David Feherty was born in the seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland. He grew up with aspirations to become an opera singer, until he discovered he had the knack for hitting a golf ball. He jokes about his career change, “I was always interested in music from a very early age. But when I turned pro at age 17, I haven’t sung a note since. Now, I only sing to punish my children.”
Feherty enjoyed a successful professional career, with 10 victories worldwide and more than $3 million in prize money. He was a regular on the European Tour, with victories including the ICL International, Italian Open, Scottish Open, South Africa PGA, BMW Open, Cannes Open, and Madrid Open. He captained the winning Irish team in the 1990 Alfred Dunhill Cup and played on the European Ryder Cup Team in 1991, an experience that rejuvenated his fervor for golf.
In 1997, Feherty retired from professional golf when offered a position as a golf commentator for CBS Sports. “I always enjoyed talking more than playing, and now CBS is paying me for what I like to do most.” Thanks to his sharp wit and colorful personality, David has become golf’s most irrepressible personality and a viewer favorite.
Feherty’s success extends beyond broadcasting. He has authored six books, with several making the New York Times “Best Sellers List.” Each is “chocked full with belly-busting humor,” including his latest The Power of Positive Idiocy. His popular monthly column on the back page of GOLF Magazine should be “read twice to exact every available laugh.”
But for Feherty, his most fulfilling activities are on behalf of badly injured U.S. troops. In 2005, he was part of a Thanksgiving goodwill tour to Iraq and returned with a new mission, determined to do something to better the lives of those he calls “American heroes.” Subsequently, he founded the “Troops First Foundation,” which among other good deeds works with wounded soldiers who come home without limbs or have been severely disfigured. That first trip to the Middle East and subsequent others have inspired him to become an American citizen, a goal he obtained in 2010.
“Losing a limb, or the ability to use a limb, is one thing,” Feherty says. “But the dignity they lose with it is perhaps even more important. And to be able to give them some of that dignity back is my mission these days. It’s not a charity. It’s just us trying to pay back a very small part of the check that we owe them.”
What works for Feherty as a rehabilitative tool is humor – wicked humor. Having battled depression, Feherty knows the healing value of laughter. “The only thing that kept me alive was my sense of humor. I really believe that’s a human’s last line of defense. If I can’t make them laugh, I want to make them smile.”
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Aug 23, 2011 9:16 AM ET
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Jun 21, 2011 8:00 AM ET
David Feherty, one of golf’s more irreverent personalities, chats LIVE on June 21 at 8PM ET leading up to the 9PM ET premiere of his new interview series, aptly titled, Feherty.