Why caddies wear nicknames on their bibs at the Valspar Championship

It maybe takes a time or two to get used to it, but no, some of those names you see on the back of caddie bibs at this week’s Valspar Championship — those aren’t actually the loopers’ real last names.

Tracy West, the tournament director at this week’s Valspar Championship, recently joined GOLF’s Subpar Podcast to talk about how one of the tournament’s unique traditions started. (NFL Hall-of-Famer Ronde Barber also joined the podcast; he’s the general chair of the event.)

West said she has to give the PGA Tour’s Andy Pazder a lot of credit. Pazder, the Tour’s chief tournaments & competitions officer, told West he’d love to have a PGA Tour event mimic what the MLB did for Players Weekend, which was wear color jerseys, use nicknames on the back of jerseys and have relaxed rules for things like cleats and batting gloves.

“So he said, ‘I really would love you guys to do this,'” West recalled. “‘It makes sense because you are the most colorful PGA Tour tournament in the world.’ He charged us with coming back with some fun, cool ideas.”

West and her Valspar team put their heads together, and that’s how the Valspar’s caddie bibs were born. The first year only 10 or 15 caddies participated, but now, about six years later, half the field is in on it. They are the only PGA Tour event that allows caddies to do this.

The only issue now, however, is monitoring what goes on. Caddies are allowed to put either a nickname or social handle on the back of their bibs — just no marketing of other goods.

You can listen to the complete Subpar Podcast with West and Barber below.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.