Who Has Worked as One of Tiger Woods' Caddies?

Fluff Cowan was the first of Tiger Woods caddies
Fluff Cowan was the first of Tiger Woods' caddies. Above, Cowan and Woods at the 1998 Buick Open. Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Entering 2011, only two men had served significant stints as Tiger Woods' caddie. Near the end of the 2011 season, Woods added a third man to the list of his full-time caddies.

The three primary Tiger Woods caddies to date are:

  • Mike "Fluff" Cowan: Fluff Cowan was hired by Woods as caddie right at the beginning of Woods' professional career. Cowan caddied for Woods from his pro debut at the 1996 Greater Milwaukee Open through the 1999 Nissan Open. 
  • Steve Williams: After Woods dismissed Cowan, he hired Steve Williams as caddie. Woods' swing coach at the time, Butch Harmon, asked Williams during the 1999 Doral Ryder Open if he was interested in caddying for Woods. Williams interviewed with Woods (who wasn't playing Doral) shortly after and got the job. Williams' first tournament as Woods' caddie was the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational and they remained together through mid-2011, when Woods announced their split.
  • Joe LaCava: LaCava replaced Williams on Woods' bag, his first tournament on the job being the 2011 Frys.com Open.

Woods has had a couple other caddies through the years as fill-ins, including Billy Foster - usually Darren Clarke's caddie - during the 2007 Presidents Cup (Williams was at home with his wife, who was due to give birth). Woods' childhood friend Bryon Bell has also filled in a few times over the years, including in the aftermath of Woods' dismissal of Williams.

Cowan had previously caddied for Peter Jacobsen for more than 20 years, but Jacobsen was laid up with a back injury at the time Tiger turned pro. So joining Woods was an easy decision for Fluff. Why was he fired? Neither Tiger nor Fluff have ever given a direct answer, but the rumors at the time centered on Woods being displeased that Cowan was giving interviews about their relationship; and on some speculation that Cowan had tailed off a bit on his preparation, misclubbing Tiger a few too many times.

After getting fired by Woods, Fluff had no trouble finding another bag: He's caddied for Jim Furyk ever since, and remains one of the most-recognizable caddies on tour.

Williams had previously caddied for Peter Thomson, Ian Baker-Finch, Greg Norman and Raymond Floyd before joining Woods. He was working for Floyd in 1999 before leaving to join Woods.

The relationship of Woods and Williams was not without bumps over their years together; Tiger has occasionally publicly called out alleged mistakes by Williams, and there were a couple times when rumors of a split appeared. But they also were acknowledged to be close friends off the course, and Woods was Williams' best man at Williams' wedding.

Williams said Woods informed him of Williams' dismissal at the 2011 AT&T National, although Woods did not publicly announce the split until July 20, 2011. The last tournament they worked together was the 2011 Players Championship, from which Woods withdrew after only nine holes.

Woods' buddy Bell stepped in a couple times after Williams' firing, before Woods announced LaCava's hiring. LaCava left Dustin Johnson to go to work for Woods but was best-known as the caddie for Fred Couples for about two decades.

Head to the Tiger Woods FAQ index for more.