Editors' BlogJuly 7, 2009

Stevie's Bib

Something about Steve Williams, Tiger's caddy, removing his caddy bib prior completing the 18th hole, bugs the heck out of you. We get a protest almost every week, few as comprehensive as the second one here.

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Dear Editor,>

At the conclusion of Tiger's tournament on Sunday why does Steve Williams get to remove his caddie bib while he approaches the 18th green? Noticed this before, but only with him! Is there a rule or some kind of protocol for this? To the non-golfers he may look like a player--maybe this is what he wants?

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Tom Daniels

Saint Marys, PA

__Dear Editor,>

Like John Hawkins column, The Angry Golfer, this email is from The Angry Fan.>

Is it just me--out of line and getting too old and nit-picky, or some other readers comment on this matter too?>

I refer to Tiger Wood's caddie, Steve Williams removing his caddie's vest prior to the official end of the round of golf. He does this each and every time, and I question what rules of proper attire for caddies might govern his actions. It seems that all caddies are required to wear the vests, so I imagine there is some regulation to dictate how they look and when they are to be worn. If that is the case, why is Williams the only one (that I have ever seen) to remove it before his player putts out on the final hole? I believe he removed it Sunday at the AT&T before Tiger reached the final green? >

He wears a logo for Valvoline Motor Oil on his shirt, so I imagine he is capitalizing on Tiger's celebrity to get air time for his "sponsor". >

I resent his actions, and think it should be addressed by the policy board for proper conduct by tour caddies. If he can take it off before play has ended on the 18th hole, does that allow all the other caddies to do the same? Would the PGA Tour officials allow them to start disrobing on the 17th hole? The 16th? >

In my humble opinion, Mr. Williams acts way too big for his britches anyhow, as demonstrated with his confiscating a fan's camera a year or so ago; or when he called Phil Mickelson a "prick" last year. While I appreciate Tiger's effect on the game, there is still an older generation of us who enjoy the game whether he is playing in the field or not; and who feel this wonderful game has been around much longer than all the great players, and will outlast all the fame and celebrity and fanaticism that Tiger's play can generate in his short lifetime. If honors are bestowed on a great golfer, then so be it, but let's keep his employee in line with all the other caddies in the field.>

Would you please inform me of what is correct and proper in this matter? I decided long ago that Golf World is the only magazine on golf that I need to read, and I know your writers will provide a definitive answer to all of us who find his actions irritating. If you can't comment, then who should I contact to get an answer to my question?>

I have found over the many years of subscribing to Golf World, that it is the only magazine about my favorite pastime I have ever needed. Keep up the good writing and reporting on the game.>

Ed Church>

Spartanburg, SC__ >

Ed, thank you for those comments about Golf World. Now, on to the matter at hand. I have spoken to Tour officials who tell me that there is indeed a policy that requires caddies to wear the bibs for all 18 holes. It does not specify, however, just how much of that 18th hole the caddy is required to keep the bib on, though one might assume, all of it. Nonetheless, without their saying so explicitly, I concluded that the Tour chooses its battles and this is not one it wishes to choose. No use poking the Tiger, what? It may be annoying, and it may also be not in keeping with the spirit of the regulation, but from the Tour's point of view, is this worth a fight. Probably not, from its point of view.

--Bob Carney

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