An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course
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An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course

4.4 12
by Oliver Horovitz
     
 

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A hilarious and poignant memoir about a Harvard student who comes of age as a golf caddie on St. Andrews’s fabled Old Course.

In the middle of Oliver Horovitz’s high school graduation ceremony, his cell phone rang: It was Harvard. He’d been accepted, but he couldn’t start for another year.

A caddie since he was twelve and a

Overview

A hilarious and poignant memoir about a Harvard student who comes of age as a golf caddie on St. Andrews’s fabled Old Course.

In the middle of Oliver Horovitz’s high school graduation ceremony, his cell phone rang: It was Harvard. He’d been accepted, but he couldn’t start for another year.

A caddie since he was twelve and a golfer sporting a 1.8 handicap, Ollie decides to spend his gap year in St. Andrews, Scotland—a town with the U.K.’s highest per capita of pubs, and home to the Old Course, golf ’s most famous eighteen holes—where he enrolls in the St. Andrews Links Trust caddie trainee program. Initially, the notoriously brusque and perpetually hungover veteran caddies treat Ollie like a bug. But after a year of waking up at 4:30 A.M. every morning and looping two rounds a day, Ollie earns their grudging respect— only to have to pack up and leave for Harvard.

There, Ollie’s new roommates are the sons of Albania’s UN ambassador, the owner of Heineken, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs. Surrounded by sixth generation legacies, he feels like a fish out of water all over again and can’t wait to get back. Even after graduation, when his college friends rush to Wall Street, Horovitz continues to return each summer to caddie on the Old Course.

A hilarious, irresistible, behind-the-scenes peek at the world’s most celebrated golf course—and its equally notorious caddie shack—An American Caddie in St. Andrews  is certain to not only entertain golfers and fans of St. Andrews but also anyone who dares to remember stumbling into adulthood and finding one’s place in the world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Horovitz, a wunderkind of sorts, chronicles his glorious times as a caddie trainee at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, a prestigious golf landmark. With the energy and joy of youth, he describes his “gap year,” when he took time off before entering Harvard, to which he was accepted at age 17. During that year, he joined the caddie squad at the historic site, with its challenging fairways. A caddie since age 12, Horovitz enjoys the competition of the caddies, the oft-repeated golf tales, the stern discipline of his by-the-book caddie master in the shack, and the pressure to excel at his duties of looping on the links. His interaction with the group of “pretty” university girls, deemed “Model Caddies,” is wondrous, as he learns several life lessons from them and the other caddies buzzing around them. Taking a full course load at Harvard while juggling caddie summers at St. Andrews, Horovitz shares his deeply felt memories of golf, girls, and the academy boldly, never taking himself too seriously or being irreverent about the caddie tradition on the time-honored Old Course links. Agent: Ryan Harbage. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
The experiences of an American caddie at golf's most sacred locale. In the middle of his high school graduation ceremony, Horovitz received a phone call from Harvard telling him that he was accepted from the waiting list but would have to wait a year before he could enroll. The author chose to spend a year at the University of St. Andrews, which is located in the town that stands at the epicenter of golf's history. A devoted golfer, Horovitz decided to caddy at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and especially, at the most famous loop of all, the Old Course. It is this experience--his attempts to fit in, to please a dour and exacting old guard, and the ongoing allure that St. Andrews held even as he wound his way through Harvard and beyond--that is at the heart of this intermittently affecting book. Horovitz is at his most effective conveying the atmosphere in the caddie shack and the difficulties, insecurities and triumphs that he confronted. But his attempts to interweave the rest of his life can be self-indulgent. His returns to Harvard after each summer make for lackluster reading, as do most of the sections on his dating life. But an exception to this off-course banality comes with Horovitz's relationship with his octogenarian great uncle, who has long lived in St. Andrews and who, over the years, became one of his best friends. These scenes provide the story's most powerful and poignant moments. Had the author alternated between his experiences carrying the bag and his visits with Uncle Ken and cut out the extraneous fluff, this would be an even better book. Not everyone can get to St. Andrews, but with Horovitz's memoir, they can get somewhat of an insider's view.
From the Publisher
"This poignant, funny memoir by Oliver Horovitz, a Harvard student who finds his calling on the Scottish links, is an intriguing tour of life at the world's most celebrated course."
Parade

