An American Caddie in St. Andrews
Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course
By Oliver Horovitz
A caddie since the age of 12 and a formidable 1.8 handicap, Oliver Horovitz was no slouch when it came to the links. So when Ollie was accepted into Harvard College at age 17, but was forced to take a gap year, he chose to spend his time at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. In addition to taking on a full course load at the famed university, and joining the university's golf team, Horovitz stayed on for the summer after his gap year, and returned every summer afterwards, for the privilege of waking up at 4:30 a.m. most mornings to line up at the caddie shack and escort golfers of all shapes, sizes and handicaps around the world-renowned Home of Golf.
As chronicled in AN AMERICAN CADDIE IN ST. ANDREWS: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course (Gotham Books, March 14, 2013, Hardcover, eBook) Horovitz's first summer as a caddie was not an easy one: as an American, trainee caddie, it took Oliver some time to prove his worth to both the notoriously brusque veteran caddies as well as the gruff, extra-tough-love Caddie Master. He was on the lowest end of the totem pole, but by the end of the summer he had proven himself worthy of becoming a full caddie.
When the summer ended Oliver went back to the U.S. to start his tenure at Harvard. But despite being back on home soil, he found himself missing his fellow caddies, the greens of the Old Course and his 83-year-old Uncle Ken, who lived in St. Andrews and was Ollie's constant companion during his gap year. He also realized that many of the things his classmates at Harvard found important (corporate internships landing consulting jobs) now seemed irrelevant to him. And he was homesick. Not for New York or his family, but for St. Andrews. A cheap plane ticket purchased for the next summer's break and 20 sleepless hours later, Oliver is back where he belongs: on the links in St. Andrews. His adventures on the Old Course continue and include hosting secret evening training sessions with "Model Caddies"—25 beautiful University of St. Andrews co-eds who founded a rival caddie program on the Old Course; debauched nights on the town throughout St. Andrews' numerous pubs; caddying for the likes of Larry David and Huey Lewis; and finding love (or something like it) for the first time.
A behind-the-scenes account of St. Andrews, the Old Course and its caddie shack, AN AMERICAN CADDIE IN ST. ANDREWS is sure to delight those who love well-told golf tales, coming-of-age adventures, as well as anyone who dares to remember his or her first missteps toward something resembling romance. Ultimately, AN AMERICAN CADDIE IN ST. ANDREWS is for anyone looking for life lessons on the links.
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