Book Review: An American Caddie In St. Andrews

 

If you’re looking for an entertaining golf read, you could do worse than the recently released An American Caddie in St. Andrews by Oliver Horovitz.


The plot is this: Horovitz, the younger half-brother of Beastie Boy Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, is admitted to Harvard but must wait a year before enrolling. He decides to pursue a “gap year” studying at the University of St. Andrews and, being an avid golfer, elects to spend the ensuing summer caddying at the Old Course. The memoir recounts his quest to assimilate as an outsider among the Old Course’s hard-bitten veteran loopers, his romantic misadventures and other experiences in the Home of Golf.

I approached the book with skepticism, thinking it might be self-indulgent drivel from some privileged son, but I was pleasantly surprised. Horovitz comes off as authentic as he recounts his coming of age in St. Andrews and later, at Harvard. Although he endures his share of ribbing early on, much of it from a churlish St. Andrews caddie manager, he eventually finds his footing and, enchanted by the experience, returns for a succession of subsequent summers.

Far from a boorish account of college-age bacchanalia and skirt-chasing – Horovitz’s retelling of a tequila-fueled flirtation with Paula Creamer at the noted Dunvegan Hotel bar after the 2007 Women’s British Open is about as wild as it gets – An American Caddie offers an endearing slice of life in one the game’s sacred places.

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