by Alan Hoskins
The funniest man in golf is coming to Kansas City.
Described by the New York Times as a cross between Johnny Carson and Oprah Winfrey, David Feherty will bring his one-man show “Feherty – Live Off Air” to the Kauffman Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.
“For almost two hours an audience of about 1,200 only stopped laughing when one of his stories brought them to tears of hysteria,” wrote John Feinstein in Golf Digest after watching Feherty’s recent show in Atlanta. Host of his own weekly one-hour Monday TV show on The Golf Channel and a former PGA player, Feherty also is a broadcaster and writer for NBC and just returned from the broadcast booth at this year’s British Open.
Widely known for his zany antics, he once let John Daly hit a golf ball off a tee Feherty held between his teeth while lying flat on his back.
“I’m not sure whose idea that was, probably mine,” Feherty said in an interview Monday. “People asked me if it was computer generated but it was not. I would trust John; he wasn’t going to hit it fat. He might have topped it. The hardest part was just laying still and holding the tee in my mouth upright.”
Check out Feherty’s online website and you can see several other zany stunts such as riding a bicycle into a rose bush, getting hit playing soccer and tennis, jumping into a fountain with 24 inches of water and getting lessons from Bobby Knight on the correct way to throw chairs.
“At the end of a Keegan Bradley interview I told him I’d jump in the Indian River,” Feherty said. “Unfortunately I was wearing $700 boots which died a death.
“But I’m getting too old for that. I’m about to turn 60 and I keep hurting myself. I completely destroyed my left shoulder out in the desert running after a ball thrown by Dan Patrick to start one of my live Super Bowl shows in Phoenix. Instead of taking me to the emergency room, my crack research team took me to a Mexican restaurant to see if that would fix it. I landed on the football and it blew my shoulder apart.”
The injury only worsened a shoulder previously injured in one of three mishaps when Feherty was struck by cars while riding his bicycle. As a result, he has not played golf for 11 years.
Feherty’s association with Kansas City’s Tom Watson has been well documented. Feherty was fighting a losing battle with alcoholism when he had a career changing talk during a Watson-Jack Nicklaus exhibition match at Prince Edward Island.
“He was clearly struggling, physically and emotionally,” Watson told Golf Digest. “I said, ‘I see you. I’ve been where you are. Let me help.’ “
“Tom Watson means the world to me; I don’t where I’d be without Tom Watson,” Feherty says today. “He’s my big brother. I check with him regularly. He’s having a hard time at the moment (with wife Hilary’s fight against cancer) and my son died this day a year ago and he knows that. We do our best to look after each other.”
Part of Feherty’s Golf Channel show features “Rapid Fire” questions to his guests so we turned the questions to him:
Best presidential interview – “President Clinton. Or George W. Bush. I’ve interviewed four presidents including Trump twice. All have been great.”
Favorite golf course – “Since I don’t play anymore any flat course with a Ritz-Carlton at the end. But if I have to pick one it would be St. Andrews.”
New golf rules – “I think they are a very good idea. It’s about time they were stripped down and made more simple to speed up play.”
Favorite interview – “I really like to take someone like a Jim Furyk and show who he really is, not a stiff person but a funny, warm, really good person who nobody really knows. Those are the shows I enjoy the most.”
Toughest interview – “Luke Donald. He was so polite and noncontroversial. It was just a difficult interview.”
Best win as a player (Feherty had 10 wins on the European Tour; his best finish on the U.S. PGA Tour was second at Pleasant Valley in Boston) – “I won the Italian Open, Scottish Open, Tam Open and Madrid Opens and a couple of Irish championships but the biggest I was captain of the Irish team that won the Dunhill 3-Man Championship in 1990.”
Best moment in golf – “Being a part of the Ryder Cup team that lost at Kiawah Island in 1991. I won my match with Payne Stewart on Sunday. That would be the high point of my career.”
Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Feherty became a U.S. citizen in 2010 with Tom Watson as one of the witnesses.
“I’m very proud of it. It’s amazing. I wake up every morning in America and if they played the national anthem I’d stand up for it,” he said.
Countless stories are promised Aug. 10. “I tell Irish jokes, how I got into golf and broadcasting and life in golf; just me and a chicken for no reason,” said the sharp-witted Feherty.
Tickets for “Feherty – Live Off Tour” can be obtained on the Kauffman Center website – www.KauffmanCenter.com.