David Feherty Keeps the (Golf) Gloves On for Sit-Down Interview with Donald Trump
David and The Donald. Donald and The David.
Monday night on Golf Channel, two men accustomed to the spotlight found a way to share it. It was Donald Trump's turn on "Feherty." Or was it the other way around?
"I'm going to put a flashlight up his kilt," the show's host promised in his introduction to the pre-recorded show airing as the GOP Convention kicked off in Cleveland. But the questions weren't nearly so probing. What followed was an hour of softball lobs, a number of which had to do with golf.
Mulligans, Feherty asked. Fair or unfair? "Fair," replied the presumptive Republican nominee, if you're playing with friends and you've rushed to the first tee without warmup.
The handicap system? "It really works," Trump said. It's prime benefit: (Spoiler Alert!) allowing a good player to have fun competing against a lousy one.
Viagra? (Not exactly golf-related, but close enough.) "I wouldn't know about that, of course, but it keeps people going."
The wide ranging conversation also touched on politics, but we won’t bore you with that, except to demonstrate how the topic dovetailed with our favorite sport.
After noting that President Obama played 100 rounds of golf in 2012, Feherty wondered how much golf was too much for "a chief executive."
"I was never one of his harsh critics on that," Trump said of Obama. For a president, he went on, playing golf made sense, "if you're playing with people that you have to deal with," including congressmen and senators if "you want to pass legislation."
Trump confirmed that a golf course is fertile ground for business. In fact, he pointed out, his purchase of Trump Tower in Manhattan, where the "Feherty" interview was conducted, arose in part out of business relationships he'd forged on the links.
For viewers with a strong opinion about Trump — and does anyone NOT have a strong opinion about Trump? — nothing in the show was apt to stir a change of heart.
The real-estate-developer-turned-presidential-candidate reaffirmed his positions on such polarizing matters as borders, immigration and his plans for "making America great again." He also lived up to his reputation as a self-promoter, finding time during the segment to reflect on the splendor of his golf courses, near and far, and to tout big-time events that they are slated to host.
There was talk of Trump Doral, which the PGA Tour decided to leave behind starting next year, relocating a longtime event to a venue in Mexico. Trump confessed to being "disappointed" but said that he was confident that Doral will someday host a big event again.
Of Trump Turnberry, his best-known Scottish holding, Trump spoke (Spoiler Alert Part 2!) glowingly of recent course changes, specifically on holes 9, 10 and 11. He also had kind words for recent renovations to Turnberry’s iconic light house, work that included the addition of two guest suites and the transformation of the ground floor into a halfway house.
As it happens, Feherty likes the changes too. As a boy growing up in Northern Ireland, he noted, he could see the Turnberry lighthouse from his bedroom window, and so, he told The Donald, he found it "kind of cool what you've done with it."
Tim Russert's "Meet the Press" this was not.
As the friendly conversation moved toward a friendly final handshake, Feherty posed what might have been the evening’s toughest question: What would Trump do if he lost the election?
The Donald conceded that this was a possibility, and that there would be consequences.
"I might not do your show ever again," he said.