This tournament offers Tour wives and caddies impressive perks

The 1st green flag stick at the 2023 Travelers Championship.

The Travelers Championship is offering some impressive perks for the first time in 2024.

Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last year, the PGA Tour announced it was upping its game in terms of player hospitality from the likes of courtesy car programs, player dining, wellness facilities and more at each tournament.

For at least one event, it seems like that’s going to carry over to players’ caddies and families, too.

While the Travelers Championship, the last of the PGA Tour’s eight $20 million Signature Events on the schedule, has a limited field of 70 to 80 players now thanks to the PGA Tour’s new schedule model, the tournament announced it would still have the same 156 courtesy cars as it would for a full field.

“So we decided that the caddies deserve some recognition and some help, and we’re giving them cars, too,” Travelers executive vice president and chief administrative officer Andy Bessette said at the tournament’s media day this week. “That’s pretty cool.”

Players are used to the benefits of courtesy cars when traveling to PGA Tour events. In fact, last year, the PGA Tour outlined that all events would be required to give players cars for the week.

But caddies receive no such perk, typically. The last PGA Tour event to offer caddies a courtesy vehicle was the 2023 BMW Championship, which only had a 50-player field.

“We want to be the best Signature Event of all of them that are out there,” said tournament director Nathan Grube. “We’ve gone to all the other Signature Events so far. We’ve looked at what they’ve done, how they treat the players, the caddies, the media, the fans, and we’ve said, okay, we are going to raise the bar in every single one of those places.

“The media, you will notice a difference when you come on property this year. Caddies will notice a drastic difference. Players will notice a difference. Our fans, they will notice a difference walking on property.”

The Travelers isn’t just stopping there. They’re also going to convert TPC River Highlands’ ladies’ locker room into a wellness space for players’ wives for the week.

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“The wives can go in during the day when they’re out here with their husbands and watching them, if they get tired and they want to go sit down or whatever, so I said to Nathan today, we should give every wife a locker, too,” Bessette said. “How cool would that be? So they have a locker. Now the wives are going to feel so engrossed.”

Bessette even recalled how players’ children are taken care of by having the tournament chef prepare chicken tenders, mac and cheese and tater tots for them.

“You know who the first 60 people in line were for that kids’ food? The players,” he said.

Defending champion Keegan Bradley said these were the kind of decisions to enhance players’ family hospitality that makes the tournament so successful.

Last year, the tournament was in an odd spot, being on the complete other side of the country from the 2023 U.S. Open in Los Angeles the preceding week. Yet, many of the PGA Tour’s top stars were required to play.

This year, the tournament is still the week after the U.S. Open, but the year’s third major is on the same coast this time in North Carolina. There’s no requirement to play, but the PGA Tour’s new structure and its $20 million purse incentivizes the eligible players to add it to their schedule.

“You talk about how the caddies are going to have cars this year,” Bradley said. “That’s not going to help their viewers. That’s not going to help their bottom line of the tournament; in fact it’ll probably hurt it. But that’s just a small decision that they make that affects the outcome of how we feel when we come here.

“These are just small examples that the public wouldn’t even know, and I was always so proud to convince players to come play here back in the day.”

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