Before there were titanium woods and graphite shafts, golf clubs were made from the wood of hickory trees and had intriguing names like cleek, mashie and jigger. Golf was a game played not with high-tech equipment but with skill, finesse, and creativity. And the greatest hickory player of all time was Walter Hagen---until the day he met a teenage caddie at a country club outside Chicago.
America’s first touring golf professional, Hagen made (and spent) more prize money than his friends Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey earned from baseball and boxing during the Golden Age of Sports. In this novel, set in the halcyon post-war Midwest of 1946, Hagen comes to historic Midlothian Country Club as the champion he is---but also as a man handicapped by a secret.
Waiting for him are two caddies. Harrison Cornell—a onetime rich playboy from the Bahamas—has a past; the other---Tommy O’Shea, a farm boy who caddies at the country club---may have a future . . . but only if he can somehow beat Hagen on the links, in one last game played with hickory.
Cornell is a mystery man who appears from nowhere and presents himself as a “looper,” a that offers a pure dose of Midwestern soul, written by a new voice in golf literature who has firmly established himself as one of the leaders of the genre.