There’s no denying that Nick Taylor has enjoyed an up-and-down career on the PGA Tour since securing his card in 2014. Claiming the Sanderson Farms Championship that year, he then went on a six-year winless run before returning to the winners circle at the 2020 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
A three-year drought followed but, in 2023, he won his home title, the RBC Canadian Open, in a thrilling playoff that included a near 70-foot eagle putt. On the bag for him at that event was Dave Markle, who has been Taylor’s bagman since the Autumn of 2022.
Who Is Nick Taylor’s Caddie?
To begin with, the duo have been close friends for a number of years, with Markle a very good golfer in his own right. The pair met when they were just 17-years-old and, growing up, they both played the Canadian Amateur in 2007 and were even teammates at the World Team Amateur Championships.
Like his friend, Taylor, Markle turned professional in 2008 and played in a number of tournaments throughout his early years as a pro. Competing in numerous events, he actually Monday qualified for the Canadian Open in 2012 following a 66.
Along with Taylor, Markle has caddied for other Canadian players, such as Michael Gligic, with Markle on the bag for Gligic’s biggest ever win at the 2019 Panama Championship. However, Markle’s biggest success came at the 2023 RBC Canadian Open.
Speaking at the end of 2023 to British Columbia Golf following his most successful year on Tour, Taylor stated: “For a long time I thought I wanted to avoid having a good friend on the bag. I thought it could potentially complicate things. I think it is probably something I have needed for a long time. The comfort out there is just at another level. I have had some good caddies in the past, but when you are out there with a close buddy he can just keep me loose more so than most.
“Dave’s golf IQ is very high because he is a great player. But his mental approach, his positivity, has been a difference-maker. He knows at just the right times how to release a little pressure if I am getting a little tight. He is constantly looking for the good things, the positivity and won’t let me get down on myself. I would tend to let things fester and I would say for the majority of the year I was much better at not doing that.”
Following Taylor’s victory at the RBC Canadian Open, the Canadian gifted Markle the caddie bib and 18th flag. Along with the present, Markle tweeted “HOLY S**T – 72 FEET FOR THE WIN!! What a moment in Canadian sports. Could not be happier for my boy, my boss @ntaylorgolf59 CHAMPION!! @RBCCanadianOpen Thanks to fam, friends & fans for the support.”
It hasn’t all been success though for Taylor. Back in 2018, with veteran caddie, Jeff Willett, on the bag, the Canadian very nearly lost his PGA Tour card. Needing a big run in the final event, the Wyndham Championship, the duo managed to manufacture a final round 63 to keep inside the top 125 of the FedEx Cup rankings. Such was the relief, Willett described it as “like we had won the US Open.”