the game tendered his resignation in May.

Good move.

We can’t know the financial arrangements that Spieth and Greller have, so for this exercise we’ll go with a standard five percent of Spieth’s purse, seven percent for a top 10, and 10 percent for a victory (meanwhile disregarding the weekly stipend players usually pay their caddies, regardless of performance).

On that basis alone, Greller earned $1,040,613 during the PGA Tour’s 2014-’15 wraparound season. Throw in another $100,000 for Spieth’s victory in the unofficial Hero World Challenge and about $85,000 for Spieth winning the Australian Open and Greller’s take for those 12 months moves to $1,225,613.

Then there is Spieth’s $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup. There is no reason to believe that Spieth would not follow Billy Horschel’s example from the year before of giving his caddie a 10 percent share of that, too. Spieth frequently credits Greller for helping him succeed.

So throw another $1 million on the pile and it’s possible that Greller, the former sixth-grade teacher turned caddie, earned $2,225,613.

Greller would have had to teach another 29 years at $77,000 per year to earn that.