A man with a bag: Dave Musgrove

As caddies go, Dave Musgrove knows how to win majors...Lee Janzen's bagman goes on record with a few interesting stories!

Martin Park
Thu, 7 Sep 2000

A man with a bag: Dave Musgrove


How did you start caddying on tour?

I was made redundant in 1972 from Rolls Royce, so I saved up some redundancy money to finance my first year on the tour.
In those days, most of the tournaments were in England anyway. So the expense would not have been so great as today.

Who was your first employer?Wild Bill Murray from Dundee! Otherwise known as W.B.Murray.

What was your first paycheque?

Back then we used to get £5 per day. That was a good wage in the early seventies.

What was the biggest mistake that you have made during a tournament?

(Laughs) I have made so many through the years. I can remember when Christy O’Connor hit a flyer at the Lancome Trophy in 1993. We decided long and hard on which club to hit and he still flew the green, landing it in the lake over the back. I got the full blame for that.

What is your favourite event?

ike the TPC at Sawgrass. I love were we stay and the course is fabulous. I have seen the course develop through the years and the facilities for the caddies are top rate.

Which event has the best social life on tour?

Open Championship. More caddies move across the Atlantic than any other tournament. People that we have not seen for twelve months appear and we have a lot to catch up on. We get together in pubs and clubs and ‘chew the cud’.

And the worst?Getting your feet wet! There is nothing worse in caddying than having wet feet. When I finished the tournament in Chicago this year, everything was wet through. The heat index was 110 and I was wet through to the skin, everywhere but my feet. When I hung my shirt up at night, it took a full day to dry. But my feet were dry so I did not mind.

What was your proudest moment on tour?

Lee Janzen winning the Buick Open at Westchester 1994. He had not played well since his US Open victory in 1993 because his head was in the clouds and his feet wouldn’t touch the ground. He asked me to caddy for him and gradually he came back to earth. That win was the turning point and a great moment for us both.

What is the most important decision that you and your boss have ever made?

When I caddied for Sandy Lyle, we were in a playoff with Seve in the 1984 Lancome trophy. At the first hole, we both remembered that the hole played very short. When Sandy played his approach shot, remembering it was playing shorter, he put it close, made birdie and won the event.

Have you ever been sacked?

I used to get fired every other week with Seve! In between those sackings, I used to quit! It was a regular thing. In the end, he said you’ll never work for me again. To which I said, “What is wrong with that”. We went our separate ways from then on.

Which type of course do you prefer to caddy on, Parkland, Heathland or a links?

I like the links courses. The are more natural and whatever the conditions are I adapt to them quickly.

If you could caddy for anyone else throughout the history of the game, who would it be?

It is everybody’s ambition to caddy for Jack Nicklaus. I have been out with him many times and I would love to carry is bag for one tournament.

What was your most embarrassing moment on tour?

Seve’s clubs went missing at Walton Heath one year, someone had put them in a locker for safe keeping and didn’t tell him where they were. We were due to tee off shortly, so I had to run around and try to find some clubs so he could play. I got the blame for losing his clubs and to this day, nobody admitted to doing it. Very embarrassing.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on tour?

At Las Colinas in Texas, Bobby Wadkins’ caddy had an unfortunate experience with a very slippery bank. Bobby hit his ball in the water and he sent his caddy to retrieve it, the last thing I saw was his caddy slide slowly down the bank like a skier, still upright until he ended up in the drink! It was hilarious. The whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion.

You are on the final hole of a major and in contention. What would you say to your player?

I would remind him to play the hole the same way as he has played it all week. Don’t change the gameplan and watch the rhythm as you swing.

What is your nickname?

Mus. [Laughing out loud] Although I am usually referred to as ‘Old B*****d’ by some of the younger lads out here!

Have you ever been tempted to laugh if a player in your group makes an error?

Not at the time, that is not the done thing. However, when we are in a pub we often reflect on the incidents of the day and have a good giggle about it. We always find that it is funny after the event!