Q. ) So How did you
get into pro caddying?
A.) Originally I went to work in a surveyor’s
office –I was an end-all person. And then I was an assistant golf professional
where I worked for about 20 months, I didn’t’ make it pay, I came from a
poor family and in those days I had to take money home, but it only paid 2
pounds a week, and in 1956, most of the golfers who came through, came from more
well to do families. I was a caddy as a kid, a sports, and I played golf. So I
thought I could make a go of it, it was no life and not enough money to make it.
So a golf professional at a club was no life, 6 am to 6 p.m., and then you could
practice or play after that, if you weren’t going to be good enough to play
professionally then it wasn’t worth it. It was no life.
Q.) So then when did you start professional
A.) From there I worked some other jobs and then
went to work for British Railways as an electrician,
did a lot of wiring up and that sort of thing, and then got divorced from my
first wife, so I thought why not go out and caddy. So I just went out to a
tournament and picked up a golf pro that I knew, to caddy for. I worked for him
and progressed from there on. That was Tommy Horton, in 1974.
Q.) How many wins have you been a part of in
your pro caddy career. Did you have any before you got hooked up with Langer?
A.) Yeah, Lots.
Q.) You’ve had how many wins?
A.) Fifty Five.
Q.) How many with Langer and who were the other
wins with? Can you remember them all?!
A.) About 32 or so with him. I caddied for Nancy
Lopez twice, won with her both times, won 3 times with Tommy Horton, won 2 times
with Gordon Brand Jr., David Hescham won with, won 7 times with Seve Ballesteros
–over a two years period 1979-80, left Bernard in there to go to work for Seve.
I also won with Greg Norman and won a French Open by 9 or 10 shots, I’ve won
with Colin Montgomery -so I’ve had at least 20 wins with other people.
Q.) And then 30 something with Bernard?
A.) Yeah something like that.
Q.) How many major championship wins have you
been a part of?
A.) 1985 and ’93 with Bernard and both were
Q.) If you win the British Open, would that be a
special win for you? (At the time of this interview it's Saturday night before
Sundays final round at Royal Lytham and St. Annes and Coleman and Langer are
tied for the lead.)
A.) I think so. I think that the British Open is
harder to win, because there’s more of the field and I think that the Masters
hasn’t got the most select field, they’ve got less players who could win at
the Masters, and it’s, (the British Open), a harder golf tournament to win,
myself. Also the weather conditions play a big part, and the luck of the draw,
when you play –we’ve had a couple of chances to win with Bernard, but were
unlucky with the weather, when Sandy won (Lyle), we played early and were
hitting all long irons into the greens, and then in the afternoon, to those same
holes, Sandy was hitting 8 Irons and so on!
Whereas, your weather in the springtime in
Augusta is more likely to be consistent and not the severe changes from morning
to afternoon, at least not like the kind of changes you're likely to get at a
British Open type of links course?
Q.) What do you think it will take to win the
Open tomorrow, you’re sitting on 6 under par and tied for the lead?
A.) I would say if we could shoot 3 under tomorrow,
9 or 10 under should win the tournament. (Duval won the tournament the next day
caddied primarily in Europe, vs. pro caddying on the U.S. scene; you’ve
caddied over there quite a bit over the years. What’s the biggest difference
you see between caddying in America vs. Europe?
A.) I think the European guys are a more closely
knitted association, most of the European guys talk to each other and get along
with each other, and I think the American guys are a bit separated, seems like
there are, the way they carry on, and seems like there are little clicks in
America where they stick to each other. They’ve got a good setup in America,
but I don’t think they’ve got the genuine, friendship that goes on over
Q.) Well, I’ve caddied in a few European
events, and it for one thing caddies are allowed in the clubhouse in Europe and
given locker and shower facilities as well. In America, by player decision,
caddies are not allowed, do you see a difference, and are these sorts of thing a
A.) I think in general, the caddies are looked upon
like the ‘hired help’ more in America, they’re workers, and we don’t
want them using any of our phones which are free, and is a general agreement.
(i.e. attitude of majority of U.S. players) Once I had to go and change a
club out of the locker room and they wouldn’t let me, and Bernard was shocked.
I’ve been over in U.S. since we were allowed to caddy in Augusta, and I know
the setup, you just blend in with what you’ve got to do. But over the years
it’s improved, how the caddies are treated.
Q.) How is the Professional caddy viewed by the
public in Europe, is the caddy viewed more as part of the team, vs. how caddies
are perceived in Europe.
A.) When we won the Masters in 1985, I bought a
Porsche, and it was all over the papers that I’d bought a Porsche. In a lot of
places, you might want to go in the clubhouse, and your player might want you to
come in as a friend, but you can’t.
Q.) So then do you think Pro Caddies are viewed
more as professionals in Europe rather than just as hired help ?
A.) Yeah, probably. In Europe, there’s a hell of a
lot more camaraderie, and the American caddies seem a lot more afraid to lose
their jobs. It’s somewhat reflected overall in the way they caddy, less apt to
say what they think, and players really want to know that, when you’ve got an
important shot in a golf tournament, the players want to know what you think,
and don’t want someone who’s afraid to say what club it is, put it on the
line so to speak. Whether it’s because of the ‘caddy climate’ or whatever
in America, the caddies are generally more afraid to be wrong, I guess. You’re
not always going to be right, but the player wants an answer in all those
Q.) There are practical reasons for
keeping player and caddy apart, I'm not talking about those of course.
Overall though your experience of being able to caddy in the U.S. has been a
positive one with those two Masters wins?
A.) Yeah, I like America a lot! And I've been
very fortunate. I’ve got very very good friends in America, but
there’s a lot of money over there, and being so massive, there's more people
it seems who are desperate to get a job. Some of the things those guys,
(American caddies), have done to European caddies and each other in the parking
lots, where they’re looking, and are desperate for a job tend to reflect all
(Peter Coleman lives in the southwest of London and
resides there with his wife and 14 year old Daughter, (he has three children
from a previous marriage. Peter just turned 60 this year, and some of the boys
‘across the pond’, surprised him with a birthday party. Coleman and Langer
were in a six way tie for the lead at this years British Open at Royal Lytham
and St. Annes, at the time of this interview. They didn’t win the British
Open, David Duval did. However, Peter got his 56th official win as a
professional caddy the following week as he and Langer won again in Holland!)
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