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Loopers: A Caddie's Twenty-Year Golf Odyssey [Kindle Edition]

John Dunn
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

John Dunn never expected that his summer job as a caddie at the local course in Connecticut might turn into something more. The lifers who plied the loops were an ensemble of misfits and degenerates who made the caddie yard look more like a gambling hall than a country club. But Dunn came of age in those yards and on those courses, and the magnetism of the game and the lifestyle proved irresistible. One adventure after another kept him coming back summer after summer, until he found himself migrating with the seasons, looping at some of the most exquisite and exclusive golf locations in the world. Dunn crisscrossed the country on his own big loop, working inside the privet hedges while camping on the mountains, following the back roads and stumbling across unexpected moments of profound natural beauty, and embracing the freedom of what he calls the last vagabond existence in America, all while trying to decide whether to quit the loop and get a real job. Maybe next season...

Editorial Reviews


Praise for John Dunn’s Loopers
"Author John Dunn could have made his memoir of life on the links the literary equivalent of nine holes: Drop some A-list names, recall some Caddyshack-worthy shenanigans, then head to the clubhouse. Instead, he made a full round of his peripatetic tale, elegantly capturing not only the breathtaking views along the world’s top courses but the inner landscape of the players irresistibly drawn to the game.”
—American Way

"[A]n engaging and surprisingly gritty approach to the sport's literature."

"Will appeal to fans of the Caddyshack films and to those who revere the wisdom of the locker room."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Dunn found a vigorous and vital way of life which comes through clearly in his words. He caddies with no anticipation of wealth but at the same time it’s clear he knows of the job’s compensating values - walking through nature and playing golf courses, some of which are as beautiful as any place in the world."

Loopers is a wildly original journey through the golf world, and a fascinating glimpse into the secret lives of caddies. John Dunn is the perfect tour guide—by turns droll and introspective, imbued with a reverence for the game and a heroic wanderlust that takes him to many of golf's sacred spots. Reading this wonderful book made me want to fall in love with golf again...and to hit the road, in search of the adventure and self-discovery that Dunn found.” 
Alan Shipnuck, author of Bud, Sweat & Tees and co-author of The Swinger

“John Dunn turns toting the golf bags of the rich into an evocative and often very funny meditation on class and purpose. The serendipity he prizes about caddying turns out, as he slides into middle age, to be doubtful compensation for a more conventional career. The mixed blessings of vagabondage, and Dunn's slow-motion struggle with his disapproving father, give his memoir its tense and mournful gravity.”
Tad Friend, author of Cheerful Money
“Is caddying a vocation or a permanent vacation?  John Dunn has an amazing talent to get the reader to ‘enter the writer’s tent’ and imagine you’re right there with him in St. Andrews, at Bandon Dunes, at Shinnecock, at Olympic.  It’s a trip work taking.”
Mike Keiser, Owner, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

About the Author

JOHN DUNN is a writer whose work has appeared in number magazines including The Golfer and Travel and Leisure Golf.   For twenty years he worked as a caddy at golf courses around the world.  His "research" for this book was collected over the years on courses and beaches and in bars all across the country and abroad.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pushing the peanur through life May 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Loopers is a golf book told about and for caddies, i.e. it covers a small niche of a specialty interest. If you hsve any interest in the lives and loves of the long-time caddy, however, I can't think of many other books covering this topic, and none as well.

The author got into caddying like probably any other kid did; but in this case, the cash, the relative freedom (i.e. lack of repsonsibilities), a love of the game, and a natural wanderlust combined to make for two decades of hauling around golf bags and occasionally taking time to reflect on it.

Dunn's observations on his co-workers, his occasional brushes with the rich and famous, the different caddy programs at clubs of different levels of quality, the golf he is able to get in in often bizarre or unique circumstances, and his trips to some of the game's greatest tracks, make this a thoroughly enjoyable book. Along the way, as one might suspect, there is in the background his father's disapproval of the author's choice of 'career,' not to mention the disdain of several potential girl friends who don't consider being with a golf caddy quite what they aspired to in life.

Dunn has done a fair bit of writing for golf and travel magazines, and has been collecting stuff for this book apparently for some time. Many of the stries are quite funny, some poignant, and many golfing scenes are beautifully sketched. When the subject is something meaningful to Dunn, he can write it up well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this somewhat off beat book. If your interest in golf extends to the caddying subcommunity, then you may well, too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The strange world of the golf club caddy May 15, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Unlike most books about caddies that tend to concentrate on those who caddy for professional golfers, this memoir deals with the rather less glamorous world of the club caddy. The author spent a number of years caddying at various clubs around the country (even roaming as far as Scotland and St Andrews) on one occasion. The characters, both golfers and caddies, that he encounters along the way are detailed with a great deal of (mostly) affection and are unfailingly interesting. As all golfers know, a two of the main parts of the pleasure of the game are the cameraderie encountered and the beauty and sheer visual interest of the courses themselves. Fortunately the author is a sufficiently skillful writer to do justice to the scenery.

