It’s rare for a caddie to make a lasting impact on the game of golf. John McLaren has done just that. And no, I’m not talking about his incredible on-course style. It’s the resume he’s built along the way that will make his departure a tough pill to swallow.
McLaren, for the last six years, has looped for Paul Casey, currently ranked 27th in the Official World Golf Ranking. During their partnership, Casey won back-to-back Valspar Championship titles (2018-2019) on the PGA Tour, along with two wins on the European Tour.
McLaren’s career, however, wouldn’t have been the same if not for his visa obtained during his time with Scott Dunlap.
Helen Konrad, an immigration law attorney, put together a list of Dunlap’s finishes before and after adding McLaren to his team, representing how much better Dunlap played during their partnership.
“It’s mostly for visiting artists. It’s pretty easy if you’re the only cellist in the world,” Dunlap told the Associated Press. “But when you’re selling yourself as a caddie, the powers-that-be can say, ‘Hell, anyone can carry a golf bag.’ Legally, you had to show you really want this guy.”
Despite the challenge, the O-1 visa was approved and McLaren officially became “an alien of extraordinary ability.”
Before he carried the bag for Casey, he worked with another Englishman, Luke Donald. During their time together, Donald reached No. 1 in the world and earned $30 million. Pretty lucrative pairing.
Unique on-course style
A detailed view of the sneakers worn by caddie John Mclaren during the second round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
McLaren wasn’t afraid to rock some pretty vibrant combinations on the course. Tie-dye Jordan 1s with the cartoon socks – it’s a vibe.
This look has become a McLaren staple, as you can see…
A detailed view of the sneakers worn by caddie John McLaren during the final round of the 2020 PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
A view of the socks and sneakers of caddie John McLaren on the 18th green, McLaren caddies for Paul Casey (not pictured) during the third round of the 2020 PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
John McLaren the caddie of John Casey draws the attention of fans on the 9th tee with his Jimmy Butler socks to go with his Air Jordan’s during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Erin Hills. Mandatory Credit: Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports
His visa will expire in a few months (February 2022), but it won’t be renewed. After a Dubai event on the European Tour at the start of next year, McLaren will call it a career.
This “break up” will add to the recent caddie changes we’ve seen over the last few weeks, a list which includes Justin Thomas/Jimmy Johnson, and Bubba Watson/Ted Scott.