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FEHERTY by John Feinstein


The Remarkably Funny and Tragic Journey of Golf's David Feherty

by John Feinstein

Pub Date: May 9th, 2023
ISBN: 9780306830006
Publisher: Hachette

An affectionate portrait of the popular Northern Irish golfer and commentator.

Interviewing numerous people in Feherty’s orbit as well as the man himself, prolific sportswriter Feinstein profiles his good friend in an engaging biography. He nimbly chronicles his subject’s early years in his usual crisp, polished prose. A child of the Troubles, Feherty dropped out of school to work on his golf game. His first marriage was “a terrible mistake” and “a nine year hostage situation,” and he seemed to be always fighting a self-destructive streak. In 1986, he won his first tournament, the Italian Open, pocketing 23,227 pounds for the win. Feinstein describes Feherty during these years as a “functioning alcoholic.” He won the BMW Championship in 1989 and captained Ireland’s Dunhill Cup team in 1990. Another win got him on the 1991 European Ryder Cup team. Feherty’s career was on the rise, but his marriage was crumbling. He admits to Feinstein that subconsciously he really didn’t want a major championship—fearing “what would have come if I’d won.” He joined the PGA tour and married again before retiring to become a golf announcer for CBS. He also began hosting a golf show with Gary McCord, where his unique brand of humor was refreshing, but he “still struggled with addiction and depression.” Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus conspired to get him on the road to recovery. He began writing for Golf Magazine, got his own show on the Golf Channel, wrote a book, and started Feherty’s Troops First Foundation. Many observers were shocked when he decided to join the Saudi-backed LIV tour. Feherty wasn’t particularly happy in his current position and was mourning his son’s overdose death, and LIV offered him a highly lucrative deal. Feinstein doesn’t criticize him, but he does rip into the “silly” Masters’ rules and “troubling history with minorities.”

Terrific personal anecdotes pepper the text, providing both frivolity and insights into the game.