About the Book
Lifelong Looper showcases one of the most fascinating, amusing and time-honored tradition of golf — the caddie. This story of the longest-running club caddie known in history brings to life legendary characters and observations for deeper than its title suggests. Steeped in history and lore and mixed with humor and insight. Lifelong Looper also explores the many-faceted nature of golf – its inspiration, its sublime possession, even its angst.
Ross “Cotton” Young’s story begins when golf clubs were hickory shafts and a caddie’s hourly rate was 20 cents. He walked more than 10, 000 loops over the course of his remarkable 77 years on the bag. That’s over 60,000 miles (2.5 times around the world) of green fairways on the courses of Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Intriguing the reader with engaging tales of on-course drama, caddie shack comedy, and behind-the-scenes look at the special relationship between caddie and player, Lifelong Looper gazes into the soul of a lifelong caddie whose career culminates with his induction into the Professional Caddie’s Worldwide Hall of Fame, sealing his place of prominence in golf history.
Discover how a simple man with an eighth grade education walked the fairways with some of the richest and most powerful men in American industry as well as celebrities, would-be presidents and sport legends. Learn of the man for whom Cotton caddied that was so powerful, he refused to travel for a meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Instead, he insisted that the nation’s leader personally come to him — yet this same man took the time to drive his caddie home from the course after a round of golf. Cotton would never be a CEO, play in the NFL, record a hit song, win a U.S. Open or run for President. But as a caddie, he walked and talked with them all.
As every golfer knows, the next best thing to playing golf is talking about it, and reading Lifelong Looper is akin to a chat at the 19th hole with Cotton over a burger and a beer. This endearing book won’t necessarily cure your slice — but it will bring a smile to your face and perhaps a tear to your eye.
Not simply a story of a champion caddie distinguished for his knowledge of the greatest of games, this heartwarming glimpse into the life of vintage looper, Cotton Young, will be embraced by those who love the game and those who wish to learn the secret of how this ordinary man lived an extraordinary life.
Most of all, Lifelong Looper is a reminder that people like Cotton can still be found. As memorable as a hole-in-one, those who have met Cotton seldom forget him. After reading Lifelong Looper, you’ll never forget him either.
“The story of Cotton Young is an intriguing tale of a man who spent more hours on a golf course in his lifetime than anyone else I know. His anecdotes from 77 years as a caddie are sure to entertain golfers and non-golfers alike. Without question, he has an amazing life story to tell!"
“There is really something in the soul of the man, Ross "Cotton" Young, that is both inspiring and intriguing. We could hardly put the book down & loved every touching, hilarious & uncommon moment that the author so skillfully lays at the readers feet. If you enjoy stories of bygone eras, & people from a time of ethics, values & true American spirit, you will find it all in Lifelong Looper.”
Carol White, Author of “Live Your Road Trip Dream”
“Lifelong Looper left me feeling warm & wanting to be a better husband, father & human being. I started reading Lifelong Looper because it was about golf. I finished reading it because of the fantastic picture it paints of a life well lived. I hope Cindy has other relatives she can write about.”
Phil Main, CKNX AM920
"A must read!”
Jack Evans, The Jack Evans Show, 590 WMBS-CBS Radio
"Every golf lover would consider themselves lucky for the opportunity to follow in caddie legend Ross 'Cotton' Young’s amazing footsteps. But be warned: Following in Cotton's footsteps means you'd better pack some quality shoes. The man’s rolled over more miles ─ about 60,000 ─ than an old set of Firestone radials. His insights enrich the lives and rounds of countless golfers the way Lifelong Looper does for lovers of golf & the great characters it produces."
Chris Rodell, Author of "Hole-in-One! The Complete Book of Fact,
Legend and Lore on Golf's Luckiest Shot."
Intriguing…readers will be enthralled…very highly recommended…
Midwest Book Review
"A delightful, charming story…”
Dr. Mildred L. Culp, The Modesto Bee
“Loved it from start to finish!"
Eric C. Shillinger, Head Golf Professional, Moselem Springs GC"
Sure, writing a book had its glorious moments like:
When Arnold Palmer agreed to write a cover endorsement
The first time I saw Lifelong Looper in print
Hair & make-up in the chair before a TV interview on Comcast SportsNet
The first time I saw Lifelong Looper on the shelves at Borders
Traveling through the south for a year on book tour
Book-signing together with my grandfather at his 90th birthday gala
But then there were also those inglorious moments like:
When I unwittingly offended those who felt they should have been included on the acknowledgment page of my book, but weren’t.
The night I drove an hour & a half through a torrential downpour to speak & sign books at a library to an audience of one. Yes, one! Picture this: me talking to the head librarian (who was, of course, honor bound to be there, tornado & flood warnings, be damned!) sitting alone amidst 50 empty chairs. Lively crowd.
The time I was forced to use my cellphone (no landline available) for a radio interview (a big no-no!). Although I took precautions & informed everyone I could think of not to call me during a certain window of time, my mother forgot & beeped (& beeped) in anyway. Mom eventually got her recipe, and I got an earful from the interviewer.
When I sat in a swiveling chair during an interview ─ twisting & twirling unconsciously on live TV ─ while fielding questions from a 4-man panel, one of whom asked about my writing credentials, of which I had none.
The time I was at a Borders book-signing finishing up my John Hancock on the last book of five when the toddler of the happy woman (who was congratulating herself for polishing off her Christmas list in one-fell-swoop), threw-up all over me. The harried mom ran from the store, sick child in tow, leaving me in a pool of Pepperidge-Farm-fishy-vomit & five books that were now unsalable because they read things like “To Brandon, wishing you fast greens & endless fairways."
Oh, the memories. The thrill of victory & the hilarity of defeat.
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