As Hideki Matsuyama has taken Augusta by storm, his caddie Shota Hayafuji has been on the bag to witness his epic Masters performance. It is not all business for the duo as Hayafuji recently took to Instagram to wish his “boss” a happy birthday back in February.
“Happy birthday my boss🥳 #hidekimatsuyama #happybirthday,” Hayafuji noted while posting a photo of Matsuyama holding balloons.
Like all caddies, Hayafuji’s salary depends on Matsuyama’s performance in each tournament. Each caddie has their own pay structure that is agreed upon with their golfer and typically this data is not made public.
Heading into the Masters, Matsuyama earned $1.6 million so far during the 2021 season, per PGA Tour. Caddies typically earn between five to ten percent of the golfer’s winnings depending on where they finish on the leaderboard. This would put Hayafuji’s cut between $80,000 to $160,000 prior to Augusta. That number is likely to rise by a hefty margin given Matsuyama’s play at the Masters.
Caddies Typically Earn 10% of the Winning Purse
The caddie’s official salary is negotiated with the golfer, but 10% of the winning purse is common practice. A caddie earns a small base salary but the majority of their money is determined by how the golfer performs at each tournament. Caddies are also responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses for the competition. Former caddie turned ESPN analyst Michael Collins detailed the pay structure on Chris Long’s Green Light podcast.
“So, the way that the pay works. People always think it’s 10% across the board but that’s not how it works,” Collins detailed. “So, caddies get a regular weekly paycheck because caddies have to pay for all of their own expenses, airfare, hotel, rental car, food, that’s all on the caddie. So, they get a weekly paycheck from the player and then you get a percentage of what the player wins if they make the cut and it’s normally, the base is 10% for a win, 7% for a top-ten and 5% for everything else. But, that number is negotiated between every player and caddie. There’s no such thing as a contract between player and caddie.”
The Winning Caddie at the Masters Will Earn an Estimated $207,000
Collins estimated that the winning caddie at the 2021 Masters will earn $170,000 to $180,000. He also added that some players negotiate for a higher weekly rate in exchange for lesser percentage of the winnings.
“You can also say, okay, look, let me have, instead of $1,500 a week, let me have $2,500 a week, and only pay me 7% across the board,” Collins added. “So, 7% no matter what we win. But like, this week, the player who wins is going to win probably $1.8 million, $1.7 million, so the caddie’s going to make $170,000 to $180,000 plus their weekly pay.”
To fact check Collins, the 2021 Masters purse is $11.5 million and the winning golfer earns $2.07 million, per Augusta.com. This is slightly higher than Collins’ estimate, and puts the caddie’s share at $207,000 assuming they have the standard 10% rate. This is slightly higher than Collins’ estimate which is even more good news for the caddie.