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An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  825 ratings  ·  72 reviews
In the middle of Oliver Horovitz's high school graduation ceremony, his cell phone rang: It was Harvard. He'd been accepted, but he couldn't start for another year.

A caddie since he was twelve and a golfer sporting a 1.8 handicap, Ollie decides to spend his gap year in St. Andrews, Scotlanda town with the U.K.'s highest number of pubs per capita, and home to the Old
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Published September 18th 2013 by Tantor Media (first published August 2nd 2012)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Brian DiMattia
If I'm being honest, and brutally so, Oliver Horovitz is not a great writer. His chapters are short and choppy, he tells a fairly brief story and then drops it. There's no...continuity. Reading this book was like listening in on a conversation at a party for 5 minutes, then wandering away, and coming back for 5 minutes.

But I have a hard time being really critical of the book, mostly because it's just likable. Most likely I mean that Horovitz is likable. Seriously, it's basically a book about a
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I first read about this book in the Boston Globe and as a golfer and one who has had the privilege to play St. Andrews, I thought it might be interesting to read. was fantastic. My expectations of what this book would be like were far exceeded. If your a golfer, if you've played St. Andrews or hope to some day, do yourself a favor and read this book. You will not be disappointed.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The reasons why I ended up liking this aren't numerous (and yes, I am quite surprised that I ended up liking it). Just for context, I picked up this book in a hostel in Newcastle - it had a book exchanged (and I must admit I cheated, because the host said I am exempt from leaving my signed copy - I'll just have to stop by there again to return a book at some point :) ).

Anyway, I digress. I chose it because it was the only title that I could *kinda* relate to. The common denominator is, of
Thomas Anstett
This account is a narrative about the author's life between his winter studies at Harvard and his summers as a caddie at St. Andrews in Scotland. The narrative weaves back and forth as do the seasons of the year. At times refreshing, at times eloquent, at times choppy, most of time entertaining. Lovers of golf, especially those who have had the honor of playing the Old Course, will find the descriptions of the holes through a caddy's eyes compelling and enjoyable. Horovitz entertains the ...more
phil mcveigh
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Really enjoyed this book. I'm not golfs biggest fan and I'm a very average player myself but I understand enough about the game to understand some of the golfing language used.

You will like this book if you like golf but for anyone not into golf, it's the stories about his life in America and Scotland with his Great Uncle, University life and his life away from golf that you will probably find more interesting than the caddie stories....although some of them are entertaining to any reader.

Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think that this book would be a fun read for die-hard golfers who have either played St. Andrews in Scotland or dream to play there one day. And, as a non-golfer, I still enjoyed reading the book as it was entertaining to hear about the sub-culture of the caddies @ St. Andrews....and how much it means to these guys to caddy.

I enjoyed reading about Oliver Horowitzs relationship with his Uncle Ken and friend Henry......and that he considered his Uncle Ken his best friend.

Horowitz is a very
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I thoroughly enjoyed Oliver Horovitz's account of his years as a caddie on the iconic Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland. His stories are fascinating and give a peek behind the curtain of caddie life on a golf course - and not just any course, but perhaps the most famous course in the world.

Unfortunately, the writing leaves a bit to be desired. The short, choppy sentences and sometimes repeated text could have used a bit of editing. But I'm always hesitant to throw stones, since I probably
Anthony Robertson
If you like golf, St. Andrews Old Course, or both then this is a must read. Most of the book focuses on the caddying experience, but there are little bits that focus on his life outside the course. I found that the non-golf tidbits helped to keep things from just running together. Enjoyable, quick read that was a great insight in to a historic course and a job that requires great skill to be good at
Thomas Wailgum
This was a fun, breezy and informative read. As a golfer, the "inside baseball" stories on St. Andrews, caddying life and golfing were enjoyable. Ollie's relationship with Uncle Ken was heartfelt and warm. Well done!
Karli Eller
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
A super fast read about a Harvard college student who spends his summers caddying on the Old Course at St. Andrews every summer. Anyone who likes golf and desires to play the Old Course just once in their life will enjoy and appreciate this book.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An American Caddie in St. Andrews, a must read.

A fun fast read! The book transports you to Scotland and puts you behind the scenes at St. Andrews. A must read for any golfer or anyone who has ever caddied.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
warm and funny, even if you don't play golf.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

Well written and a good insight into the caddying world and At Andrews. Especially for those who have been privileged to play the old course
Tim Morgan
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. Fun to read whether you are a golfer or not. I will be recommending it to all my friends. Do what you love!
Anne Vicendese
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love golf! You'll love this book.
Bob Grinnell
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun beach read.

