Book Review: My Life in and Out of the Rough by John Daly

***image2:left***In his recent release, “My Life in and Out of the Rough” John Daly readily admits that it isn’t his ambition to be thoroughly dedicated 24/7 to the game of golf like Tiger Woods.  Human nature and a cast of characters from troubled poor homes in professional sports spur many ripe tales of debauchery, indulgence and poor choices.  It is Daly’s lack of arrogance, sophistication or false airs that endear him to his fans. He’s a nice guy, with a big heart who can’t say “no”.

Told in facile conversational style, Daly brings us into his transient past, ultimately spending most of his formative years in Arkansas. Dad drank heavily, and at one point in John’s life he drew a loaded gun to his head. This is not your average golf biography. Cut to years later, drunken beatings aside, many fortunes made, many pissed away – literally and figuratively (bourbon maker Jack Daniels gets big props).  If Daly could conjure a slice of heaven on earth, it would feature “Hooters” waitresses serving iced down Diet Cokes, foamy beer chasers, “McDonalds” would cater the food, Marlboro Lights would be passed out like tic tacs and slot machines and black jack tables would line the perimeter; the poker chips and dough would never run low. 

He doesn’t have a problem with this, says J.D. His book is designed to be a preemptive tell-all, cashing in on all the cumulative stories that, according to Daly, are no B.S.  Given his immense popularity, the Daly coffers will overflow once again – and don’t doubt that Vegas bosses are very happy to hear this news.

Maybe an 11th hour epiphany will happen for big John Daly. His carelessness for the living he is blessed to make – impending retirement and infirmity – that is, if he makes it – and the four children who will need educations, the fans who follow his career, is not trivial.   And maybe, Daly’s disdain for admitting he does have drinking and gambling problems will inspire others who have those same struggles to get help.  Perhaps Daly can beat his demons. That said, his candor is charming and engaging.

Excerpt from “My Life in and Out of the Rough”:
“The fans in Scotland are the most knowledgeable in golf.  You hear that from guys who’ve played there a lot more than I have, and I’m sure it’s true.  They don’t clap for bad shots or even mediocre ones, they clap for good shots.  They understand angles of approach and trajectory and club choice and whether you made a good shot or just got lucky.  They know you haven’t really been tested until you’ve played in their wind and rain. It almost makes me wish I’d been drinking then, because I’d love to have gone to a pub and spent an evening talking golf.”

Just an unpretentious guy with a hell of a game, that defies the odds (on the links anyways).

I find John Daly amusing and candid, and also a rationalizing addict who never emotionally matured after he took his first big swig of alcohol as a kid.  Just another unhappy guy bent on self destruction, his saving grace a God given talent to play the game.  But he is likeable, and honest to a point.  His story is told from the heart, and you want to root for him.  You just wish he could look in the mirror and be honest with the one person who it matters most to, himself.