“With the energy and joy of youth, he describes his ‘gap year’…His interaction with the group of ‘pretty’ university girls, deemed ‘Model Caddies,’ is wondrous…Horovitz shares his deeply felt memories of golf, girls, and the academy boldly, never taking himself too seriously or being irreverent about the caddie tradition on the time-honored Old Course links.”
Publishers Weekly

“In this breezy memoir, the younger brother of a Beastie Boy spills insider tales about looping and living in St. Andrews…the characters—bitter old caddies, the author’s university pals and his 83–year–old uncle—are lovable. So, too, are Horovitz's yarns, which feature late–night antics in the Old Toon and a round caddying for Seinfeld creator Larry David.”
Golf Magazine

"A must read."
—PGA.com

"Anyone looking for a good read should look no further than An American Caddie in St. Andrews."
GolfBiz.net

"An utterly absorbing, affectionate, and funny narrative of his halcyon days in St. Andrews.  I loved his memoir so much I lingered over it, relishing my own memories of that mysteriously captivating town, historic links, and addictive Scottish game, and I recommend Ollie's book to those who've either already walked in the footsteps of Old Tom Morris or have a visit to the home of golf on their bucket list."
—Ron Hansen, author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

"Oliver Horovitz is a writer to watch. Even if you don't play golf you will enjoy the Ring Lardner style of Ollie's An American Caddie in St. Andrews. The book has great characters and a wonderful sense of being a fish out of water.
—Michael Douglas

“This is a story you have to read before your next bogey. Oliver has his priorities spot on!” 
—Gary McCord

"An American Caddie in St. Andrews is a funny, charming, coming-of age tale about golf and life ... Horovitz is a gifted writer, and an engaging storyteller ... and he can read putts!"
—Huey Lewis

"While exposing the insular world of the St. Andrews caddie, Oliver Horovitz discovers a good deal of truth about golf, golfers, and himself. A terrific read. Recommended."
—Curt Sampson, author of The War By the Shore

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592407293
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/14/2013
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.11(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"This poignant, funny memoir by Oliver Horovitz, a Harvard student who finds his calling on the Scottish links, is an intriguing tour of life at the world's most celebrated course."
Parade

“With the energy and joy of youth, he describes his ‘gap year’…His interaction with the group of ‘pretty’ university girls, deemed ‘Model Caddies,’ is wondrous…Horovitz shares his deeply felt memories of golf, girls, and the academy boldly, never taking himself too seriously or being irreverent about the caddie tradition on the time-honored Old Course links.”
Publishers Weekly

“In this breezy memoir, the younger brother of a Beastie Boy spills insider tales about looping and living in St. Andrews…the characters—bitter old caddies, the author’s university pals and his 83–year–old uncle—are lovable. So, too, are Horovitz's yarns, which feature late–night antics in the Old Toon and a round caddying for Seinfeld creator Larry David.”
Golf Magazine

"A must read."
—PGA.com

"Anyone looking for a good read should look no further than An American Caddie in St. Andrews."
GolfBiz.net

"An utterly absorbing, affectionate, and funny narrative of his halcyon days in St. Andrews.  I loved his memoir so much I lingered over it, relishing my own memories of that mysteriously captivating town, historic links, and addictive Scottish game, and I recommend Ollie's book to those who've either already walked in the footsteps of Old Tom Morris or have a visit to the home of golf on their bucket list."
—Ron Hansen, author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

"Oliver Horovitz is a writer to watch. Even if you don't play golf you will enjoy the Ring Lardner style of Ollie's An American Caddie in St. Andrews. The book has great characters and a wonderful sense of being a fish out of water.
—Michael Douglas

