By Ryan Isley
It is the middle of the summer, which in the golf world means the US Open and British Open will be played within weeks of each other. What it means for me is that I will be watching a lot of Golf Channel.
While doing precisely that, I saw a preview for their new show, Feherty (Tuesdays at 9:00pm), featuring none other than, well, David Feherty. As Feherty said at the top of the first broadcast, “My name is David Feherty. Welcome to my world and a show that we’re going to call Feherty because that’s my name and using anybody else’s name would just be weird.”
Most know Feherty as the golf commentator with the Irish accent that makes everything he says sound somewhat comical. Those who do not watch golf regularly will also recognize him as the snarky commentator on the EA Sports Tiger Woods video games. By watching the show, you get a whole new view of the 52-year-old former professional golfer, however.
While the show is delightfully entertaining with Feherty’s wit and sarcasm, what makes the show work is that Feherty is real. He does not hide from his past, instead embraces it and talks about it openly, be it straight to the camera for the viewing audience or with a guest by his side.
In the first episode of the series, Feherty begins by telling the viewer that this is going to be a different kind of show, something we have never seen before (and may never see again), all while admitting right up front that he has problems.
“I am going to be straight with you – I struggle daily with addiction and mental illness but I take my meds and I am ok today. There’s no guarantee I will be ok tomorrow but today I am fine,” Feherty said. “For the most part, the inside of my head is uncensored and I have an unnerving tendency to say and do pretty much whatever comes into it. This may not fit the traditional structure of television and will probably make some of the suits at the Golf Channel a little jumpy.”
Later in that initial episode, Feherty took time to talk to the camera in front of a portrait of him and his daughter, Erin, and talked of how he used to drink up to two-and-a-half bottles of whiskey a day. He spoke of how Erin saw his bottle was almost empty and said that he needed another bottle and how that hit him at the time.
He is more than willing to talk about his drinking problem that he has battled to overcome, even interviewing Tom Watson – the man he says is responsible for helping him get on the right track by noticing there was something wrong and offering help. While it was the kind of emotional interview most may have shied away from, it was one that Feherty knew he had to do.
In the first three episodes, Feherty has interviewed Lee Trevino, Don Cheadle and Watson. They are interviews that you will never see anywhere else. Sure, the three of them have done and will continue to do interviews, but they will not be as entertaining as they are on Feherty.
While there are so many shows on television right now that are too long and drag on for what seem like hours, Feherty is that rare show that when it ends, it leaves you wanting more. It is a half hour show that could easily be an hour long and still hold the viewer’s attention. If after the show you are still craving more, there are extra clips at www.GolfChannel.com.
The fourth episode, premiering next week, features Charles Barkley in what promises to be television gold. I would recommend watching the previous three episodes if you have a chance but if the episode with Barkley is your first taste of the show, I think you will go back and watch the others immediately after.