It has been awhile since I've last reviewed a golf book on this blog. Simply put, there are a TON of golf books out there from which to choose. Most aren't any good, either. However, John Dunn's autobiographical Loopers: A Caddie's Twenty-Year Golf Odyssey is a pleasant, engaging read that I found difficult to put down. Written in the style of a journal of sorts, Dunn recalls twenty years of his life as a country club caddie traveling up and down the east coast. Saturated in humor and (at times) crass language, Loopers offers the reader a look inside the mind of a caddie as he matures into young adulthood. Having worked as a caddie myself for many years, I found Dunn's memoirs touching and hilarious as I could see myself in his shoes throughout the book.
What I liked most about Loopers were the underlying serious tones strategically placed throughout the pages. For example, Dunn shares a story about a fellow caddie who is of shorter stature. After a day of visiting Augusta National for The Masters, both young men pull over to a cemetery to share a bottle of whiskey. Dunn eventually creeps up on his friend to scare him, which goes horribly wrong and taps into an unknown hidden fear in the other caddie. Dunn then describes the car ride home as his friend opens up about his depression and lack of self-worth; an event that introduces Dunn to the dark side of caddying.
The book does miss in some areas, however. While each chapter is dedicated to Dunn's time at a particular course or club, these stints might span multiple years at a time. I found the themes in each chapter jump around a bit too much for my taste. Maintaining a rhythm or flow is a very important element in any book.
Regardless, Loopers is a worthwhile read for anyone who has worked in the golf industry growing up. It is also a nice addition to your Summer reading list as you should be able to ingest it in just a few sittings.
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Crown (May 14, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0770437184
- ISBN-13: 978-0770437183