His relationships with his family members, particularly his father are also covered well. His father was not exactly enamoured of his choice of profession, regarding as suitable only for a drifter. Their reconciliation at the end of his father's life is poignantly described.

The book is extremely easy reading, unfailingly interesting, and, whilst greater interest to golfers, is one that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Enjoy the read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life's a journey, so is caddying. April 15, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Winter's finally over and with it, the ski season. Golf season is about to start and, what better way to get into the mood than to curl up with a golf book?

So, I picked up Loopers and began to read it, over Masters Weekend, of all times.

Life's a journey and, come to think of it, so is golf. This is a chronicle of a young man's journey, through twenty years of life as a caddie, a looper. Going from Connecticut to Secession golf course in Beaufort, South Carolina, to the West Coast, and even Augusta National, with a side trip to the Mecca of all golfers, the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Entwined between the hilarious, comic, sometimes sad stories, is a deeper storyline. The relationship between one young, and soon not so young man, with his father. That one is a journey too. A journey that many, dare I say most? Men can relate with.

What drives a man to take up a golf bag and carry it for others? Find it here. There are many answers, as many as caddies picking up a golf bag out of a car on a Sunday morning. Some are just ordinary boys, making some extra money. Others are characters out of a Hemingway novel, or a Woody Allen movie. Spend some time with them, it is time well spent that you will not regret.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quirky, Mystical, Thoroughly Entertaining Journey! April 11, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
John Dunn has led a life that I suspect many of us golfers really envy. On the other hand, I doubt that most of us possess the requisite talent and courage needed to live a similar lifestyle portrayed so engagingly in "Loopers". Fortunately, folks like me can live vicariously for a few days through Mr. Dunn's excellent first book.

What I liked best about "Loopers" is the way John Dunn managed to effectively transmit many of his emotions through the way he described his experiences. While many of his vignettes will resonate the most with golfers, for example caddying alongside Masters legend Arnold Palmer at Augusta National, I think non-golfers will be able to appreciate John Dunn's tales for his self-deprecating humor, perceptive observations, and well-crafted paragraphs. Reading "Loopers" reminded me of playing a fast solo 18 holes on a deserted course, when most of my shots go where I intended, and the experience becomes purely concerns about slow play, competition, or anything else besides my swing, the flight of the ball, and appreciating the golf course. "Loopers" lasted just the right amount of time, never staying on one particular hole too long, but still savoring gorgeous views along the way. The only down side to this book is after you read it, you'll feel obligated to tip your caddie much higher than usual, which could get expensive!

While I've only caddied once in my life, at a local club tournament in Southern California in the early 70s, I've often wondered what it would be like to become a part-time looper in a few years after I retire. John Dunn has made that notion seem a lot more inviting. That's the mark of a good writer, opening our eyes to new possibilities and challenges. But even if I never carry a bag (other than my own) at Chambers Bay, I will always appreciate having been a "Virtual Looper" alongside John Dunn. He deserves a big tip for his work!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love golf..a MUST READ!
Awesome! Wish i had the experiences the author did!
Published 2 months ago by Lawrence Petsky
2.0 out of 5 stars not much
Disappointing after Reilly
Published 3 months ago by Steve Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love golf, insights into life - have a great ...
This is a real adventure of a free who goes with his heart into life. What is a plan - perhaps it's allowing one's spirit to shape that daily as you respond to opportunities and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bruce Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!
Anyone who has ever picked up a club will love this story! Beautifully written, it the tale of one man's journey around the world and how caddying made it all possible. Read more
Published 8 months ago by roonman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read for any golfer!
Published 8 months ago by BRIAN M KING
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun but Sobering Read.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm a long time golfer who was directed to this book from a caddy who looped for me. Good story. Read more
Published 8 months ago by GenoJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book. I've played St
Terrific book. I've played St. Andrews and the Bandon courses, so his descriptions of those environments was fun to read. Read more
Published 9 months ago by David Malone
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside Peek at the life of a Golf Caddy - Lighthearted and Loving...
Author John Dunn has written an entertaining book of stories describing his 20 years of being a professional golf caddy. Read more
Published 9 months ago by nekko1
5.0 out of 5 stars but mostly he enjoyed caddying at golf courses and resorts
In “Loopers” John Dunn recounts his colorful history of caddying for golf courses across the United States and his time in Scotland. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Teresa Morrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, personal but insightful look at one man's dedication to...
There are caddies and then there are Loopers. Those who have been there for their fellow golfers, giving advice on wind, angles, to everything you can think of, that bond between... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dennis A. Amith
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