Steve Williams Reflects on Stellar Caddie Career
Steve Williams, one of the world’s most famous caddies, talks to the New York Times about his plans to wind down his dream career after being inducted to the Caddie Hall of Fame this week.
Williams was Tiger Woods’s caddie for 13 years and for 13 of his major titles. Their split, initiated by Woods, was the rare instance when Williams was caught unaware in a career that is winding down after 36 years.
Sometime after Sunday’s final round of the Tour Championship, Williams, 50, will sit down with Adam Scott, whom he has guided to two of golf’s highest peaks, the 2013 Masters championship and the world No. 1 ranking, and talk about a downshift in his schedule.
His plan is to skip some less prestigious early events and work from March through September only, so he can spend more time home in New Zealand with his wife, Kirsty, and 8-year-old son, Jett.
“I’m definitely not going to caddie full time,” Williams said in an interview last week. “I’ve 100 percent made my mind up on that. At some point in time, there are more important things.”
Williams set a retirement date once before. “In 1999,” he said, “I had already decided 2000 was going to be my last year.”
Williams started his career when he was 13 when his father, a fine amateur golfer, arranged for him to caddie for the Australian star Peter Thomson in the New Zealand Open. Thomson finished third.
“From that week on,” Williams said, “I knew I wanted to be a professional caddie.”
In 1982, Williams was hired by Greg Norman, the first of his four great partnerships. After Norman let him go, he partnered with Raymond Floyd from 1989 to 1999 before teaming with Woods to become golf’s most famous sidekick.
Williams has always been loyal, reflected in how those closest to him describe his personality.
“He is a loyal and trustworthy man,” said Kirsty Williams, Steve’s wife. “He can’t relax,” she said. “He’s always on the move doing something. It’s really frustrating having a husband that will never sit still.”
She added: “He has promised to get better at relaxing when he retires. I think pigs might fly before that happens, though.”
In addition to being one of the most successful caddies, Williams is a champion racecar driver in New Zealand. He competes in super saloon and saloon cars, known as late model in North America.
Original article by Karen Crouse, New York Times, September 13, 2014
Image credit: Kevin Liles for the New York Times.