Rasego set to hang up bag
He’s been a caddie for 36 of his 51 years and tasted success at the highest level, but it may soon be time to call it a day
Internationally acclaimed caddie Zack Rasego believes he has played a meaningful role in helping players at the highest level – and is now on the verge of retiring. The 51-year-old Soweto-born caddie, who now lives in Ledig, a North West township outside Rustenburg, a stone’s throw from Sun City, has travelled the length and breath of the globe to guide the fortunes of several professional players during key events.
He believes he has served his dues on different top courses here and abroad, and is now on the brink of calling it quits.
“My caddying days are numbered and I’d like to retire soon. I cannot say exactly when, but having carried a golf bag since 1979, it’s been a long time,” said Rasego.
The mild-mannered man is renowned for doing his job with aplomb.
But he says that shouldering a heavy bag for 36 glorious years is beginning to take a toll on his body. Among the highprofile players he has worked with are Gary Player and Louis Oosthuizen.
Being a caddie is not easy, as it entails intense concentration and goes with good knowledge of the course and club selection (see graphic).
Rasego is currently in charge of shouldering the big bag of Branden Grace – one of the country’s top-ranked players, who campaigns on both the Sunshine and European tours.
Rasego was in charge of the Pretoriabased player during the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City last week.
The affable caddie has won several accolades during his career. This includes being crowned the 2012 HSBC Caddie of the Year by the European Tour.
He is a member of the SA Caddies’ Association, European Tour Caddies’ Association and the Association of Professional Tour Caddies. The latter is based in the US. These associations look after the interests of caddies and provide guidelines, among other things, on how they should conduct themselves while on tour.
Rasego refused to say how much money he had earned as a caddie.
He merely emphasised that “guiding the fortunes of players during an event on tour is a big challenge. You often clash and differ with players, especially on the type of club to use.”
Rasego said he wished to leave a legacy as a caddie when he finally bowed out of the scene. But he would not elaborate on what kind of legacy.
“I have enjoyed seeing the world during my travels. I have interacted with several top-class caddies and have shared ideas with them,” he said.
He said the highlight of his time on the fairways was when he helped Oosthuizen to win the British Open at St Andrews, Scotland, in 2010. Oosthuizen beat Englishman Lee Westwood by seven shots to lift the Claret Jug.
“That was one of the biggest moments of my career as an international caddie. I will cherish it for the rest of my life.”
FOCUSED Zack Rasego with Branden Grace last week You need sound knowledge of the rules of the game, and of golf clubs