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An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course Hardcover – March 14, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham (March 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592407293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592407293
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

About 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.

 

Customer Reviews

Great stories, very well written.
DaveW
And there is also the sweet tale of Oliver's relationship with his great uncle Ken and Ken's cronies in St. Andrews, and the love they develop for each other.
MichaelTSeidl
Thank you, Oliver, for this wonderful, humorous, yet poignant story.
Duane Peterson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dean M. Pollock on March 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Especially for the golfer, but even for anyone else, this is a most enjoyable book with several special themes. It is written lightheartedly autobiographically about a young American New Yorker trying to fit in with the caddies at St. Andrews, and thereby describes the unique world of the caddie shack, the relationship between caddies and players, and the various hilarious situations that occur in this most intense, obsessive, frustrating and patently ridiculous sport. The caddie is part teacher, part juggler, part psychiatrist, part weatherman, and part burro - performing at all hours of the day, in any clime, with a smile on his face and a wry comment, all while working for tips.
But this book is much more than that. It describes the magic of playing at the birthplace of golf (no golfer who hasn't been there can appreciate it) as well as the fanaticism of the golfer (Ollie is a good one himself). It is also a coming of age story about an engaging and enterprising young man: about his growing up and finding out what is important in life. We follow along with Ollie as he resists the temptation to follow the herd in an Ivy League environment (Horovitz attends Harvard when not caddying), experiences relationships with women, and touchingly appreciates a family relationship with an elderly Scottish uncle, among much else.
Disclaimer: I am a lifelong golfer who has played lots of places. My only trip to Scotland was in July 2012, and my caddie was this refreshing young New Yorker. In person, he is true to the engaging protagonist of this book. He made the round truly special, as any good caddie can. If you play golf, if you have ever played the Old Course, if you have ever had a caddie carry your bag and can appreciate it, if you enjoy reading at all, buy this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Capps on March 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
There are very few "must read" books on my list - this one just made the list. Golfers will get an inside view of one of the universal bucket list courses. Travelers will find dozens of places to visit that aren't in most tour guides. High school students heading to college might find inspiration to do something a little different for these growing up years.

This is a truly enjoyable book. A real pleasure to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Bancel on October 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book on so many levels. Really fookin liked. Initially, Having made the pilgrimage to St Andrews, I loved reliving it from an insider's perspective. But this book has a lot more to offer. It's a wonderful coming of age story. It's very touching tribute to his great uncle Ken and a lesson on growing old gracefully. I loved the descriptions of the town itself and the people and their golf and gardening centric lives. It's well written and the tense and style really keep it moving along. I was sorry to finish it. Well played Ollie. Very well played!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Howard Kay on November 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As an ex-looper, English major and of Scottish descent, this book was very interesting to me on several levels. Basically lived out something I wish I had pursued- going to school and looping at St Andrews. While clearly a very good caddie and player author comes off as very humble and someone you would want to hang out with. Has an appreciation for the true characters he comes across- does not look down on anyone- is very grounded. Highly recommend
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chicago 60626 on April 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really insightful book about life as a St. Andrews caddie, their time as a trainee and their life after their trainee tag is eliminated. The author's comments about the caddie shack are really funny and the inner language and insults swapped by caddies are enlightening to say the least.
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By mkennedy39 on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for a book to read as the days of summer wane, pick up Oliver Horovitz's An American Caddie in St. Andrews. In what I'd call a slow reading season for me, where novels have been picked up, put down, and put away, the former Harvard graduate's true story finally got the pages turning. Certainly, golfers out there will take more of a liking to this one, but non-golfers, don't be afraid--it goes beyond the links in many ways.
Horovitz's story begins in 2003, when, on the day of his high school graduation, he learns that he has been accepted to Harvard for the fall of 2004. The 1.8 handicap and self-proclaimed "golf junkie" quickly decides to spend his gap year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland--yes, a great school, but for Horovitz, a golfing mecca. A 70/30 girl-to-boy ratio, along with the presence of Prince William on campus, adds to the beauty of his adolescent logic.
From there, Horovitz's story covers the next seven years, largely centered on his experiences caddying at St. Andrews. He does, indeed, matriculate at Harvard, but each summer, he is drawn back to the caddie shack--a place where he learns things about his character that classes in Cambridge cannot teach him.
He fights to be socially accepted. He feels lost with his place in the world. He encounters fear. He falls in love. He laughs. He cries.
As you can imagine, though, his tale isn't all of a serious nature--far from it, actually. Throughout one brief period, Horovitz trains a group of beautiful women known as the "Model Caddies." He loops for Larry David and Huey Lewis. He teaches Paula Creamer how to take a tequila shot. He explains why caddies may utter the name "Abraham Lincoln" after a golfer pulls his or her drive way left--you'll have to read the book to find out the answer.
Through the moments of sheer hilarity, Horovitz brings his readers to a meaningful end. Here's a hint for you: the author still spends much of his time in St. Andrews.
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An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course
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