Wish I had read this before playing St. Andrews this Spring. Kenny was my caddie at Kingsbarn. What a treat that was!
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some F-bombs aside, this is a warm and at times poignant glimpse at life in St. Andrews as the author comes of age as a young ex-pat American in Scotland. A must-read for fans of the Old Course.
Bob Alger
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was so much fun! If you love golf, and especially love Scottish golf, you will love this book. You just want to root for Ollie!
Dave C
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two of the three story lines were interesting (to me). I found the caddie culture and life interesting. Quick read. Essential if you're going to golf in Scotland.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yes I love golf, Yes I love St Andrews and of course I want a caddie.
Nice enjoyable light hearted book for sport enthusiasts that also has a few good little side stories to give it a personal touch for the author.
Gordon Mcghie
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oliver Horovitz had a gap year prior to beginning his studies at Harvard. He travelled from America to the St Andrews, Scotland the Home of Golf with a view to joining the team of caddies that work on the many courses around the ancient Fife town.

Oliver HorovitzWe follow Olivers journey from his days learning the ropes as a rookie in the caddie pool; through to eventually becoming an accepted member of the team. He introduces us to the characters that he works alongside, his friends, the
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I have played golf one would not consider me even faintly good at it. But I suppose if I lived and breathed golf for a while my scores would get low enough to consider looking farther afield than a local public course. Then there is Oliver, a boy who grew up playing at not just one but two private golf clubs with a handicap of 1.8 that is the envy of many people.

So what does a very good golfer do when he suddenly finds himself graduating from high school and headed to Harvard? Why, take a
Sandra Sikora
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even though I have no interest in golf, this book kept me coming back for more! Great character descriptions and touching personal stories.
Gigi Gilman
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oliver Horovitz is at his graduation from Stuyvesant High School in NYC when he gets a call from the Harvard Admissions Office: he's off the wait list and IN, but the class is FULL. He has to take a gap year. In what's written as a whirlwind of decision-making, Oliver enrolls at St. Andrews University in Scotland (when Prince William was there!) for one year only, with plans to matriculate at Harvard the following year. His mom has an uncle (Ken) who lives about a par 4 (?) from the Old Course ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At least once in their life, every golfer should make the pilgrimage to the Old Course in St. Andrews. Oliver Horovitz not only made that trip, he turned it into a coming-of-age book about his experiences working as a caddie there during his college years. An American Caddie in St. Andrews is an enjoyable, light read that covers the young man's summers looping on the Old Course while completing his education at Harvard, chasing girls, and pub crawling through the ancient town.

If you're a golfer
Frank Richardson
Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oliver Horowitz has written a jim dandy of a book. He is accepted at Harvard but he is told he will not be allowed in until the following year and so what does he do in the meantime? Why, of course, he goes to St Andrews in Scotland, lives with his beloved Uncle Ken and becomes a caddy AKA looper at the Royal and Ancient Club of St Andrews, which happens to be one of the most famous golf courses in the world. Interesting to note that the book reveals there are 31 pubs in St Andrews and 70 % of ...more
Matt Weir
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't imagine myself liking this book. I picked it up because, well, I like golf and I like golf writing, but I love St. Andrews and I thought this sounded like a really good read...however, the narrator sounded like a truly obnoxious American and I'll be honest, it took me a few pages to warm to him. But only a few.
He is a genuinely likeable guy, a great narrator and by the end of the book, with his journey through caddying at St. Andrews and his relationship with his granddad, you really
I enjoyed this book immensely, but I would not recommend it to everyone. Golfers/caddies, like other sport professionals, have the language skill of a drunk sailor on leave (i.e. lots of foul language).

What I liked about this book is it puts light on something that goes unnoticed or unseen. Oliver shows up for the first time as a shy kid looking to cap his deferment year from Harvard being around what he But it's more then golf. It's about the relationships. With other caddies,
Don Gorman
This is an easy going, easy to read book. It is not great literature, but it is an interesting memoir, especially if you are a golfer. I know that there are many poignant moments in it and there is a lot of "people" focus as well, but unless you are a golf nut of sorts it just isn't that big a deal. I am a golf nut and I do go to Scotland whenever I can so I thoroughly enjoyed the book but I felt in many ways there were an awful lot of unresolved issues that were not addressed as fully as they ...more
Cary Carlson
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome good book. Oliver Horovitz has wisdom well beyond his years. I really didn't expect to get out of this read what I did, from a guy 20 years my junior. Great stories, great insight, great characters. Made me realize something I have suspected for years. Our lives are all book worthy. Some are just given the ability and drive to get it down on paper. BTW-Ollie made me cry again reading a book. Somewhat distressed about this odd trend, but Uncle Ken and Henry were worthy. Highly recommend ...more
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