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Home Why golf is simply more than a game!

Anyone looking for a good read should look no further than An American Caddy in St. Andrews. Oliver Horovitz offers a first person experience of becoming a caddy on the Holy Grail, the Old Course. His adventure began with his “gap year” between high school and college. He decided to spend a year at the University of St. Andrews before being admitted to Harvard. His time in the auld grey toon coincided with Prince William’s freshman year, which also stacked the odds in his favor in the female to male ratio of students. Horovitz, unbeknownst to him at the time, was starting a love affair with the town and its golf courses. He became a caddy for the Links Trust to extend his time in St. Andrews after his first year at the university. He would return each summer after his school year at Harvard and met many interesting and intriguing people along the way including Larry David, Huey Lewis and Andy Garcia. An American Caddy in St. Andrews is a golf story, one of friendships, romance, coming of age adventures and insights into playing the Old Course.

“As soon as I started caddying in St. Andrews, back when I was 18, I knew that I’d stumbled into a special place. The Scots with which I was sharing bench space -- Bruce Sorley, Big Malcky, Wee Eck, Switchy. Boozy, Loopy -- these were guys who had looped for Presidents, for Arnold Palmer, for Tiger Woods. They’d worked countless British Opens and smoked countless hand-rolled cigarettes. They were as old school as the Old Course. And I wanted to be like them,” explained Horovitz. “Each summer that I returned, the caddie shack became more and more central to my particular life. Now I want to share the story and some unforgettable characters who ply their trade on the Old Course’s famous 120 acres. The biggest thing I learned from my shack mates is to do what you love. Quite simply, these guys love golf. They love playing it, they love watching it, they love talking it. Golf is their passion, but they’ve also made this decision to surround themselves with golf; to make it their job. For an 18-year old kid, whose older friends were already talking about banking internships and corporate consulting jobs, this was a pretty important life-lesson.

“Besides the days when rainstorms dumped the Atlantic Ocean inside my waterproofs, I really never got sick of golf. In St. Andrews, you live, sleep and dream golf. Everyone plays. Your taxi driver is a 3-handicap. The little lady in Tesco supermarkets is a Ladies Putting Club champion. So, it quickly becomes your life. After caddying for 36 holes, my friends and I would frequently go play nine holes at night (it stays light in St. Andrews until 11PM during the summer). I think, if anything, caddying made me want to play more golf!”

Horovitz, who caddied in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with Huey Lewis and for one round, the two were paired with Rory McIlroy, offers five tips to anyone playing the Old Course.

Keep your lob wedge in the trunk of your car. Flop shots are 200 times more difficult over there

The 7-iron bump and run is the best shot you can possible learn before arriving in St. Andrews.

Putt whenever you can, even if you’re 20 yards off the green. A bad putt is almost always better than a bad chip. When locals play, they’ll frequently putt from 50 yards.

If you’re in a pot bunker and need height, take an extra steep backswing and make sure you follow through. If the ball doesn’t come out, blame your caddy!

PLEASE don’t bring a 65-lbs cart bag with you the Old Course.

The book is available at www.oliverhorovitz.com. Find out why Gary McCord said, “This is a story you have to read before your next bogey. Oliver has his priorities spot on!”