Wyndham Clark's Caddie Reveals Intriguing Details About Clark's Life and Mindset

"There was a point where there's nothing I'm doing or saying that's getting through to him."- Clark's caddie said.

by Sead Dedovic
Wyndham Clark's Caddie Reveals Intriguing Details About Clark's Life and Mindset
© Michael Reaves/Getty Images Sport

Wyndham Clark, last year's US Open champion, is once again setting his sights on the same goal this year: winning this prestigious competition and etching his name in the annals of this sport's history. The 30-year-old golfer has received immense support over the past few years, notably from his caddie, John Ellis, who has been there to assist him through the toughest times. 

Last year's showdown in the final round between Clark and Fowler caused significant interest, and Ellis knew how to encourage his golfer, reminding him: "Remember they're cheering for him. Remember who they'll cheer for at the end." Such words likely influenced Clark to elevate the pace of his game and secure the victory.

After clinching his first Major, the situation appeared quite emotional for Clark.

Throughout his career, Wyndham Clark has faced a lot of difficulties and tribulations, often speaking openly about his struggles with mental health. Ellis, as an influential source of support for him, has shed light on some details regarding Clark's character in a recent media interview. 

Ellis stresses that Clark has been overly critical of himself, despite having no reason to be so. From his caddie's perspective, Clark's life is one that many would envy: he earns a substantial income, plays a sport he loves, and many things have fallen into place in his life. Sometimes, it's hard to convince someone of that, but his caddie knew how to encourage this talented golfer.

"He's not even the same human -- on and off the course. I think he judged himself for who he was based on how he played those 18 holes of golf in a day. That's a tough way to live life, right? If you look around, he's on the PGA Tour, he's making a significant amount of money, he's playing a sport he loves. It's pretty good what you're doing, regardless of how things are going."- Clark said, as quoted by ESPN.

For Ellis, accompanying Clark on his golfing journey has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. He's faced numerous challenges, especially when Clark seemed distant and unresponsive to his guidance. Yet, Ellis refuses to throw in the towel easily. He's observed Clark's huge potential, buried beneath self-doubt and negativity.

Despite the challenges, Ellis remains firm in his belief in Clark's potential. He sees himself as more than just a caddie; he's a mentor, a motivator, and a friend, dedicated to helping Clark rediscover his passion for the game. With patience and determination, Ellis is committed to guiding Clark towards realizing his true capabilities.

"There was a point where there's nothing I'm doing or saying that's getting through to him. It wasn't working based on how he was handling himself."-Ellis said.

Clark has had, as we've already mentioned, several trials in his life, with the biggest being the death of his mother, Lisa, from breast cancer in 2013. Wyndham confirmed that he had attempted to work with sports psychologists and therapists, but it seems that the collaboration was not successful. Clark's manager, Rob Mougey, was trying to convince him that performance coach Julie Elion was the right person for his improvement, but it seems that initially, Clark wasn't keen on such an option. Ultimately, he decided to contact Elion and build his career together with her. Wyndham has been frustrated by many obstacles in his career.

"I ultimately agreed because I was at a point in the fall of 2022 where I was playing good golf, but I wasn't scoring good, and then I wasn't happy. I was really frustrated. I was kind of at the point where I was like, 'I don't want to do this anymore.'"-Clark said.

Wyndham Clark
Wyndham Clark© Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport

Elion and Clark's collaboration

Elion, speaking with ESPN was surprised by his unwillingness to collaborate during their first phone conversation in late 2022. She noted his behavior as somewhat impolite, a behavior she had encountered previously in her career. Despite this, Elion remained optmistic, as she believes in working with individuals who genuinely desire improvement. Reflecting on her initial interaction with Clark, she wasn't certain if he shared that same commitment.

Elion and Clark agreed to collaborate for six months, with the understanding that if Clark didn't feel progress, they would part ways. During their first meeting, Clark expressed skepticism about their partnership, citing previous collaborations that hadn't been ideal. Elion believes that Clark had high expectations of himself at that time, but she commends his confidence. In a Netflix documentary, Clark admitted that he had been training his mind for years to avoid negative thinking and self-deprecation.

"I had trained my mind over years of belittling myself and thinking negatively, locking myself in rooms and not coming out for a long time, or drinking to excess, or being mean to people. I didn't want to play golf."- Clark said.

Wyndham Clark