Masters winner gets a green jacket. His caddie also gets a piece of history

Fred Daitch attaches a name to the back of a caddie coverall, which his family company had supplied for Augusta National.
The family company of Fred Daitch, shown attaching a name to the back of a caddie coverall, had made the coveralls for Augusta National for more than half a century.
(Sam Farmer / Los Angeles Times)

It’s the attire of painters, pig farmers and others looking to protect their nicer clothing. But at the world’s most prestigious golf tournament, the immaculate white coveralls worn by caddies are Titleist tuxedos, garments as much a part of the Masters as azaleas in bloom.

Starched, often ill-fitting and uncomfortably warm on muggy days, the outfits are also the coolest thing this side of Elvis when adorned with an Augusta National logo on the right breast pocket and a crisp green nameplate across the shoulders. Walk through a crowd while wearing one and the patrons part in reverence.

“It’s the only outfit that you will complain about and still want to wear more than anything else in the entire world,” said Michael Collins, a former professional caddie who now works as an ESPN golf analyst. “You might complain about putting it on, but you really complain the year you don’t get to put it on.”

In fact, a lesser-known Masters tradition allows that the caddie on the bag of the tournament winner is allowed to hang on to the long-sleeve, zip-up outfit as a keepsake, a sort of green jacket for the carrying class.

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An example of a Masters caddie jumpsuit from 1940

Augusta businessman Fred Daitch, whose company makes caddie uniforms for the Masters tournament, shows a caddie jumpsuit from 1940.

“A lot of guys get mannequins to put theirs on,” said Austin Johnson, who caddies for his older brother, Dustin, winner of the 2020 Masters. “I don’t have a game room at my house, so I’m still trying to figure out what to do with mine.”

The getups aren’t just for the tournament; the everyday caddies at Augusta have worn them for decades. There was a time when they wore whatever they chose, but in 1940, Masters co-founder Clifford Roberts wrote a letter that proposed the idea of uniformed caddies during regular play at the club and especially for the tournament.

At first, Augusta caddies wore a bluish denim uniform with a green cap and a yellow button, before transitioning to the traditional white uniform in the early 1950s for Masters play.

“The long-sleeve white suit fit perfectly for spring; the green and white stand out pretty strongly,” said Ward Clayton, author of “Men on the Bag: The Caddies of Augusta National.”

That stands in contrast to the golfers, dressed in every conceivable hue. The tidy look of the caddie outfit also belies its original and more common use.

Fred Daitch, whose family made the caddie uniforms for more than a half-century, holds a vintage version.
(Sam Farmer / Los Angeles Times)

“We originally sold white coveralls to pig and chicken farmers,” said Augusta businessman Fred Daitch, whose garment company has been in his family for three generations. “The reason the farmers used them is they would go from coop to coop and they didn’t want to carry disease, so every time they went to another coop they would change their boots and coveralls.”

Daitch owns International Uniform Inc., a company previously known as Daitch & Co., once one of the country’s biggest distributors of Hanes underwear. The first iteration of the business was founded in 1930 by Daitch’s grandfather and father, who provided wholesale items — including handkerchiefs, bandannas and overalls — to mom-and-pop stores, gas stations and farms.

They also provided the caddie coveralls to Augusta National for a half-century before they were driven out of business by big-box retailers. In 1998, Daitch bought the company’s 25,000-square-foot building and relaunched the business under a new name, selling surgical scrubs, restaurant aprons and the like. With golf gaining popularity, he saw an opening.

Masters' caddies examine the 13th hole at Augusta National.
The caddie’s name adorned across the back is part of the classic look of the Augusta National coveralls.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

In the early 2000s, Daitch attended a PGA merchandise show in Orlando, Fla., and rented a tiny booth to display his wares, which included caddie coveralls, bibs, and bags to hold sand and seed to fill in divots on the course. To save money at the show, he passed on a hotel and instead slept in his truck.

“After every trade show, most of these vendors leave stuff — racks, TVs, carpet, because they don’t want to pay to take it back. It’s not worth it,” Daitch said. “So I literally went into the dumpsters to build my booth.”

His truly eye-catching item was an Augusta caddie uniform, which he displayed until the club’s former pro spotted it an asked him to take it down. That generated enough interest for Daitch to get a foothold with golf clients all over the country.

Masters memorabilia is a bustling business in Augusta, Ga., which happens to be home of the world’s most exclusive golf course, Augusta National.

April 6, 2022

In the years since, International Uniform Inc. has forged business relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious golf clubs, mostly providing them with customized caddie bibs. The company also makes magnetic scoreboards, cart bottle carriers, custom caps and badges. He has won wide acclaim for rebuilding the company from scratch.

Over the years, Daitch improved upon the Augusta coveralls, notably by using a four-inch-wide Velcro strip to affix the golfer’s name on the back, rather than one-inch strips that were far less reliable and allowed the nameplates to droop and peel off over the course of a round. Daitch declined to detail what he now provides Augusta, although it’s believed the club no longer uses his company for the uniforms.


Regardless, new or old, those outfits are coveted.

“It’s the jumpsuit that every caddie dreams of,” Collins said. “The only way to put one in your house is to win the Masters.”