Sport

Brian's a world-class caddy

Brian Nilsson, of Gympie, is a professional golf caddy. Nilsson (above left) walks with Peter O’Malley at the Australian PGA at Coolum.
Brian Nilsson, of Gympie, is a professional golf caddy. Nilsson (above left) walks with Peter O’Malley at the Australian PGA at Coolum. Contributed

THE name Brian Nilsson is one you wouldn't normally associate with Tiger Woods or Adam Scott.

However, the former Gympie man has been touring the world with the globe's best golfers and making a name for himself as a professional caddy for the past 10 years.

Nilsson was back near his home Gympie golf course at the weekend, caddying for Peter O'Malley at the Australian PGA at Coolum, after he and O'Malley teamed up for a shot at the Australian Open.

The former Gympie South and James Nash State High School student turned pro himself in 1991, after honing his skills at the Gympie Golf Club.

As luck would have it, missing out on qualifying for major events as a pro golfer helped him turn into a professional caddy.

It is a career that takes him all over the world to some of the world's biggest golf tournaments.

“I missed out on a few tournaments as a pro golfer and Jon Senden asked me to caddy for him,” Nilsson said.

“I have been caddying ever since.”

Nilsson has caddied in eight British Opens and many USA PGAs and spends most of his time in Europe.

He does most of his work for professional golfers Peter O'Malley, Adam Scott, John Senden, Brett Rumford, and Danish golfer Anders Hampson, and was flying out yesterday to caddy for up-and-coming German golfer Marcel Siem in the South African Open starting tomorrow.

According to Nilsson, a caddy doesn't just carry the clubs – what he does has a lot to do with the success of a golfer.

His role starts before the tournament, mapping out the holes, knowing pin placements, helping with club selection and making sure the only thing the golfer has to think about is hitting the ball.

“We are bit like the on-course psychiatrist,” Nilsson said.

“Lots of things go on on a golf course and we have to keep our golfer calm and relaxed, as well as be his butler.

“I like to think I am quite a big help,” he said.

That sort of help can be quite rewarding for a professional caddy. Most of them are on a retainer, but they also get a percentage of the golfer's winnings, which in professional golf can be considerable.

Nilsson said even some of the smaller tournaments in the US and Europe can have some pretty hefty prize money.

“Prize money has gone through the roof – the corporate world loves golf,” he said.

He said some caddies can make $100,000 in a good week and people like Steve Williams, Tiger Woods' caddy, would be “giggling” all the way to the bank.

Nilsson has met Woods numerous times and says he is a freakish golfer, but like most of the famous golfers he is just a regular guy.

“When I first started caddying, I used to think people like Greg Norman and Nick Faldo – my childhood heroes – were superstars.

“But after a while you realise famous people still have to wipe their own backside.

“They are just normal,” he said.

Nilsson, 39, lives in Hua Hin, Thailand, with his half-Chinese, half-Thai fiancée.

He said because of all the travel involved in being a professional caddy, Asia was a good base.

“I live close to a good airport. It lets me get all over Asia – Dubai, China, Korea – easily,” he said.

The caddy credits his time playing as a member of the Gympie Golf Club for a lot of his success.

“Playing golf from a young age, I got to mix with a lot of different people from all backgrounds and ages,” Nilsson said.

“Playing golf, you play against the course, your opponent and yourself.”

“The game teaches you a lot about etiquette and life,” he said.

Gympie Times



Where's Polly?

Have you seen Polly? She is missing from Mary St.

Polly Probus is missing from Mary St.

Warren and Lyn Truss 'one of great political couples'

New Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien was MC as Mr Truss's testimonial dinner on the weekend.

PM calls Warren and Lyn Truss one of the great political couples

Last chance to catch rare space alignment

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS: Wappa Falls Observatory owner Owen Bennedick says this afternoon is the last chance to catch a rare planetary alignment

STARGAZERS are hoping to catch a rare planetary alignment tonight

Latest deals and offers

Mick Jagger to pay £2.5m to the woman carrying his baby

Mick Jagger is reportedly paying millions to pregnant ballerina

27,000 through Muster gates over four days

MUSTER HAD A BLAST: Melissa Houston, Kammie Garner, Nedizah Thierry and Renee Williams were four of almost 27,000 people through Muster gates over four days.

Perfect days, freezing nights and 27,000 through the Muster gates

Caitlyn draws the crowd ahead of Crazy Life tour

Caitlyn Shadbolt draws the crowd on Main Stage on Saturday afternoon.

Caitlyn pulls the crowd during her Muster performance

Navy man Keller ready to marry a perfect stranger

Former Navy engineer Keller is a participant in season three of Married At First Sight.

Tattoos are just the surface of Married At First Sight groom.

Ozzy cheated with 5 women in 5 countries: Sharon

Sharon Osbourne claims her husband Ozzy has cheated on her

The Big Music Quiz gives The Block a run for its money

Darren McMullen hosts the TV series The Big Music Quiz.

NEW challenger in TV ratings race shakes up Sunday night.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa