Walking with Jack
A Father's Journey to Become His Son's Caddie
By Don J. Snyder
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385536356, 352pp.)
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A long-standing promise from a father to his five-year-old son . . .
A poignant diary that chronicles the journey
When Don Snyder was teaching the game of golf to his young son, Jack, they made a pact: if one day Jack became good enough to play on a pro golf tour, Don would walk beside him as his caddie. Years later, Jack had developed into a standout college golfer, and Don, at the age of fifty-eight, left the comfort of his Maine home and moved to St. Andrews, Scotland, to learn from the best caddies in the world. He worked loops on famed courses like the Old Course and Kingsbarns, fought his way onto the rotation as a full-time caddie, and recorded the fascinating stories of golfers from every station in life. All the while, he lived like a monk and sent his earnings back home.
A world away, Jack endured his own arduous trials, rising through the ranks and battling within the college golf system. At times, the question for the teenage athlete wasn’t how to continue . . . but whether to continue at all. Finally, Don and Jack approached the moment when they would reunite—and not only tackle an extraordinarily high level of golf competition but also confront the challenges of a father-son relationship that had inevitably changed since the days when their journey began.
Walking with Jack is a truly compelling golf story and a one-of-a-kind narrative that makes you appreciate the lengths to which a father will go to support his son.
DON J. SNYDER is the author of many acclaimed books, including the memoirs The Cliff Walk and Of Time and Memory and the novels Night Crossing and Fallen Angel.
“There is something sacred and magical that passes between father and son on the golf course, especially if that transmission takes place over time and distance, on good days and those best forgotten. Bringing a son to the poetry of the game–with its growing pains and stubborn values–is a tricky enterprise few fathers manage to accomplish without lasting wounds. Veteran writer Don Snyder and his son Jack make this intimate coming-of-age journey for both father and son one to cherish. Go walking with Jack and his old man and you'll find your own life, and love of the game, immeasurably enriched.”
James Dodson, author of Final Rounds
"Every father hopes he will someday find a way to truly bond with a son. Many of us do it through sports--whether it is playing catch in the backyard, glorying in the successes and wallowing in the failures of a favorite team together or finding a way to compete with one another at some level of a chosen game. Don Snyder found his bond with his son through golf, and he lovingly describes that bond and their relationship and shared love of a sport through Walking with Jack."
John Feinstein, author of A Good Walk Spoiled
"I don't know if you're going to play better golf after reading Walking with Jack—and there's a good chance you will—but I do know that you're going to want to call your son at the end, wherever he may be, just to say hello. Just because you can. You're also going to see more things, think more thoughts, and have a richer experience when you walk those next 18 holes. This is a terrific book, destined for that small shelf of great golf writing."
Leigh Montville, author of Ted Williams and The Big Bam