Adam "Panther" Cargill - Bandon Dunes, Tara Iti, Nanea GC

Where are you from?
Northern Ontario, Canada 
When did you first start playing golf?
When I started working at a golf course when I was 12!
When did you start caddying? Is there a particular reason why you started caddying? Just love the game and want to be around it?
I did my first loop when I was 19 but I didn’t start looping full time until I was 22.  I wanted to be a professional golfer and a bad vehicle accident decided my fate!
Do you remember your first loop?
Yeah. It was at Oakdale Golf and Country Club, host of the 2023 Canadian Open. For Bobby Davidson and Shawn Kimmel. I remember it like it was yesterday!
How long have you caddied at your current course?
Third year at Bandon Dunes and fourth at Nanea Golf Club. 
Does your current course have a busy and slow season, or is it pretty steady? It’s a seasonal job - Have you ever worked at one course for part of the year, then went to another course for another part of the year? 
Bandon is busy all year. That being said, the percentage of caddie usage goes down in the winter and increases in the summer. Until I came to both Bandon and Tara Iti, I always split my time between places. 
You said you’ve caddied at a few places - Where all have you looped and is there anything interesting about any of those particular courses? Where is the best place to loop? 
I’ve looped at Oakdale Golf and Country Club, Naples National, The Bridge, Emerald Dunes, Seminole, Sebonack, Tara Iti, Nanea Golf Club, Shooting Star and Bandon Dunes 
I find it interesting when a course wants to have a great caddie program but they don’t let their Loopers play. In my opinion, to truly enhance your members/guests experience, you need to play the course to get a feel for the conditions and how the greens play!
I feel incredibly fortunate that I’ve been privileged to work at some amazing golf clubs all over the world.  I would definitely say that Bandon Dunes is my favourite place to work with everything encompassed. We have an amazing community at the resort.  It is an honour to hang my hat there and interact with such a great core of humans all working together to provide a magical experience for every guest that visits Bandon. 
The Bridge was super unique as it has an incredibly eccentric owner Bob Rubin. It is ultra exclusive, modern and insanely expensive to join. The course has no dress code and was designed through an old racetrack! It was also pretty crazy how many random celebrities and influential people we interacted with on a daily basis!
Tara Iti was really cool besides being situated in New Zealand in a remote little beach town. It was very raw, profound and natural looking. My third favourite course in New Zealand!
Do you live close to the course you caddy at? What is your morning like when you get to the course?
I live in the town of Bandon with my fiancé. I get to Bandon Dunes an hour before my loop and usually have a quick snack or chew the fat with some of my mates I haven’t seen in a bit! Depending on what course I’m working at and the time of the year, I may go and hit a few chips or putts. If I’m working at Sheep Ranch I almost always take a dip in the ocean before my loop, and if I have someone who is incredibly high maintenance I definitely do a cold plunge to ground myself. 
Has caddying improved your own golf game?
It is definitely a challenge to keep your game sharp while being a full time looper. I feel it’s more about life decisions and prioritising to work on my game if I want to still play well. That being said, I do find when I help golfers and engage in their games it’s easier to pick up bad habits!
What are some typical things that players do that drive you nuts? 
Haha classic question!  Playing from tees that they have no business playing from. Carrying stuff in a bag that never comes out the whole golf trip! Putting the club up against the bag when I’m carrying two bags which is most of the time! Asking “REALLY?” when i’ve just done a 360 around the hole to assess and give a read. “No not really I’m just F^*+ing with you!”
Leaving tees in the ground as it chips the mower blades. If you’ve ever been on the course with me I’m borderline obsessed with removing them and placing them by the tee markers or in the provided tee box. 
What are some typical things that players do that you love? 
I love looping for a player that has no quit in them. We get very tough conditions here in Bandon, so if you’re some soft city boy, you better mentally prepare yourself for a battle when you get to our resort because often times, we have the hardest conditions they’ll ever get exposed to!
Are there any indicators that a golfer will be a good player or bad player before you tee off the first hole? 
We can usually tell by the bags they roll up with and the questions they ask!
Do you have any one-liners you like to use on the course? 
This list may be too long, but I definitely have quite a few one liners that I use based on the audience we’re looping for! 
I’ll write a few!
“Be afraid to miss, not afraid to make!”
“This isn’t a guess!”
“If I step into your office I have my pen and notebook out and I’m all ears!”
“Is that bunker in play? Me “not unless you have some hidden horsepower hiding under your engine!”
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found in a player's bag?
I used to loop for a CIA operative that carried a gun in his bag!
A buddy of mine looped at private club for half year with a cement hammer lodged in the bottom of the bag which was also a great story. 
How do you help your players play better? How do you help them have a good time?
Depending on the golfer sometimes it’s an easy fix with the setup,sometimes it’s the mental approach. Other times it’s a drink or maybe even encouraging them to smoke or eat their edibles that they bought at the local herbal dispensary!
Do you like to focus completely on golf or more on the social aspect of caddying? (What’s your favorite way of caddying)
This is a great example of reading the room. Some golfers are all about their game and don’t engage in small talk. Other golfers love hearing stories and genuinely enjoy conversations and connecting on a more personal level. Certainly circumstantial to each golfer!
Overall, what is the best part of caddying?
I truly enjoy maximizing every golfer's experience on every level and leaving them with the hunger to return again as soon as possible! I will also add that referral business is the greatest form of flattery and elevating a new client’s experience for the week!
Do you have a favorite caddy story? 
I looped for a fella that was incredibly ill and played his bucket list course (I’ll leave out the course out of respect for his family). This was the final time he played golf; he passed a few days later. He had such an amazing time and I’m sure he left us with a full heart as we had an   enchanting walk, filled with laughter and remarkable stories. 
Have you gained/learned anything from caddying?
What I appreciate about looping is that no matter what your bank account says every golfer steps up to the first tee on a level playing field. I also enjoy seeing how a golfer reacts to the good and bad. You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their opponents, friends and looper!
How is the word spelled: Caddy, or caddie?
I prefer Looper, but definitely Caddie.


  • Richard Wood

    Chewing fat seems very odd

  • Ben Duthie

    Great interview. Always has some good stories. We used to play back in the early beginnings of this young looper’s career and he definitely had the game to go pro. We had some great battles on the course along with Herk. Some of the best shots I ever made were in front of this group. All the best brotha

  • Steve Brebner

    Panther Cargill is one of the best humans going. I was very fortunate to have him stay at my home in Mangawhai when he came to loop at Tara Iti. Also I learnt so much from Panther about looping and life, as he cared for his brothers. His direct approach, advice, hilarious humour, and devout encouragement will stick with me forever- alongwith the odd kick in the backside !( always said constructively). Man makes a mean rib eye as well. Miss you mate, hope we catch up again sometime.Stevie B

  • William Cargill

    Shortest way to an improvement is with a good caddie. They spend a lifetime doing this and it is their passion.

  • Gabriel Christensen

    This is one of my favorite interviews I’ve read. I know this man personally and he is da man!

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