A Nasty Bit of Rough by David Feherty

A Nasty Bit of Rough is a very silly book. Written by on-course CBS golf commentator David Feherty, it tells the tale of ancient golf rivalries in Northern England and Scotland. The main character is “Uncle Dickie” a retired Major General who owns Scought’s Wood Golf Club – the oldest golf club in the world, or so its members claim. They chief rivals are the McGregors Clan of Scotland, owners of the Tay Club who also lay claim to having invented the game of golf. These too clans face off in a match play golf contest every fifty years to win the petrified middle finger of St. Andrew – a prize known as “The Digit.”

The book is mostly a description of the wild characters that make up these two groups and the ridiculous antics they get up to in the course of their feud. The plot is rather simple but there are a couple of twists here and there. The journey is the point, however, not the plot. The book is also rather ribald with its humor leaning heavily towards the locker room sort. Here is an example:

As Flnagan bent over to put on his underwear, Dwilby hopped silently into the bed, and just as his master lifted his left foot off the ground to search for the leg whole in his Y-fronts, the little dog jammed his cold, wet nose between the cheecks of Flanagan’s backside, and took a good sniff.

“AAAAAARGH!” Flangan screemed as he jerked bolt upright, banging his head on the windowsill and getting tangles up in his shorts. Holding his head with one hand and the shorts in the other, he took two hops sideways and fell into the wardrobe.

Dwilby sneezed violently, and started to scratch at the bed-clothes until he had rucked them into a comfortable heap. Then he turned around twice, lay down, and began to energetically lick his balls.

The book is full of silly stories like this, usually involving alcohol, accidents, and someone’s orrifice. In fact, the climatic finish to the golf match involves a golf ball stuck between one of the McGregor’s butt cheecks. I won’t spoil the ending for you.

All in all, I must say that while the book is funny in parts and interesting at times, it left me a little cold. Perhaps, I was just not in the mood for such an oddball or ribald sense of humor. I enjoy golf and have enjoyed golf fiction before, but this story was a little too thin. It is like those dirty jokes you told in junior high and high school – they were funny but they tend to wear thin. A little more plot and a little less vulgarity might have given the book some substance. However, if you enjoy wacky antics and jokes about dogs having sex with sheep then A Nasty Bit of Rough is for you.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).