Let’s face it, four rounds of golf coverage on television can sometimes get bland. Thousands of shots and throws drawn in four days can give an apology to the nap even to the most demanding golf fans. But as soon as you start napping in your lazy boy, David Feherty’s impassive Northern Ireland voice picks you up. How could you not wake up when you laugh so much?
For almost 25 years, Feherty has been providing golf enthusiasts with analysis and entertainment. More specifically, direct analysis and fun entertainment.
We recently joined the ex-golf tour turned professional analyst turned into talk show host for a Quick Nine as he prepares to kick off Season 10 of Feherty on the golf canal. Feherty was as sincere as ever talking about his personal wish list for guests on his talk show, how he knew that Rory McIlroy would go well after the 2011 Masters and Patrick Reed, the only boy on tour who had almost left him without words.
YES: David, we are entering the Florida swing, which officially begins the transition to the Masters. Is there a player who is ready to race in the next two weeks and become Augusta’s favorite?
David Feherty: Rory is what I think about. He’s playing well, of course, and the Masters is what interests him most for sure.
I remember that after he revealed himself a little behind in 2011, I was genuinely worried about him. I had seen this boy grow up, and only unraveling on that stage worried me. So, I went around the house where he was staying and I just wanted to check it out. He was in the kitchen and sitting in the corner drinking a Coke with two high school friends.
I said, “Okay son?” And he said, “David, if it’s the worst day I’ve ever had, I’ll be lucky.”
I thought to myself what an extraordinary attitude a 21-year-old boy must have. This says a lot about who he is.
YES: What about Tiger Woods’ chances at the Masters? Is it too much to expect him to contend again after what he did in 2019?
DF: No, no, it’s not too much. I really expect it to. Desire is there. There is motivation. I mean, he just wants to be back so bad that it’s almost coming out of his pores. I would be very surprised if this year he didn’t compete for the majors.
You can throw away what you saw from him at Genesis. He hadn’t played well there in the past and he doesn’t like greens and he didn’t have a particularly good atmosphere for him. I wouldn’t think about it too much. When it comes to majors, it’s just a different creature.
YES: I want to ask you about some players. Give me a sentence that describes each of these guys. Rory McIlroy.
DF: Nobody makes the game more beautiful than Rory McIlroy.
YES: Brooks Koepka?
DF: Wow. It is a kind of monster in many ways. Sort of the monster you don’t want to wake up to.
YES: Dustin Johnson?
DF: Oh, damn it. DJ, what a beauty! DJ is watching a movie that only DJ can see. (Laughs)
YES: Patrick Reed?
DF: Jesus. You can really put it there. Just Jesus. I mean, I don’t even know what to say. He is alone, he will follow him for the rest of his life.
YES: We obviously know of the violation of the Hero’s rules in the Bahamas. We know how he handled it, claiming he hadn’t made any mistakes. Has been called by Koepka last week and Peter Kostis among others. And what does it do? Goes and wins in Mexico. Is Patrick Reed the most polarizing figure in the game of golf today?
DF: I’m not even sure it’s polarizing. I’m not sure there are too many people on the other side, do you understand what I mean? I mean, “there is no God” was the first thing I said after he won last week. There’s no God, you know, it’s proof right there. Amazing. I mean, it’s fantastic. He is Captain Oblivious, he can only let everything go behind him. I have never seen anything like this.
YES: If you were on the NBC or Golf Channel work camp and witnessed Reed tapping on the rough with his three woods before he pulled out an iron and did the shot, as Peter Kostis said he witnessed, say something like an issuer?
DF: Yes. You definitely do. Not necessarily on the air, but I mean, you point that out to your producer for sure. Tell them you’ve seen something happen and then it’s kind of the manufacturer’s decision.
YES: You are preparing to kick off Season 10 of Feherty on the golf canal. Have you ever thought you would have 10 seasons of this show, David?
DF: God, I didn’t think I was going to have 10 episodes. Really. I didn’t do it. It’s a constant surprise to me. I mean, I ask questions from a position of weakness. I never judge anyone. I have guests. I have no victims. And I think it’s just a sort of demographic appeal that we serve.
I’m not Piers Morgan. Those interviews are for him. My interviews are for the Golf Channel audience, not for me.
Scott Van Pelt will be featured in Monday’s new episode Feherty Monday at 9 PM ET on Golf Channel.
YES: Over the years you have had 140-150 guests on the show. Who is on your wish list? Give me three people you’d like to have on the show.
DF: Three people. Bill Murray, Martina Navratilova and Tiger Woods. I think Murray is probably aware that I’d like to have him on, I’ve said it quite often. The only way to contact him, though, is to leave him a handwritten ticket in the gym that he doesn’t like (laughs).
YES: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from one of your interview topics?
DF: It came from Bill Russell. I asked him what he would say to any young man who wanted to become a professional in any sport.
He thought about it a bit and scratched his squat beard, looked at me and said: “be nice”. I thought it was such a nice and simple piece of advice. And he’s absolutely right.
I often think of Bill. The other day he turned 86. He still gives me news about a big chip race he beat me in.
He loves the competition and says, “Okay, let’s play a chess game about the danger of water.”
He is 6’11 “and left handed and his sand wedge is longer than my three woods. I had three attempts. Two of which were quite good.
Bill had a shin and a big tall duff and then knocked one to six inches to beat me. It’s what he reminds me of all the time.