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

( 11 )

Overview

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 number of pubs per capita, and home to the Old Course, golf's most famous eighteen holes—where he enrolls in the St. Andrews Links Trust caddie trainee ...

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

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Overview

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 number of pubs per capita, 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 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 classmates 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 to St. Andrews. 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 famous 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.

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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.)
From the Publisher
"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
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592408634
  • Publisher: Gotham
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 136,940
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Oliver Horovitz

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.

Coming soon...

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    A great book. I could not put it down. If you are a golfer, it

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    A damn good book!

    A fookin' good book! Fooouuuuurrrrrr!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 13, 2014

    Highly Recommended - a must read for all golf enthusiasts!!!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2013

    Very interesting readinfg!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Very Unique...A Wonderful Surprise

    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.

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  • Posted April 14, 2013

    Excellent read.  Horovitz takes you along on a wonderful journey

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Highly enjoyed it - but then again I studied in St Andrews

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Wonderfully Narrated Story

    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.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    Saw this author on CBS This Morning and am buying this book for

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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