Report: PGA Tour set to offer healthcare plan for its caddies

2016 - Troy Merritt looks over his shot at No. 17 during the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

Report: PGA Tour set to offer healthcare plan for its caddies

PGA Tour

Report: PGA Tour set to offer healthcare plan for its caddies

The PGA Tour is set to offer a healthcare plan for its Tour caddies.

The Caddie Network’s T.J. Auclair first reported the news of the deal, which should greatly help offset healthcare costs for caddies and their families.

“I’m delighted we’ve got to this point and I speak on behalf of all caddies,” said Scott Sajtinac, president of the Association of Professional Tour Caddies. “When I say we truly look forward to a healthy working relationship with the Tour moving forward.”

A lawsuit was filed by the caddies against the PGA Tour in 2015 after the Tour challenged the caddies for seeking sponsorships as a way to pay for health insurance and medical bills. Specifically, the Tour disallowed caddies to wear logos on their bibs, which already contained corporate and tournament sponsors for the Tour.

There was even a report that the Tour recommended that players fire the caddies involved in the lawsuit, though the Tour denied the allegations.

“We were told the bib is out of bounds because it wasn’t ours, even though we were the ones wearing it each and every week, plastered with different corporate logos,” Sajtinac told The Caddie Network. “Communication and dialogue to try and navigate through all this rapidly ended before it really even began — and we were left in no man’s land. Just rapidly increasing insurance costs. We didn’t understand why we couldn’t use our own bodies to save ourselves thousands of dollars in health care. That’s when the lawsuit began. We simply wanted our questions answered.”

The caddies lost the suit in District Court in February 2016 and an appeal was then denied this past August. But when Jay Monahan became PGA Tour commissioner in January 2017, healthy dialogue began, Sajtinac said.

The end result is a healthcare plan for the caddies that is expected to start in January 2019.

“I’m a big believer in healthy communication, whether in business, life, on the golf course with our players,” Sajtinac said. “There must always be candid communication. And that’s why we ended up here today, with a great resolution. It’s a win-win for all and, for that, the caddies are very grateful. Commissioner Monahan and Andy Pazder were both fantastic throughout this whole process. Their willingness to listen and move forward meant a lot to us.”

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