- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"Well, how did they take that?"
"Like I say, it don't make no sense, 'cause it don't do no good. They start keepin' a side eye on me, like maybe I'm fixin' to lift a shoe into them the next time."
"What else did you do?"
Violence frowned slightly. "Oh," he said, "I slam the pin back in the cup real hard, jes' to show the guy, y'know. what I think of his messin' up the shot. Threw my cap quite a lot. Once I sailed it across the green and it hit Doug Sanders in the back of the head. But then, like I say, I cool it. I pack for Julius Boros and he like me and he say, 'Man, act like me, very calm, all the time, and you do O.K.' "
Alfred Dyer, out of New Orleans, was called the Rabbit. He was very self-assured. "You talk to the Rabbit," he said, "an'you're getting the stuff straight from No. 1. If it's caddyin' you're talk-in' 'bout, the Rabbit's your man. Why, at those big Jewish country clubs in the East it's the Rabbit they's always calling for—'Where's the Rabbit? Where's the Rabbit?' They say, 'You think I'm takin' one step on this course less'n the Rabbit's packing my bag, you is loco in the head." Why, I make $40 a day in the East jes' on my name alone. Autographs? Man, the Rabbit's always signing autographs...."
At this, there was a bit of good-natured hooting from the others down the fence. Someone shouted: "Rabbit, you can't write, man, an X, much less'n your name."
I asked: "Rabbit, what do you think you do best as a caddie?"
The Rabbit thought, and he said: "Well, calm my man down, I think that's what I do very good. Pull him off to the side when he's got a lot of pressure on him, and I tell him, let the Rabbit share it with you. Maybe I get him telling what he done the night before—jes' to get his mind off the pressure and make him relax. 'Course sometimes you got to do jes' the opposite—fire yo' man up. Now take Tom Weiskopf in the Colonial one year. We're comin' down the stretch with a jes' fine lead, but then Tom bogeys three holes in a row and he comes up on the 13th about ready to fall to pieces. He's chokin'. He's got this big ball in his throat. He says, 'Rabbit, we're going to have to play for second place. I'm playing it safe.' So the Rabbit says, 'Man, I'm dropping yo' bag right here if you don't go for the flag. You take a two-iron and put the ball up there nice an' easy. Smooth.' I can say 'smooth' like you never heard nobody say that word, like silk. Well, he done it. It wasn't my fault he got in trouble afterward and shot 80 or something" (actually 81).
Quite another sort was Dale Taylor, Billy Casper's caddie, a soft-spoken polite man in his 40s, I would guess, and with very much of a no-nonsense attitude about his profession. I had heard that he was an excellent golfer. He told me that he caddied for his man with pleasure because Casper always tended to the business at hand—their rounds together on a golf course had no other purpose.
"But don't all golfers go out on the course with that same attitude?" I asked.