A freelance golf writer rehearses his decades of caddying and carousing at some of the toniest venues in the world—from Augusta to St. Andrews.
Dunn comes across in much of this mostly frivolous text as one of those perpetual adolescents who populate Judd Apatow films. As he recounts his exploits on the links, in bars and campgrounds and rooming houses, he displays a surprisingly obtuse attitude about women. He repeats crude sexist stories (sans irony), rails against the “aggressive older women on the prowl” in Aspen, describes the endowments of women he sees on the course and, of course, “cougars.” At various points, he waxes philosophical about the meaning of it all—e.g., golf and life are both journeys. Dunn occasionally alludes to a book (Siddhartha) and to his efforts to become a writer, but this does not occur often. The most significant relationship he relates is with his father, who, unsurprisingly, was not thrilled with his son’s decision to spend his youth carrying other people’s golf bags. His father’s disapprobation pops up continually, but near the end, things grow more serious: His father became grievously ill, and for the first time in their lives, father and son had to come to terms with each other. In these passages, the author emerges as something more than the self-absorbed adolescent he appears elsewhere to be. Also of interest are his descriptions of some of the great courses he “looped” (caddied), some of the notables for whom he caddied (Bill Gates, Arnold Palmer), some of the amusing experiences he had when he didn’t really know what he was doing (his early rounds in Scotland), and encounters with golfers and caddies who were less than amiable.
Will appeal to fans of the Caddyshack films and to those who revere the wisdom of the locker room.