Former Fairview Park resident Rob Fisher has published his first novel, a book about growing up and caddying at Westwood Country Club.
The Wichita Kid: A Caddie’s Story is a coming-of-age novel about golf, friendship, and family. It centers on a fatherless 12 year-old boy named Kevin, who has just moved from Kansas to the “big city” of Cleveland, Ohio, and who suffers from anxieties that that he struggles to control.
To help support his mother and himself, Kevin finds a job as a caddie at a local country club. The program is led by an old, stern caddie master, but the older teenage caddies run the show. Kevin, as one of the youngest and smallest caddies, is forced to adapt to the new and often chaotic environment of the caddie yard and the golf course. This story is both humorous and touching as it involves the struggles that many of us have faced as we march into adulthood.
Rob answered a couple of questions about his book for Northeast Ohio Golf:
NEOHgolf: Is Kevin you or a compilation/fictional character? How much of real life and Westwood CC will a reader see?
Kevin is a fictional character although I use him as a way to tell the story from my point of view. Most of the stories actually happened during my 8 years at Westwood (which I compress into one summer), so readers will see a fairly realistic picture. I kept the setting at Westwood, in 1979. I changed the names and descriptions of the actual golfers and caddies.
NEOHgolf: What compelled you to write a book, especially a book about caddying?
My summers caddying helped shaped me as much as any school or other experience growing up. The caddies and members were unique and strong characters. A lot of very funny things happened in the caddie yard given that we were dozens of teenage boys with little supervision and endless hours of idle time. That fun naturally flowed over to the golf course as we pushed the envelope of what we could get away with. Over the years I have entertained my friends with ‘caddie stories’ and it led me to believe I had an entertaining story to tell.
NEOHgolf: When and why did you leave CLE? Miss it at all?
I left Cleveland when I went off to college and have lived outside of DC since. My parents and four of my sisters still live there, so I still have strong ties and visit fairly often. I am properly raising my kids as fans of all of the sports teams. I miss the lifestyle in Cleveland and the milder summers, but not the winters.