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

You close your book, “Somewhere in Ireland, a Village is Missing an Idiot,” with a small plug about the charity contributions of the PGA Tour. I’ve always been a bit impressed with the charity aspect of various Tour events. I’m just a little suspicious though that it’s more hype than substance. I know each event is different, but does the charity money tend to come from gate receipts, sponsors, or vendors? The Tour isn’t going broke, and the purses are huge these days. Have the charities proportionally benefited as well?
— Kevin O’Connell, Orlando, Fla.

Why is it the Irish are always the skeptics?

Interesting question, you vacuous meathead. OK, this is Professional Golf 101, Professor Feherty presiding. This is a pass/fail course for absolutely no credit. No payments, no interest, ever.

First, the PGA Tour sells the rights for golf broadcasting to the networks. The money they get is used to supplement the purse of an event. The Tour gives the local host organization (always a 501(C) 3 charity), 62 percent of the purse number. The host organization supplies the rest of the purse, the remaining 38 percent. Since the host organization is a charity and, alas, has no money, they call upon the title sponsor for help. The title sponsor then secures the naming rights which come with certain assets: pro-am spots, food and beverage, tickets and the like. That number, let’s say it’s $3 million, is used to help defray the cost of the purse. That’s how an event becomes known as the Slightly Open. The host organization then operates the event. It costs money to prepare the location for a PGA Tour event. The host group sells as many sponsor positions as possible to offset the cost of putting on the tournament. They are hopeful that the revenue raised through ticket sales, sponsorships, program advertising and all other revenue streams exceeds the expenses incurred. The difference goes right to the charitable bottom line.

The claims you see on the broadcast are really true, and in fact, in some cases, are actually less that what the group contributes all year on an aggregate basis. Hey, let’s not get crazy here. The PGA Tour and the players make their cut, but what they say about charity is true.

First of all, I would like to say thank you for the countless laughs. I recently read your book “Somewhere in Ireland, a Village is Missing an Idiot,” and I have to say that although many may disregard your insight for the game, I think you are a well-spoken man with great opinions. What is it like to be able to see all of the greatest courses, and can you recommend any courses to absolutely avoid?
— Cody Powers, Gallatin, Tenn.

Anyone who questions my insight into the game is someone to be avoided at all costs. It is obvious to even the most casual observer that my studied, well-formulated and keenly-presented opinions are irrefutable and carry the weight of a Papal Bull, which, as we all know, cannot be questioned by secular authority, including Tim Finchem, David Fay or Dick Cheney.

My list of courses to avoid:

1. Any course in North America that names its holes. (And don’t worry about Augusta, you ain’t playing there anyway.)

2. Courses anywhere that contain any reference to devil worship in their name, i.e., Devil’s Ridge, Beelzebub’s Butt, Mephastrophie’s Meadows, etc.

3. Anything designed by Arthur Hills. Eva and Adolph would have committed suicide three months earlier had they been in one of his bunkers.

I love reading your columns and your commentary on TV. When you are not on TV, the coverage is very boring. My question is this: when will TV stop calling fairway woods metals? Nobody that plays the game calls them metals. Just a simple thing, but I was interested in your comments. I’m sure you could write a column about it and other language unique to golf.
— Bob Swanson, Danville, Calif.

Bob, you’re quite right. Only an idiot would call a wood a “metal,” no matter what it’s made of. It just doesn’t sound right. Those who feel our equipment description should be metallurgically accurate have my blessing to start calling irons “steels.”

Let’s think about this … College baseball… “Strike Three!! He never took the aluminum off his shoulder.”

I laughed out loud reading about the gut-wrenching, butt cheek-clenching fear that, even for a professional athlete, can be fostered by the belief that somehow “I don’t belong here” or “I’m not good enough to be The Open champion.” Do you think that things might have been different for you had you worked with a sports psychologist who could have helped you with the tornado watches issued on Sundays for the areas including the western region of your mental health and the northern portion of your ability to deal rationally with your disconcerted precarious emotional situation? What’s your opinion of tour players using shrinks?
— David, Richmond, Va.

I have no problem with those guys using shrinks. There are some seriously deranged people out there, and a lot of them need those mental colonoscopies. Mac O’Grady was on the cutting edge of “The Twilight Zone” for a number of years. Remember what he said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Wish I was a Kellog’s corn flake, floatin’ in my bowl takin’ movies. Relaxin’ a while, living in style, talking to a raisin who occasionally plays LA. Casually glancin’ at his toupee. Wish I was an English muffin, ’bout to make the most out of a toaster. I’d ease myself down, coming up brown. I prefer boysenberry more than any ordinary jam.” (Apologies to Paul Simon/)

If I had worked with a sports psychologist the poor devil would be making wallets in Switzerland right now.

Do you prefer Guinness or Murphys?
— Jim Lyons

Either one’s nothing but a beer sandwich. If someone has made the decision to throw a pint in my face, I prefer Murphy’s. If they’re gonna’ pour it down my throat, it’ll have to be Guinness for sure, and it tastes like an angel’s cryin’ on your tongue.

Congratulations on the return to pure, self-effacing, non-abusive (with the exception of McCord), uproarious humor. Gone are the mean-spirited vitriolic attacks (again, with the exception of McCord). The June 22 mailbag was a return to the old Feherty-style magic. Now, if we can just get Tiger to set aside his ego and call 1-800-BUTCHIE, the world can get back to normal. Hell, it may even bring peace in the Middle East.
— Mark Limbaugh, Columbia, S.C.

Mark, any relation to Rush? Love that guy.

I’ve never been vitriolic or mean-spirited in my life you panty-waisted, bulbous-nosed, gerbil-jamming, Depends-wearing idiot. Oh, oh, sorry man. Temporary regression.

Hey, I love you, man. You’re the best. But it would take a lot more than a Butch and Tiger reunion to resolve the Middle East problems. It would have to be something really important, like Dottie Pepper reversing her decision to retire.

Enjoy your schtick, and you do have a talent.

re: Poet Heaney. Thanks for sharing: “I’ve no spade to follow men like them,” he wrote. “Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.”

Though my last name of Feher is similar to yours, I suspect we’re not related as my pen is not so “squat.” I do enjoy the digging nonetheless.

But the real reason I’m writing is to share a favorite quote from Red Smith, another talented sports writer: “Writing is easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” I doubt most readers realize the work you must put in to seem so casually irreverent. Thanks for the effort.
— Albert Feher

A kindred spirit; rare indeed. There is nothing casual about my reverence as you have discerned you clever boots, you. On the other hand, do not ascribe too large a dollop of earnestness where no evidence of such was intended nor existed. My struggle lies in the application of the tourniquet to stench the flow, not with it’s initiation. Or in other words, I’m full of it.


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