A Nasty Bit of Rough
by David Feherty
Rugged Land, 224 pages, $23.95
In David Feherty, we've found at last not only a true Renaissance man but also a writer with the guts to address the important themes of the 21st century. In A Nasty Bit of Rough, the operatic singer turned pro golfer turned witty golf commentator turns into a golf novelist and discusses the world's most vital issues—flatulence; alcohol consumption in vast quantities; male genitalia getting whacked, bitten, lanced and shot; and more flatulence. This book, a virtual literary whoopee cushion, does not make you ask, "Papa Hemingway, is that you?"
A Nasty Bit of Rough is a raunchy, randy, riotous farce. It's one long, slightly off-color joke. It's the kind of book Dan Jenkins would write if he were Irish and demented. It is exactly what you'd expect from Feherty, a mischievous, well-educated Irishman who once joked that he went on a diet and lost 40 pounds—150 pounds if you count his wife. Ba-da-boom! He's the same impish rogue who wrote a recent Golf Magazine column about singing in the choir at a Christmas church service that was loudly interrupted by the nativity scene's live donkey going, well, number two in explosive fashion. Now that, ladies and germs, is literature.
Feherty is in the right place at the right time with this often hilarious nonsense. I'll yack if I have to page through one more tome about the Zen of golf (only suckers and novices fell for that Golf in the Kingdom crap), a son and his dying/aging/estranged father hitting the links one last time, or yet another newcomer taking his first trip to St. Andrews or Ballybunion. Instead, God bless him, Feherty delivers original foolishness about two clubs in Scotland resuming their ancient rivalry, a once-every-50-years match for which the trophy is the petrified middle finger of St. Andrew. It's class warfare as the upper-crusty denizens of the strict, upright and impossibly exclusive Scought's Wood Golf Club take on the low-class, contemptible McGregor clan in a no-holds-barred contest that features single malt Scotch, bloody kilts, an inept and hard-luck sergeant whose last name is Finkter (which rhymes with, oh, I don't know, what?), a horny dog, bizarre antique clubs with amusing uses, a par-23 hole, treachery and, say, did I mention the flatulence? If Spielberg makes this thing into a movie, he'd better film it in Smell-O-Rama.
The overly serious world of golf writing needed a good gut-buster, and Feherty has supplied it. So that you don't draw stares for chuckling out loud, you may want to read A Nasty Bit of Rough in the privacy of your own bathroom. Also, it would add to the atmosphere.