Feherty's mailbag

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 question or comment (Note: Letters may be edited for length and clarity).

Imagine you were commissioner for one week. What changes would you make to the game of golf?
— Michael Ludwig, Florissant, MO

If I were commish, I would insist on the networks broadcasting the vile ribbing that goes on in commercial breaks, introduce fighting on the Champions Tour, and deduct one percent of every player’s check to go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

I have thoroughly enjoyed your announcing, columns and books. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to my enjoyment of the game. Recently, my wife asked me what was up when I was laughing stupidly to myself. I tried to explain by rereading a passage to her. As I read aloud, I realized she wasn’t hearing what I hear — your voice. Have you given much thought to publishing your books on tape?
— David Jansen, Santa Rosa, CA

First, whenever I see someone laughing stupidly to themself, I never interrupt. Those moments are too short, and too rare. I have thought about doing Nasty bit of Rough as an audio book, with Sam Torrance as Hamish McGregor, etc. But it’s a question of timing. Maybe after I’ve finished the sequel, A Beastly Turn of Events, I’ll give it a go. Uncle Dickie is coming to North America!

What is the feeling among Tour players when a player withdraws after a poor first round? Obviously, his playing partners for the Friday round can’t be too happy. For instance, Garrett Willis shot a 77 during the first round of the B.C. Open and then withdrew — I happen to know that this is not the first time he has pulled this and any week you can see a few names do the same. Does the PGA Tour fine these guys or do they come up with some hang-nail injury excuse?
— Matt Janes, Dallas

To the best of my knowledge, there is no fine for early-round withdrawal, but as to whether or not the two remaining players would be happy or sad at the disappearance of a partner, I think it would depend on the partner. It brings to mind the famous quote from W.C. Fields, “If I wanted to play with a prick, I’d play with my own.”

I think you wrote about this item once before, but I can’t find it in any of the libraries of Feherty articles so here goes. Can you tell me why golf courses are designed with 18 holes? Why not 20 or 10 or 15? I have heard it had to do with the number of measured shots in a bottle of scotch: After 18 shots, the bottle would be empty and there would not be any reason to continue the match. I also heard that it had to do with the available land, 18 holes are all that would fit. I am sure you can clear up this bar trivia question. Please advise.
— Ron Fraser, Hartville, OH

There are various theories as to why there are 18 holes on a golf course, but the one I subscribe to is, “I don’t know.” Oh yeah, and “I don’t care” would be second. Also, the way I drink, there are only seven shots in a bottle of scotch, and an empty one is no reason to stop playing. Actually, I’m still trying to figure out why every new golf course has to be a par 72. I like 69s and 70s — much easier to break 80.

Is there a certain number of balls a pro golfer is allowed to carry during a tournament?
–Mike Colins, Palo Cedro, CA

Uh, no. That would be a weight issue.

Why in the world do most announcers use the ridiculous phrases “right to left” or “left to right”? If the ball is going to the left, it had to come from the right! David, you’re one of the best out there in keeping this game in decent perspective — ditch the silly golf lingo.
— Robert Ferone, Raleigh, NC

Robert, Bobby Clampett lives in Raleigh too. Start stalking him please.

I enjoyed your article on your hometown golf course in Bangor, Ireland. Just one question: What does “A dig in the bake” mean? We have a couple real trash talkers at our golf club, and it would be fun to use that term on them! Look forward to your response.
— Eric Johnson, Bloomington, MN

“A dig in the bake” means a punch in the mouth. Other similar Ulster terms — “Liverpool kiss” (head-butt) and have one’s “clock cleaned,” which would also suggest a violent blow to the facial area, as would “have yer melt knocked in.” In short, you don’t want any of them to happen to you.

I noticed that the 100th-ranked money maker is making about $700,000. What is the typical expense for this person during the year making this money playing golf — i.e., how much profit is there in professional golf?
— Randy Earl, Troy, OH

The amount of money to be made playing the Tour is directly connected to how much fun a players wants to have while making it. These guys aren’t as dumb as Mike Tyson, but there’s a few of them out there that can and have made a serious loss on a $700,000 year. You could have a pretty good time on about $125,000 a year, but that would earn you a trip back to the tour school, which isn’t a hoot at all.

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