More than a Game

The caddie legend Fanny Sunesson
During my career I caddied in more than 750 events, 91 of which were majors.

Fanny Sunesson

The caddie legend Fanny Sunesson

As a caddie Fanny Sunesson participated in more than 750 tournaments around the world, racking up an incredible 25 professional tournament wins and caddying in six Ryder Cups and one Presidents Cup.

This collection of accomplishments is what makes her the most successful female caddie in the history of golf. Now, for ECCO GOLF, she tells us her More Than A Game Story.

Fanny has enjoyed a number of iconic partnerships over the years, including the 14 years she spent on the bag of Sir Nick Faldo as they won six major titles together. Following that historic partnership came successful collaborations with the likes of Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer; her precise preparation and accuracy making her a female icon on the PGA Tour.

However, Fanny does not care about such labels: "I never thought of myself as a female caddie - just a caddie," she tells us. "Being a caddie is a tough life, with travelling all the time and not always being treated well. But maybe I've been treated better sometimes because I'm a woman - I don't know."
During her nine seasons with Faldo between the end of 1989 and 1999, on the bag of who was then the best golfer in the world, Fanny quickly rose to fame. This was partly due to Faldo's two Masters victories, two Open triumphs and his 16 other professional victories all over the world, but also because of her sheer dedication to professionalism.

Interestingly, Fanny says her career was actually planned very differently. "As a teenager I made it into the extended circle of the Swedish national team and actually wanted to go to college in America to play golf there," she says. However, an injury thwarted these plans, and while Fanny could not stand being sidelined, she began caddying for a friend - which she took to instantly.

To be a successful caddie you have to be precise, you have to know golf and most importantly you have to know what to say at the right time.

Fanny was working for Englishman Howard Clark for just one season when, out of the blue at a tournament in Australia, Sir Nick Faldo called her to ask if she would like to join his team as his full-time caddie. "Howard told me: 'Listen, you have to do it. When the number one player in the world asks, you have to join him'. Howard and I are still good friends today."

Today, a silver miniature of the Claret Jug dangles around Fanny's neck, reminding her every day of the magical seasons she spent on Faldo's bag. "Shortly after my 50th birthday, Nick turned 60 and invited me to a party in England, where he presented me with this wonderful gift. Since then, I've been wearing it every day."
By Sir Nick Faldo's side, Fanny did not only have a front-row seat, she took part in some of the most famous events in golfing history. These included Faldo's triumphal march at St. Andrews in 1990, Greg Norman's collapse at the 1996 Masters and Henrik Stenson's 66 on Sunday en route to victory at the Players Championship in Sawgrass in 2009. During all of those legendary rounds, Fanny carried the winner's bag. There is then, of course, the "War on the Shore" in 1991 on Kiawah Island and several continental battles at The Belfry.

"The Ryder Cup has always been very special to me. My favorite memory of all the Ryder Cups I played a role in was 1995 when we won on American soil at Oak Hill. It was days later, when I saw the highlights on TV, that I heard a cry of joy in the background and realised that it was me. I had no idea of my reaction on the course."
Fanny withdrew from the caddy industry in 2012 for health reasons and, since then, has only been persuaded by Adam Scott for the 2018 Open and Henrik Stenson for the 2019 Masters and Bay Hill to do her work again inside the ropes.

Since golf has always been the most important thing in Fanny's life, retiring from being a caddie did not mean turning her back on the sport she loves. Today, she coaches players of all skill levels on and off the course, as well as carrying out some consultancy work and a lot of company outings whereby other golf enthusiasts can benefit from all the golfing wisdom she has acquired over several decades on tour.
When asked about her recipe for success on the course - and for golf in general - a few things came to mind. "To be a successful caddie you have to be precise, you have to know golf and most importantly you have to know what to say at the right time. But when I coach amateur players, the most important lesson is to be able to enjoy yourself and have fun while playing. That's not only why we play golf, that's also why golf is much more than a game for me."

Maybe I've been treated better sometimes because I'm a woman - I don't know.

It should almost be impossible to become a golf legend without playing a single shot on the way. But Fanny has undoubtedly succeeded in this feat, with her last long-term employer and compatriot Stenson revealing: "In Augusta, Fanny is definitely more famous than I am. Whenever we went to the Masters together, she had to sign more autographs and pose for more selfies than me. Not that that would bother me!"

Faldo, her most notable player and longtime friend, has even higher praise for his former caddie: "Fanny Sunesson is Hall of Fame material and I will campaign for getting her in there."
The caddie legend Fanny Sunesson

Fanny Sunesson

Age: 54
Profession: Caddie
Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden
Career Highlights:
  • 1990 & 1996 Masters Tournament (with Nick Faldo)
  • 1990 & 1992 Open Championship (with Nick Faldo)
  • 2009 Players Championship (with Henrik Stenson)
  • Caddied in six Ryder Cups (for Howard Clark and Nick Faldo)