Adam Marrow is 38 years old, lives in London, and makes a living carrying Thomas Pieters’ golf bag around the world while giving advice about where and how to shoot. Exclusively to WAMP, he reveals how it is to work for a past Ryder Cup star who is currently N°3 on the DP World Tour Ranking.
ADAM: I’ve been caddying since I was sixteen. First as a club caddie at Queenwood, in the outskirts of London. I was making nice money for a kid, loved the outdoor life. Thought it was perfect. Then I met Ross Fisher, who was on the Challenge Tour back then and had performed brilliantly as an amateur. He asked if I could caddie for him. I did, and then he turned pro and I got lucky, because Ross started to win and I won with him. All of sudden, he was leading in The British Open on day three, and I was in the picture. Fabulous. Sadly, he ended up tenth, but I had tasted the big game. And I loved every bit of it. I encouraged Ross to enter US Tour School, where he won his card for the PGA Tour. But he couldn’t decide whether to play in the USA or at home, and we split. I stayed home for half a year, and then got a call from Lucas Bjerregaard. I worked only a year with him, but that year was important for my further career. We saw a guy struggling to keep his card. That is tough golf. You don’t play for money. You play to stay on the Tour. I now know how cruel it can be. This helps me appreciate what I do today. When Lucas and I split, I got a phone call from Thomas Pieters. He and Lucas were very much at the same level, back then. Fabulous young talents with high potential. So I said, why not. Let’s try it for a couple of weeks. A bit later I’m caddying for N°4 at the Masters and the only rookie who ever won his first four matches in the Ryder Cup.
WAMP: You guys are practically living together. That is not just a professional relationship.
ADAM: Yet it is. We don’t travel together. We don’t go out together when we’re abroad. Although I must say we’re friends. Good friends. Sure we argue. We disagree sometimes but it never comes to a fight.
WAMP: We followed you at the Soudal Open and we noticed something remarkable: you never watch Thomas when he hits the shot.
ADAM: I don’t?
WAMP: No. It looks like you don’t want to see it.
ADAM: That’s funny. I never thought of that. The truth is, I have so many things to do on the course. I guess I don’t have time to watch him playing. My job is to give him the right directions, and the rest is his. Meanwhile, I have to keep my notes, keep food and drinks ready, clean balls and clubs, silence the crowd when necessary, and not to forget, carry his bag.
WAMP: You are also a psychologist.
ADAM: Helaas, I’m not. But I know I have to be.
WAMP: Are you afraid you might say something wrong that upsets him?
ADAM: No. Never. I know what I need to say, and I know when to shut up. That’s my job. but other than that, if he behaves like an idiot, he’ll hear it from me first. He wants what I want. And we’re both free to talk about how to get there. Thomas is more than ‘the person I work for’. We’re friends. We talk like friends.
WAMP: What is it that you both want?
ADAM: Well, I want to caddie for a man who wins a Major.
WAMP: You mean, like this week at the USPGA in Oklahoma?
ADAM: That’ll be short notice, I’m afraid. He’s playing good golf, but he’s currently working on his swing. Making small adjustments. It takes months of drill exercises to build the confidence to win a big tournament. I guess he’ll be peaking late this summer. But hey, you never know. In the meanwhile, anything can happen. He’s still a great golfer and he has become much smarter. You see, Abu Dhabi, that wasn’t pretty golf. But we won. His reaction was ‘hey, I can win without playing every shot perfectly.’
WAMP: Perfectionism is his worst enemy?
ADAM: Yes, it is. He wants to make the world’s most perfect swing, every time. Which isn’t bad, because it puts his focus where it should be. But he’s learning to be happy with a lousy shot that gives a great result. So yes, we’re still going to Oklahoma to win the Major. We go to every tournament to win. If you think you can’t win, one thing is sure: you won’t win. For three days you fight for only one thing: To be in contention with nine holes to go on day 4. That’s where you want to be. Every time you play.
WAMP: Next year is the Ryder Cup. Is that something you work towards?
ADAM: Ryder Cup is a golfers’ heaven. But there is only one way to work towards it: Focus on performing well in every tournament. If you play well, you make it to the team.
WAMP: How far do you see Thomas reach in the future?
ADAM: Worst case scenario, he’ll end up as a Belgian golf legend, who has won twenty or so tournaments and has inspired a lot of Belgian youth to play golf. In the best of all cases, he’ll win majors and becomes Top10 in the world. I know he has the right head for it. He is determined and works hard.
WAMP: Thank you Adam. We wish you a lot of success together at the PGA Championship.