The Life of O’Reilly

John O’Reilly is an inductee of the Caddie Hall of Fame, an erstwhile caddie to Peter Townsend, Des Smyth and Padraig Harrington and someone whom Seve referred to as ‘The Legend’. As you would expect from this gregarious and lovable rogue the book is strewn with amusing stories and anecdotes from his introduction to smoking by P.J. Carroll, albeit unintentional, to the watering hole in Doha to his raid on the members bar in the R&A. The early years provide a social history of golf in fifties and, what follows, is an insight into the players, professional and amateur, and caddies that he rubbed shoulders with during his fifty years as a caddy, twenty-five of which were on the European Tour. Johnny looped mainly for the aforementioned players but also jobbed for Doug Sanders, Gay Brewer, Fuzzy Zoeller, Dave Marr, Nathaniel Crosby, Roland Stafford and Walton, to name but a few. I would imagine that Ivan’s discretionary and filtering skills, as he transformed the tapes to manuscript, were sorely tested and no doubt had to leave out as much as he put in but nonetheless it is a truly great read for the golf enthusiast.

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The Life of O’Reilly is a chronicle of the early life and career of one of the European PGA Tour’s most famous caddies-John O’Reilly-and it’s full of funny stories as only this Irishman can tell them. Like the one about the time he and some fellow caddies were arrested and jailed in East Germany on their way to the German Open in Berlin. Or the one about the Tour pro who, in a fit of temper after a bad shot, put his foot through the bottom of his golf bag and could not get it out again! The Life of O’Reilly is a rollicking ride around the world-and the world of professional golf-by one of the game’s most interesting characters. No golf library would be complete without it. “I hope that you’ll find this book as entertaining as I found Johnny to be throughout our three successful years on tour. There was never a dull moment!” –Padraig Harrington

Extract from Clocktower Press

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Author(s)

Morris, Ivan, O'Reilly, John

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Irish Interest

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