Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay is starting his broadcasting career with NBC/Golf Channel as an on-course reporter at the Open Championship in two weeks.
Bones is diving into his new position after parting from a legendary 25-year run as caddie to Phil Mickelson. This transition is much smoother than many caddie-player break ups, just ask Tiger Woods about that one.
Of course, Bones only wishes the best for Mickelson, who’s brother will fill his roll as carrying his bag for the remainder of the season.
“What are my emotions? My emotions are that I hope it goes really, really well for he and Tim. I texted him this morning and wished him luck,” Mackay said in a conference call. “My life is so much better for having worked with Phil. He’s been great to my family. He’s been great to me. I wish and I hope everything goes incredibly well for them.”
Although the Open Championship seems like the debut of Bones’ broadcasting career, it’s actually not the first time the looper has been behind the mic. Mackay actually made his start at the 2015 RSM Classic, as he and fellow caddie John Wood (currently caddying for Matt Kuchar) worked for the NBC/Golf Channel team that week.
Tommy Roy, the lead producer of golf coverage for NBC, said that experiment went “unbelievably well” and gushed about how ready Mackay appears right now for his new position.
“He already has ideas, which we’re not going to give away here … But he’s already prepared with other ideas of what he can bring to the telecast, which I so much appreciate and am so glad that he’s on the team,” Roy said.
While the 2015 RSM Classic seems like a long time ago, his experience that week taught him a valuable lesson that he will bring with him for the long haul.
Roy pointed out that Bones had something in his mouth during that first broadcast years ago..
“The only thing I had to get on Bones the entire time (during the 2015 RSM Classic) was he was chewing on gum during on-cameras,” Roy said. “So from now on, we ixnay the gum during on-cameras.”
Bones’ response? “Yeah, don’t ever chew gum on the air,” Mackay said. Lesson learned. Seems like this looper is ready to get down to business and begin the next chapter in his life!
“This is a great day for me,” Mackay said. “I’m absolutely overjoyed.”