Former Pro Tour Golf Caddy Mark Steers believes that he was lucky enough to work in the best times for the sport.

Mark Steers caddied across the Pro Tour for over 20 years and has traveled the world as a result of his trusty golfing judgement.

Mark Steers’ love for Golf started at Bootle Golf Club at the age of 10. The local golf course in Bootle seems to be a hotbed for producing top quality caddies for the world of golf.

(Steers second from the left)

In an interesting interview, Mark Steers reveals the highs and lows of his career and his worries about the future of golf.

How did your journey as a caddy begin?

MS: “I started in 1982, in a tournament in Manchester, at first I thought this is okay. Then I was lucky enough to get a lad through qualifying for the open at Birkdale that was amazing. We played with Bernard Langer and that year they had record crowds over 40,000 a day. From there I got the bug right away.

Eventually me and my mate decided to travel around the world with the tour. We started in Spain then went to about 18 different countries in Europe. We then ended up going to Australia for six weeks before Christmas. Back home for a short time and then out to Dubai and all over the Middle East and then Asia. Finally come home after a few months and then back all over Europe to start again.”

When did you get interested in golf?

MS: “I started playing when I was about 10 at Bootle golf course. I lived like 100 yards from there and I was on that course day and night with a couple of my mates. We all turned out quite decent players which was good, so we were pretty competitive. I got better when I started caddying as I learnt to care more, because when you caddy it hurts when you lose when you maybe should of won.”

Who did you enjoy caddying the most?

MS: “I can honestly say I got along with all my players even the bad ones, I think it was probably I seemed to understand what they were going through!”

What is it like being a caddy with a player in high pressure moments?

MS: “When players are in contention it can be quite daunting. Trying to win when there is millions watching on TV. I know that some players have said some amazing things to their caddies when it goes against them, I know a lad who’s player said he wished he was dead when he lost.”

What has been your best memory as a caddy?

MS: “My best memory was winning at St Andrews back in in 1992. The home of golf, I just loved that place from the first time I went there.

I was working for a up and coming lad called Jamie Spence and it was a 3 man team event, we qualified for England and to make the team was amazing.

We started in a group stage with Spain who had two men in the top 10 in the world. We were also in with Japan and Italy who were strong, so it was a tough start.

To be honest we were probably the underdogs but our team were all young and desperate to do well. The weather was so bad and I think this was good as we had plenty of experience in bad weather. Anyway we managed to win the group.

We drew America in the semi-final and they had world number 1, 5 and 9. They were favourites but we knew the colder the weather the better for us and it was freezing, we managed to beat them.

We then went straight back out for the final against the Scots. There was thousands there mostly all Scotland fans, so we all said they will be more under pressure than us, especially as Scotland had never won this event. In the end the final turned out to be our easiest game.

It is great to still see them lads now and again and we still talk about it. They ended up winning £300,000 between them.”

What has been your worst memory as a caddy?

MS: “My worst memories both come from the Ryder Cup. Firstly, I was with Jamie Spence and we were cruising along to make the team. We were leading in Italy going into the last round when someone said he had made an infringement to the rules, but this never happened. Turns out there was an Italian in 2nd and he was trying to make the team. The next day they disqualified Jamie, no one could believe it. Two weeks later he got ill and was out for two months, game over. We ended up finishing 11th on the list and the top 10 made the team. It was devastating.

My other worst memory was about two years later, I was working for Howard Clark and we made the team and were going to fly to America on Concorde. Sadly I never went, he backed out on the deal we had struck over money. To this day I don’t know why he did it but I said if you don’t honour our deal then I can’t carry your bag anymore.

That Ryder cup was no good to me! That’s probably why I don’t watch it now”

How can Golf attract a larger audience?

MS: “The problem golf has is that it needs someone like Tiger Woods, John Daly or Seve Ballesteros. They were different off the cuff types and were good for the sport.

I think now most of the top lads have no personality and never cause controversy, sometimes you need the naughty ones to keep the public interested in the game. Sadly nowadays there are too many stereotypes of how to act as a player for me. I think I caddied in the best times.”

What are the biggest issues in the Sport today?

MS: “For me selling golf to the next generation is going to be hard. Golf has become mostly psychology rather than ability which is sad, youngsters have to start enjoying golf again but with academies and colleges these lads are almost shot to pieces before they start their life on the pro tour. The pressure is too much for these lads and girls.”

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