There are few caddies on the PGA Tour or anywhere in the world as well-known and well-respected as Mike ‘Fluff’ Cowan. The long-time caddie is currently on the bag for golfer Jim Furyk, and has spent time with some big names and excelled at his job for more than 40 years.
We’re going to deeper dive into the career and life of Cowan, who’s still doing an impressive job when many others over the age of 70 would have likely opted to retire from their jobs. But for ‘Fluff’ Cowan, he appears to love what he does too much.
Mike Cowan’s Nickname ‘Fluff’ Comes From Fellow Caddies
One of the biggest mysteries of them all is how Mike Cowan received the nickname ‘Fluff,’ but it was from his fellow caddies. According to Jason Crook GolfChannel.com, he earned it because of his resemblance to former pro golfer and broadcaster Steve Melnyk, who had the same nickname.
Adam Schupak of Links Magazine previously spoke with Cowan about the nickname and the caddie offered some insight into it.
A couple of caddies from Florida—Eddie Davis and Eddie Fletcher—named me after Steve Melnyk. His nickname in college was Fluff. They started calling me Short Fluff, and pretty soon it was shortened to Fluff. I have no idea why they started calling me that. I think they were trying to get my goat because Steve Melnyk isn’t exactly the most handsome man.
Cowan Was on the Bag for Tiger Woods’ 1997 Masters Victory
In one of the most memorable victories at the Masters in history, Tiger Woods rolled through the field, winning by 12 strokes. This marked his first career professional championship and Cowan was Woods’ caddie for that event. He also was working for Tiger when he made his professional debut at the Greater Milwaukee Open in September 1996.
The duo remained together until 1999 when Woods parted ways with Cowan. The caddie spoke about Woods’ dominance in the Masters win with Links Magazine.
Just watching him take that golf course apart with both his length and his putter. Watching him hit pitching wedges into the 15th hole. I don’t think that had ever been done. The 30 we shot on the back-nine Thursday was just an unbelievable way to come back from shooting a bad score on the front nine; turning what could’ve been 75 or 76 or who knows what into 70 set the tone for the whole week. I don’t know what it had to do with anything, but walking to the 10th tee I said something to the effect of it’s nothing more than the start of a long tournament. Let’s go shoot something in the red and we’ll be all right, and from there he just dominated that golf course.
Mike Cowan Has Caddied for Jim Furyk Since 1999
Shortly after Cowan and Woods parted, the caddie was hired by Furyk and the first event for the duo came at the 1999 Masters. Furyk has one victory at a major in his career which came at the 2003 U.S. Open with Cowan on the bag, an event which the 48-year-old won by an impressive three strokes.
Over the span of his professional career, Furyk has won 17 PGA tour events and 14 of them came with Fluff as his caddie. This not only included the U.S. Open, but also a Tour Championship victory over Luke Donald in 2010.
Since Cowan and Furyk teamed up, the golf pro has posted 17 top-10 finishes at major events through the 2018 season.
Cowan Caddied for Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko
Back when Michelle Wie was a 13-year-old golfing sensation as an amateur, Cowan had a week off from working with Furyk due to an injury suffered by the pro. He proceeded to caddie for Wie in one tournament, which came during 2004. But this wasn’t his only stop in women’s golf.
As Will Gray of GolfChannel.com revealed, Cowan was also on the bag for then-No. 3 ranked Lydia Ko at the 2014 U.S. Open. Just one week after Furyk tied for 12th at the event, he hopped on to work with her at Pinehurst.
“I think personally he’s more famous than me,” Ko said Wednesday. “I was walking down with David Leadbetter, Mike and I, and a lot of people were asking for their autographs.”
Mike Cowan Is a Member of the Caddie Hall of Fame
Not only is Cowan a member of the Caddie Hall of Fame, but he took the honor and proceeded to keep putting in the hard work. His date of induction was in 1999, meaning he’s continued working as a top caddie for roughly 20 years since that point.
Even before Woods and Furyk, tour pros had quite a bit of success with Cowan on the bag, including Peter Jacobsen. The duo won six times on tour together, per the Caddie Hall of Fame website.
A native of Winslow, Maine, Cowan began caddying in the late 1970s after leaving his job as an assistant pro at a private club in his home state. He caddied briefly for Ed Sabo before working alongside Peter Jacobsen from 1978 to 1996. Together, Cowan and Jacobsen won six times on the PGA TOUR before parting ways.
It’s been an impressive career thus far for Cowan, and both he and Furyk are still having plenty of success as the 2019 season rolls along.