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A Wee Nip at the 19th Hole: A History of the St. Andrews Caddy

by Richard MacKenzie

A Wee Nip at the 19th Hole celebrates one of the most intriguing, entertaining, and time-honored traditions in golf--the St. Andrews caddie. For over two hundred years, caddies have been walking the most famous piece of golfing land in the world, advising players of vastly different abilities, not only on the club to take, but also on the type of shot required. Richard Mackenzie, Caddie Manager at the historic Old Course and a former caddie himself, brings to life some of the most legendary and colorful characters ever to walk the links in this highly readable and enjoyable book. Filled with vintage photographs and documents, A Wee Nip at the 19th Hole traces the great contribution caddies made to the game and features profiles of characters like Old Tom Morris, who has since assumed a prominent place in golf history. In fact, it was Old Tom himself who in 1864 elevated the expectations of the caddies, insisting that they "appear for work clean, and moderately sober." Old Tom was routinely disappointed, however, by a band of ragamuffins with names like "Stumpie Eye," "Trap Door," and "Boosy Chas." Reading Richard Mackenzie's tribute to the St. Andrews caddie is a little like pulling up a stool at the 19th hole and sharing a pint with these and other famous and infamous characters. -->


About the Author:

Richard Mackenzie is a native of Scotland's west coast but has made St. Andrews his home for the last eighteen years. His first passion was soccer, and he came into golf through an unconventional route. While visiting friends in Australia in the early 1970s, he was in the crowd at a national tournament played over the Royal Sydney Golf Course. At the seventh hole, one of the golfers dismissed his caddie in anger and, turning to the gallery, asked if anybody would like to carry his bag. Richard's friends pushed him forward, and the golfer said, "There's the bag--let's play golf!" It was the beginning of his love for the game.

Ten years later, in St. Andrews, Richard began to hone his skills as a caddie, soon becoming good enough to work the 1984 Open Championship at St. Andrews, where he carried for five-time winner Peter Thomson. Since then, he has worked seven Opens, has taken time out to work the European Tour, and made an occasional sojourn into the U.S. Tour, eventually coming home to St. Andrews to take over as caddie manager in 1992. His most recent success as a caddie was the 1994 Alfred Dunhill Cup win, when he carried for Canadian Rick Gibson, beating the United States in the final at St. Andrews, played over the Old Course.


Book Description:

A Wee Nip at the 19th Hole celebrates one of the most intriguing, entertaining, and time-honored traditions in golf--the St. Andrews caddie. For over two hundred years, caddies have been walking the most famous piece of golfing land in the world, advising players of vastly different abilities, not only on the club to take, but also on the type of shot required. Richard Mackenzie, Caddie Manager at the historic Old Course and a former caddie himself, brings to life some of the most legendary and colorful characters ever to walk the links in this highly readable and enjoyable book. Filled with vintage photographs and documents, A Wee Nip at the 19th Hole traces the great contribution caddies made to the game and features profiles of characters like Old Tom Morris, who has since assumed a prominent place in golf history. In fact, it was Old Tom himself who in 1864 elevated the expectations of the caddies, insisting that they "appear for work clean, and moderately sober." Old Tom was routinely disappointed, however, by a band of ragamuffins with names like "Stumpie Eye," "Trap Door," and "Boosy Chas." Reading Richard Mackenzie's tribute to the St. Andrews caddie is a little like pulling up a stool at the 19th hole and sharing a pint with these and other famous and infamous characters.

 

 

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