Feherty’s Mailbag

If you’ve ever wanted to send David Feherty a question or comment, here’s your chance! David is putting down his mike to answer your E-mails in his mailbag column for GOLFONLINE.

Click here to send him your best question or comment. (Note: Letters may be edited for clarity and length).

After seeing the USA get thrashed by the Euros in the Ryder Cup, I’ve had a dozen arguments about what went wrong. The most brilliant observation I’ve heard so far has been “we just got outplayed.” Duh. The real questions are: “why?”, “who can we blame?”, and “how can we avoid getting walloped the next time?” If you’ll answer the first two, I’ll handle the last one. Here’s my suggestion: we appoint a European to captain our squad. How about Nick Faldo? He seems mysteriously despised by the Euros, even though he’s the best European player in the last 50 years. Think the PGA of America would go for that?
— Mark Limbaugh, Columbia, South Carolina

Uh, no I don’t.

The reason the Europeans didn’t like Nick was because he kept beating the crap out of them. He’s stopped doing that now, so everybody’s over it. He’s our boy. The reason the Americans were outplayed was they were tighter than a crab’s ass going up a hill. They looked like they were going to the gas chamber instead of playing a golf match. The Europeans practiced as a team, traveled as a team, dined as a team and putted like they were members. The U.S. team did everything but the latter, but the real reason that they are getting beaten so frequently is that the U.S. golf public and the media over here refuses to let them feel like the underdogs. In what other sporting event could a team lose 7 out of 10 and still be strong favorites the next time? The underdogs have a tremendous advantage in the Ryder Cup because so little is expected of them. It’s time to put away the pride and admit that the Europeans are better in this event.

Do I have to ask if you enjoyed the Ryder Cup? I enjoyed it very much, especially since I had your new book as a companion reading piece. There were a few boring bits during the Ryder Cup where I could enjoy your perspective and witty captions. Do you think you would ever be asked to be the captain of the European team?
— Rebecca Brydges

Not if every European golf professional in the world over the age of reason were suddenly wiped out by a vicious pox. Not if I were the only living European left on earth after a nuclear holocaust launched by the remnants of the Taliban decimated the European PGA. Osama Bin Laden and Josef Mengele would get the nod before yours truly.

Other than that, I think the odds are pretty good.

I know you work at CBS and Johnny and his cronies are at NBC, but could you give him a call and tell him that we are “Europeans” NOT “Euros”! Euros is a currency. Tell Johnny he should therefore be calling the American side in the Ryder Cup the “Dollars.”
— Paul Kelly, displaced European, Victoria B.C., Canada

You are quite right, and EURO is a rotten name for a currency too. I like it though. We could start calling the individual team members by their respective currencies. Sergio and Ollie would be the Pesetas, Levet would be the Franc, Monty the Pound, etc. My favorite would be Bernhard the Mark. Great idea. I’ll call Johnny straight away. Incidentally, I’m sorry you’re displaced. Must be rough.

My question is about the 2006 Ryder Cup captaincy campaign. How is the captain picked? Do you have an opinion about who would be the best candidate? Apart from Sam Torrance, do you have a favorite past captain and why? Does the captain have any “intimidation factor” for the other team?
— Serge Alain , Jonquire, Quebec

The PGA of America and the European Tour have similar processes for picking the captain, and they both involve a consensus approach from a small committee made up of the officers of the respective organizations. I don’t think the opposing team gives a fig who the other captain is, and no one on either side is intimidated by him.

My favorite captain, other than Sam, was Seve. He was a master at motivation and gamesmanship and absolutely lived to beat the Americans. He was probably the most intense/insane competitor I’ve ever met.

During the Ryder Cup Matches it was said that Bernhard Langer gave his team $45,000 Rolex watches. They said Hal Sutton had gifts as well for his team, but had not given them out yet. I never heard anything more about these gifts. Did he return them? Or did he in fact pass them out? I asked our sports writer here in Charlotte, and he had heard nothing either. So I figured if anybody would know it would be the great swami David Feherty.
— Fred Smith, Charlotte, North Carolina

Hal gave them all Bose Noise Canceling Headsets so they wouldn’t have to listen to all the criticism from the press and the fans.

Since the Europeans kicked our butt and they were the party of the crowd, which of the American players do you feel, if any, would qualify for the next Ryder Cup based on their ability to party?
— Mike W., Nashville, Tennessee

Chris DiMarco, John Daly, Jeff Sluman, Neal Lancaster, Amy Mickelson, the bartender from Dick O’Dowd’s Irish tavern in Birmingham, Michigan, Courtney Love, Rodney Dangerfield, posthumously, and of course, Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington D.C.

I am a 17-year-old on our high school golf team and am struggling to break 80. I was wondering what your advice would be? I would like to know what you think about practice habits. Thank you very much. I read everything you have done.
— David Bennett, Richfield, Utah

Well, on the tour, we’ve got everything from Vijay, whose practice time far exceeds his actual playing time, to Carlos Franco, who thinks practicing is what lawyers and doctors do, so I’m not sure what to tell you about practice. I know something about struggling, though, and that may be the answer; stop struggling and have some fun. You’re 17 for God’s sake, enjoy the game, but don’t make a religion out of it. If you’re any good and you’re planning on making your living at golf, fine, work your butt off. Otherwise, try hard to play your best and accept the results, but HAVE FUN. There’s plenty of time to be miserable after you get married.

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