There’s sad news in the caddie world, as we have learned about the passing of caddie legend Alfred “Rabbit” Dyer in November.
Dyer, a 2000 inductee into the Caddie Hall of Fame, spent 20 years caddying for World Golf Hall of Famer Gary Player.
Dyer began caddying at age 9 at Metairie Country Club in New Orleans. Early in his career, he caddied for Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Dave Stockton and Lee Trevino before being hired by Player in 1972. One of the first prominent black caddies on the PGA Tour, Dyer caddied for Player until 1992.
In 1974, Dyer was the first black man to caddie in the Open Championship. Though he wasn’t well-received – even by his peers – that week, Dyer managed to help guide Player to his third Open Championship win at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Through his Facebook account, Player released this tribute video to his late looper:
Said Player of Dyer: “I’ll miss Rabbit dearly. He caddied for me for over 20 years and we traveled the world together. Like me he had such a great sense of humor, and in this sense, he always reminded me of Muhammad Ali in that he was always ready to laugh, crack a joke or give a hilarious one liner. He had tons of charisma. During our time together we were able to put his son through Princeton University, and which I know made him immensely proud as a father. I’ll miss him so much and hope that when we meet again in heaven, he’ll be there with a laugh and a smile and then go out and for our first round there together.”
Dennis Cone from Team PCA and a Caddie Hall of Fame Committee member, called Dyer, “the caddies-caddie.”
“Rabbit was the last of the big-name traveling caddies from the 1950s,” Cone said. “His positive spirit and support for all caddies, kids and the game will live forever in the fairways of heaven.”
Cone also shared this quote from Dyer’s brother, Felton: “Rabbit meant the world to me. He got me out of New Orleans and on the road caddying for 15 years. Rabbit would tell me and others, ‘you got too much Game, like Jessie James.’ He had a kind heart for others.”
In his storied career, Dyer also caddied for celebrities like Bob Hope and Sammy Davis Jr., among others, as well as presidents Gerald Ford and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In a 2015 interview with staugustine.com, Dyer had this to say about those loops: “The nicest ones I worked for were Bob Hope and President Eisenhower. All them were nice.”
Dyer would also spend time later in his career caddying for Chi Chi Rodriguez on the Champions Tour.