Select one of the keywords
Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story    by John Feinstein order for
Caddy for Life
by John Feinstein
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, CD

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Sportswriter John Feinstein takes us on a golf tour, citing the history of the game, how it's changed over the years, and its unique lingo (e.g. bogey, yips, shag balls). The caddy's expression 'find/found a bag' is defined as 'to be engaged with a player to carry his bags during a golf game.' In earlier years, caddies were not allowed to walk on the green, nor were they allowed into the clubhouse. Caddying, as described in this book, is more than carrying the golf bag and pacing the green for the player/boss. It is a relationship of knowledge and trust between two people, relying on one another for assistance and guidance, on the professional golf tours.

One 1973 afternoon, Bruce Edwards approached Tom Watson, hoping to act as his caddy. Watson replied 'Okay, we'll try it for a week and see what happens.' Caddy for Life is the story of the evolution of a close friendship between the golfer and his long-term caddy. Feinstein describes the development of Watson's successful career. He became known as a great 'weather player', i.e. able to handle a variety of conditions. Watson played in the PGA Tour, British Open, U.S. Open, National Pro-Am, Masters, and others. Edwards' loyalty to Watson was unquestionable. Their relationship has spanned twenty-five years (with an interlude of three years when Watson encouraged Edwards to caddy for another golfer for the experience and money and Edwards worked for Australian Greg Norman, a.k.a. the 'Great White Shark').

In 2003, Edwards experienced slurred speech and was unable to grip a golf ball. After examination at the Mayo Clinic, the caddy was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS is a degenerative disease which destroys body muscles, attacking nerve cells, and leading to paralysis and asphyxiation. Edwards was given a projection of one to two years to live. He learned this just weeks after his marriage proposal to Marsha Cummins on New Year's Eve 2002. ALS first affected Edwards' throat, then his legs and stamina. The caddy retained his sense of humor and passion for golf even with the threats of ALS. Edwards developed as a unique and special caddy because of his professional demeanor, upbeat approach and enthusiasm. He tells us 'For sixteen years, I had never caddied for the money. Making money was nice, but I caddied because I loved it'.

John Feinstein has written a moving and inspirational biography of famed caddy Bruce Edwards in Caddy for Life. In Edwards' high school graduation book, he is asked, 'What makes you happiest?' Bruce's reply: 'Caddying on the PGA Tour.' Tom Watson speaks at Marsha and Bruce's wedding: 'The one thing I can tell you about Bruce ... is that there's not a mean bone in his entire body.' Bruce Edwards says: 'If you judge a man's life by the friends he has, then I've certainly had a great life.'

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews