Phil Mickelson's former caddie Jim 'Bones' Mackay is to start a new occupation at The Open Championship in two weeks time as he becomes an on-course reporter for Golf Channel and NBC.
Bones surprised almost everyone when he and Phil Mickelson announced they were ending their player-caddie relationship after 25 years together, but now sources have confirmed he won't be returning to caddieing for at least the foreseeable future.
According to Golf Channel, "The multiyear deal will put Mackay, 52, on the ground at some of the biggest events in golf, beginning in two weeks at The Open at Royal Birkdale, and continuing throughout the rest of the year at the FedExCup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup. He will work a full schedule (about 20 events) in 2018.
“This is a great day for me,” Mackay said. “I’m absolutely overjoyed.”
“When Phil and I split up, several people got in touch,” Mackay said, with this career change coming in just over two weeks.
“People have been nice enough over the years to say something to me about how they thought [broadcasting] was something maybe I could do at some point in my life. It was always something I’d say thank you to, and personally thought about. When Phil and I split, I got several phone calls, and it became a bigger opportunity, really seriously, the last few weeks.”
“The first thing I’ll say is, I obviously have a ton to learn. Early on, my only goal is to get comfortable and get better. But for what I could bring is a caddie perspective, I may have something more to say about the dynamic of player and caddie going on out there."
"Right now, it’s just a question of jumping in with both feet and learning as much as I possibly can, as quickly as I can.”
Tommy Roy, who is the lead producer of NBC’s golf coverage, said there were several reasons he wanted Bones to join the team.
“First of all, he’s a great communicator,” Roy said. “That’s the No. 1 attribute you have to have to be in this business as an announcer.”
Roy further praised Bones' understanding of high-pressure situations. “Under the most pressure packed circumstances, and to get through those with the highest highs and some of the lowest lows is an incredible wealth of experience to call on,” he said.