- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (May 6, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385488858
- ISBN-13: 978-0385488853
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 121 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Who's Your Caddy?: Looping for the Great, Near Great, and Reprobates of Golf Hardcover – May 6, 2003
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To really know someone, as the saying goes, you must walk a mile in their shoes. But to really understand a golfer, you've got to work as their caddy. Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly managed to get some very intriguing golfers to let him lug their bag and write what he learned both about the game and the folks who play it. Going hole to hole with them let Reilly know a different side of veterans such as John Daly, David Duval, Tom Lehman, and Jack Nicklaus. But Reilly also went beyond the pros to caddy for Deepak Chopra, Donald Trump, professional gambler Dewey Tomko, and Bob Newhart. In some cases, the portraits that emerge fall directly in line with the popular image but at other times it's just the opposite. Daly is sober but has shifted his addiction to massive amounts of Diet Coke, candy, and marriages; Duval is intensely driven during rounds but surprisingly laid back and friendly off the course; Chopra's inner peace is locked in a mortal battle with the inherent frustrations of golf; and Trump manages to be both an egomaniac and a pretty nice fellow. And although he's on assignment to profile his temporary employers, Reilly emerges as an entertaining figure in his own right as he commits numerous faux pas, breaks taboos, infuriates multiple golfers and caddies, accidentally dumps all of Nicklaus's clubs onto the turf in the middle of a round, and discovers that caddying is tougher than it looks. Reilly walks a nice line with the tone of Who's Your Caddy?: it's reverent to the game without becoming a misty-eyed poetic ode, and it's laugh-out-loud funny without being nasty or low brow. And while golf fans will certainly appreciate it, Who's Your Caddy? is an impressive book for fans of biography in general. --John Moe
From Publishers Weekly
Hilarious misadventures, catty gossip and downright embarrassing facts are only part of the appeal of this deftly written journal by Sports Illustrated writer Reilly (Missing Links). Caddying for a golf pro just might be every amateur golfer's dream. Reilly managed to talk 11 players, media personalities and one infamous gambler into letting him follow them inside the ropes, even though he had no experience as a caddy and showed that fact so many times that John Daly nicknamed him "Dumbshit." Consider spilling Jack Nicklaus's clubs out onto the wet ground, just as he asks you for a new ball. Or leaving David Duval's golf clubs in the locker room overnight (the ones he won the British Open with) and not being able to find them the next morning. Self-help guru Deepak Chopra recently took up the game and proved that although he may be able to control the aging process, hitting driver is beyond his mystical powers. Reilly gets serious while carrying Casey Martin's bag, the pro golfer who sued the PGA Tour for the right to ride a golf cart during tournaments (Martin suffers from a rare leg disorder that makes every step excruciatingly painful). Billionaire Donald Trump, comedian Bob Newhart, beautiful LPGA pro Jill McGill, Tom Lehman (there's a "Jimmy Stewart decency about him"), legendary gambler Dewey Tomko and blind golfer Bob Andrews round out the field and provide Reilly ample inspiration for a truly funny, don't-miss read.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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In the meantime I have picked up a fairly serious interest in golf, and when I stumbled across the book again, I thought I would pick it up. "Who's Your Caddy?" won me over and proved that I had been haboring a number of misconceptions.
First, you needn't be a golfer to enjoy the work. There are some moments where Reilly sinks into golf-speak of the kind that I think every weekend player grows tired of by about the second tee when you're out playing with that clown from work or the brother-in-law who's sporting a [...] putter, [...] irons, and a $1 million ego because he's a 4 handicapper. But, the book mostly takes a trip around the course that is accessible to golf novices. Especially when Reilly joins amateurs like Donald Trump (I've always wanted to find a way to plausibly refer to Trump as an amaetur) and Deepak Chopra for a round, the story moves quickly and humorously.
Reilly even convinced me that he isn't the guy I would have thought he had to be after reading his SI work. Like the [...], naked under his raincoat, Reilly can't seem to help himself from unleashing overweight sarcastic sidebars. These inhibit the best parts of the story, but with a self-depricating twist that ususally leaves him as his own target, these diversions actually contained some redeeming moments.
Finally, he does descend into melodrama (the typical golf schlock type stuff, i.e. golf is the great game that challenges your will and quickens your mind and personifies American freedom), but only very rarely, and that restraint rescues the book from what might have become the nonfiction take on Bagger Vance.
Other reviews are right on target, this is not the kind of Updike, Heinz, etc. sports writing that actually captures the humanity and value of sports on paper - its silliness. But, on a summer afternoon when you'd rather save the $250 in greens fees and lost balls, this book should do the trick.
What I found most interesting about this book is the insight he provides in the inner world of golf. We find out information about the professional tours that you really can't pick up from the television or newspaper. This book gives you an idea of what it's like to actually be around professional golfers and the world they live in. The conceit of being a caddy is used to great effect since the caddy is the closest person to a player when he or she is on the course.
Most golfers would thoroughly enjoy this book, but Reilly writes in an approachable and eminently readable fashion, so it's likely a great many non-golfers would find this book a fun read. If you have even a passing interest in the world of golf, get this book!
Thus, this peek into the lives of professional golfers is fascinating. Golf is hard, very hard - and we know caddying is hard too - just not as hard - but this revealing book shows how tough it can be and how rewarding. Some of it reads like Greek tragedy - just shake that guy and tell him to stop that and do it THIS WAY...some is typical - ok billionaire guy, so your girl friend has real [...]...
All in all it is a rare and sort of uncensored look into the real world of golf - a great read for those rainy days when you cannot get a tee time.
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