Golf lore, class war and belly laughs—this is by and large snide, sophomoric stuff from Sports Illustrated’s Reilly (Who’s Your Caddy?, 2003, etc.).
No role model, Ray “Stick” Hart personifies a beer belch. Happy-go-lucky to hell and back, this Bob Saget look-alike has “four-alarm sex” with his hard-bod wife Dannie; a not-bad gig penning gag greeting cards; and he eats and drinks golf. To him, this equals “a first-class George Bailey wonderful life.” Reilly surrounds this Everyman with lovable ne’er-do-wells, stick figures from a daft sitcom—Kelly van Edible, of the pneumatic chest and hi-octane libido; Resource, a funky black thief; and Dom, the World’s Most Sexual Man. What unites them is their hang-out, Ponky, Boston’s waste dump of a golf course, and their scorn for the ultra-Wasps who sink putts at the town’s toniest green, The Mayflower. Ray’s Dad reigns there, and an Oedipal past has put father and son at odds. Dad dies, with one stipulation in his will: He’ll leave Ray $250,000 provided he keep his youthful promise of qualifying for a big-name tournament. Meanwhile, Froghair, Ponky’s owner, splits to join a Florida nudist colony, leaving the beloved dump’s future imperiled—he plans to sell to the Mayflower snobs. The comically improbable quest to enter the British Open provides the novel its twist-’n’-turn plot, but what remains its chief delight is Reilly’s obsessive way of keeping the jokes coming.
Crude and goofy but ultimately sweet.