Legendary caddy shares Pinehurst legacy with family

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June 16, 2013, 8:30 am
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(NECN: Jay Gray, Pinehurst, N.C.) - Golf caddies do not typically use golf carts to get bags around the links, but a special exceptions is made for Willie McRae.

At 80 years old, he has a hard time carrying the bags himself. But as a local legend at Pinehurst in North Carolina, with over 70 years as a caddy at the course, the exception is well deserved.

McRae has been carrying bags there since he was just 10 years old, having walked 18 holes with the likes of Presidents Ford, Nixon, and Eisenhower, as well as athletes Michael Jordan, Julius Ervin, and Peyton Manning.

But celebrity has never impressed McRae. He's happy to have enjoyable work that allows him to find something special in everybody that comes through.

"It's a way of life. It's a job, but it's a good job," he said. "Everybody is somebody, and that's the way you got to look at it. Treat everybody just alike."

That's a message that McRae has made sure to pass on to his son and grandson, also employees at Pinehurst.

Paul McRae, Willie's son, is the golf instructor at the course. And he says working with his father has been a pleasure.

"Just coming here every day with my dad, and seeing the people that he touched in his life - it's just so great," he said. "I got that same attitude from my dad - everybody is special. I try to treat everybody the same."

Darick McRae, Willie's grandson, has kept close to his grandfather. He's also a caddy at Pinehurst, following literally in Willie's foot steps.

"80 years old and he's still out here, that's sweet," Darick said. "And to hear about three generations here - what could be better?"

For more on the McRae's and Pinehurst, watch the attached video.

Tags: North Carolina, Jay Gray, Pinehurst, Willie McRae, Paul McRae, Darick McRae
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