The Caddie Who Played with Hickory

In Coyne’s engrossing hole-in-one (after The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan ), it’s the summer of 1946 and Tommy O’Shea, a top caddie at Midlothian Country Club, gets a fantastic chance to challenge golfing legend Walter Hagen in the “last important golf match of his life.” To do so, Tommy must be proficient in the usage of hickory golf clubs, the kind Hagen used to win his first U.S. Open in 1914. At stake is a $1,000 prize that could finance farmer’s-son Tommy’s college dreams. In walks Harrison Cornell, a WWII vet and former POW, who wants to caddie for Hagen. As it turns out, Harrison has a secret score to settle with Hagen dating back to 1941. As Tommy prepares to compete against Hagen—one of golf’s first superstars—he learns much about golf and life from Harrison (“Carry your own clubs. Be your own man”), flirts with a club waitress and falls for Val, a member’s daughter. Coyne’s neat plotting and firm grip on even the most obscure corners of the sport make this the perfect treat for hackers and pros alike.