What a Tour caddie-turned-broadcaster notices now when he’s inside the ropes

After spending more than two decades as a top-level Tour caddie, you wouldn’t think becoming an on-course analyst for NBC would necessarily be a natural transition for John Wood. But he took to TV like a duck to water, and he’s earned rave reviews for his insight and candor.

Now, he’s a regular presence on NBC broadcasts, and on this week’s episode of Off Course with Claude Harmon, Wood revealed the one thing that he notices now more than ever since his job description inside the ropes has changed.

Body language. It’s crazy how much I notice body language now,” he said. “When I was caddying, you’re so into what you’re doing, and your book, and your player and the shot. Even your player, you watch him swing but you’re not necessarily watching him walk and do stuff like that.”

John Wood and Matt Kuchar
These are the qualities that Tour caddies look for in a potential new player
By: Jessica Marksbury

Wood says these observations can reveal things, like when a player is about to hit a bad shot.

“I watch body language and I can tell when a guy is about to do something dumb,” he said. “And you can tell when there’s that tension between a player and a caddie, where they’re always 15 yards apart until they get to the ball, they’re not talking.

“Vice versa, you can see that when someone’s head’s up, and they’re prancing down the fairway, and they’re talking to their caddie the whole way and they’re having a great time and smiling,” Wood continued. “You can tell that they’re going to have a good day. I can’t believe I never noticed it before, but boy, body language is a huge thing for me now.”

For more from Wood, including what caddies look for in a player, and his list of the world’s top 10 players’ caddies’ greatest strengths, check out the full interview below.

NEWSLETTER
jessica marksbury

Golf.com Photographer

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.