“This is a story you have to read before your next bogey. Oliver has his priorities spot on!” 
—Gary McCord

"An American Caddie in St. Andrews is a funny, charming, coming-of age tale about golf and life ... Horovitz is a gifted writer, and an engaging storyteller ... and he can read putts!"
—Huey Lewis

"While exposing the insular world of the St. Andrews caddie, Oliver Horovitz discovers a good deal of truth about golf, golfers, and himself. A terrific read. Recommended."
—Curt Sampson, author of The War By the Shore

Meet the Author

Oliver Horovitz is a writer, filmmaker, and caddie on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. He has written about his caddying experiences for Sports Illustrated, Golf World, Golf Digest, and New England Golfer. In 2007, he wrote, directed, and produced a documentary called The Caddies of St. Andrews. He divides his time between New York City and St. Andrews, Scotland.

 

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An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book. I could not put it down. If you are a golfer, it a great story. If you are not, it is still a great story.
lillyth2k More than 1 year ago
Saw this author on CBS This Morning and am buying this book for my dad, a life long golfer who started out as a teen caddy at the local country club.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course" is a memoir  depicting a young college bound American Caddie ,Oliver Horovitz, who chooses to spend a summer caddying at the old course in St. Andrews.  Little did he know he would eventually spend seven summers at the old caddie shack in Scotland.   It all started when Harvard University informed Horovitz that he would have to take a gap year at the University of St. Andrews if he wanted to attend their prestigious university.  After reviewing his options on what to focus on during this year, he decided that he wanted to spend the year focusing on English courses and playing on St Andrews golf team.   After two semesters at the University, Horovitz receives an offer from a couple of lads to stay for the summer in Scotland.  They  stay in a flat and caddy on one of the most famous golf courses in the world, the Old Course.  This amazing opportunity directs his future on a very positive path.     Horovitz loves being around individuals who are passionate about golf.  The citizens of St. Andrews love golf and consider it cool.  Suddenly, Horovitz is able to use his amazing 1.8 golf handicap to his advantage.  He can use it to gain prestige in the caddie shack, brag to his friends and most importantly get girls.   His interaction with a rival caddie group, filled with attractive girls known as the “Model Caddies,” is interesting and insanely hilarious.  Even more importantly, his interaction with his Uncle Ken adds another phenomenal dimension to the story.  He and his Uncle share amazing moments together as his Uncle Ken treats Oliver like he is a son to him.   Overall, Horovitz shares amazing stories about golf, the other caddies, academics, and girls in a comical and luring manner that makes you never want to put the book down.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fookin' good book! Fooouuuuurrrrrr!!!!!!
Jon_from_MN More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable and easy read for all golf enthusiasts. Oliver shares his experiences "growing up" caddying in St. Andrews. One of the more enjoyable golf books I've read.
CarlaTurner More than 1 year ago
This story of a young man's experience at St. Andrews was well written and worth reading. Having been to St. Andrews a few years back, it was easy to picture the places and experiences he described. It is also a good example of perserverance -- something that seems to be lacking in our young people these days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So much more than a standard---this is what I did on my summer break memoir---, the book's center piece is caddying at St. Andrews but it is also about coming of age and making tough choices. It turned out to be a love story too...much to my surprise. I loved it.
Trombs More than 1 year ago
Excellent read.  Horovitz takes you along on a wonderful journey.  If you like golf and always wondered how caddies are made, then this book is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book very enjoyable because I studied in St. Andrews. I don't golf, but imagine that if you golf, it would also be fun to read about the insider world of caddies. However, I think that my enjoyment of this book came from reliving my time in Scotland - if I didn't know St. Andrews well, I probably would have given it 3 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I generally would not have picked out a sports book, but this caught my eye on a recent Barnes and Noble email. I loved the book. I enjoyed the multiple story lines - especially the story of Uncle Ken. The only "Buyer Beware" I would offer is the Scottish version of the F-word makes several appearances.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago