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Who is Geno Bonnalie? Get to know Joel Dahmen’s caddie from Netflix’s ‘Full Swing’

Our favorite caddie in the docuseries shares insights on the difference between carrying a bag and caddying for a PGA professional.

Joseph McMahon
Joseph McMahon
jmcmahonztown
Update:
Joel Dahmen of the United States and caddie Geno Bonnalie talk
KEVIN C. COXAFP

The job of a caddie seems very simple: carry the clubs, replace the divots, rake the sand, and clean the clubs. But when dealing with a childhood friend who lacks confidence, the job can be quite tough. If you saw episode 4 of Netflix’s ‘Full Swing’ you probably asked yourself just who is this PGA duo?

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As is the case with Joel and Geno, PGA caddies are often very close members of the golfer’s inner circle. It’s important to have that confidence to be able to tell the pro what you think, even though they might not like it. In episode 4, we hear Geno call Joel a “boner.” The funny thing is that Joel takes it in stride.

It turns out that Geno, like many pro caddies, is one heck of a golfer. He’s actually a Guinness book record holder. In 2011, he helped the Cystinosis Research Foundation by playing 2,000 holes. While doing so, he made 497 birdies in a single week, a world record. He actually beat Joel once, too, and got his scorecard framed:

How much money do caddies make?

During the Netflix documentary, Geno answers a question that everyone wonders about caddies. How much money do they make? While some who work at private country clubs might make between $100-$200/day, the pro caddies can make a lot more, depending on how well their player does at a tournament.

Geno explains in episode 4 that caddies get paid a “couple thousand dollars” per week to cover expenses. But, if the player makes the cut, the percentage of winnings is between 7.5 percent to 10 percent.

Geno has a lot of patience with Joel and a lot of fun, as seen in ‘Full Swing.’ The duo has had their ups and downs, but their biggest success came during the recording of the show at the 2022 US Open, where Joel was at the top of the leaderboard at one point and finished the week tied at 10th place.

The two were also very successful at the 2020 PGA Championship when Joel finished T-10. After watching the chemistry between these two and their all around good nature, they’re both going to have many more fans cheering for them this season.