By: John Talty
If you caught any of the PGA tour so far, you might have heard that unmistakable Irish brogue.
It belongs to CBS golf analyst David Feherty, a true national treasure, who spices up what is often a staid television experience with candor. The Northern Ireland native is the Charles Barkley of golf television: unafraid to speak his mind, more than willing to drop salty language in conversation and remarkably open about his past. That fearless attitude — on both CBS broadcasts and his “Feherty” show on the Golf Channel — has netted him a passionate following.
“I’ve said things over the years that might have gotten someone else fired had they said them, but it doesn’t come from a mean-spirited place,” Feherty says. “If I’m giving someone a hard time, it’s to give them the opportunity to show me who they are by their reaction. You don’t have to be offended; you don’t have to call Al Sharpton. You can actually take it. Don’t be bitter, just be better.”
Feherty will bring that attitude to 4 different locations in Ontario this summer.
Feherty has never held back from speaking his mind, but the show allows him to be somehow even more frank. As Feherty puts it, “political correctness is just a euphemism for bull—-” and his show will be a reflection of that.
He doesn’t have to worry about a fine from the FCC though he admits his employers are “tremendously concerned” about what he might say during the shows. CBS distanced itself from “controversial” comments he made in a 2009 column for D Magazine, encouraging him to use “better judgement” in the future.
In 2015, Feherty is still going as strong as ever. These days he’s intent on showing audiences around the country he’s more than just the guy they see for a few moments during Masters broadcasts.
“It’s a more accurate picture of who I am,” Feherty says. “People have a perception from television whether it’d be with CBS walking by the leaders making a comment now and then, or interviewing the leader. (This) gives me the chance to be considerably more politically incorrect and touch subjects I’m not even allowed to even go near when I’m on a sports broadcast.”
He will undoubtedly talk about golf during his one-man show. Everyone seems to want his opinion of Tiger Woods and other golfers. But you don’t have to be a fan of golf to be entertained by him. During his show, he also delves into his battle with alcohol and drug addiction. His struggles with bi-polar disorder and the dark places it took him.
He believes there is still a stigma attached to mental illnesses like bipolar and he is in a position in the public eye to fix that. His hope is that his openness about his struggles might help others realize they aren’t alone in dealing with illnesses.
“If it helps one person in the audience — and it usually does more than one — that makes me feel better,” he says. “That’s the reason why I do it.”
David will perform on four stops in Ontario this summer:
Monday, July 20th – National Arts Centre, Ottawa
Tuesday, July 21st – Centre in the Square, Kitchener
Wednesday, July 22nd – Idylwylde Golf & CC, Sudbury
Thursday, July 23rd – Living Arts Centre, Mississauga
All tour information can be found at www.fehertyofftour.com