David Feherty was born in the seaside town of Bangor in Northern Ireland. He grew up with aspirations to become an opera singer, until he discovered he, “Really can’t sing.” But he enjoyed hitting a golf ball, albeit too often. He jokes about his career change, “I was always interested in music from a very early age. But when I turned pro at age 17 with a five handicap, I haven’t sung a note since. Now, I only sing to punish my children.”
Feherty enjoyed a successful 20 year professional career, with 10 victories worldwide and more than $5 million in prize money, an amount he now describes as, “A bad six weeks for Rory McIlroy.” He was a regular on the European Tour, with victories including the ICL International, Italian Open, Scottish Open, South Africa PGA, BMW Open, Cannes Open, and Madrid Open. He captained the winning Irish team in the 1990 Alfred Dunhill Cup and played on the European Ryder Cup Team in 1991, an experience that rejuvenated his fervor for golf.
In 1997, Feherty retired from professional golf when offered a position as a golf commentator for CBS Sports. “I always enjoyed talking more than playing, and now CBS is paying me for what I like to do most.” Thanks to his sharp wit and colorful personality, David has become golf’s most irrepressible personality and a viewer favorite.
Feherty’s success extends beyond broadcasting. He has authored six books, with several making the New York Times “Best Sellers List.” Each is “chocked full with belly-busting humor,” including his latest “The Power of Positive Idiocy.” His popular monthly column on the back page of GOLF Magazine should be “read twice to exact every available laugh.”
But for Feherty, his most fulfilling activities are on behalf of combat-wounded U.S. troops. In 2005, he was part of a Thanksgiving goodwill tour to Iraq and returned with a new mission, determined to do something to better the lives of those he calls “The ultimate American heroes.” Subsequently, he founded, “Feherty’s Troops First Foundation,” which among other good deeds works with wounded soldiers who come home without limbs, burn victims, those with traumatic brain injuries, PTSD sufferers. That first trip to entertain American troops in Iraq and subsequent others, including to Afghanistan inspired him to become an American citizen, a goal he achieved in 2010. “To be an American means the world to me,” he says.
“Losing a limb, the ability to use a limb, to be disfigured or simply to be unable to re-integrate back into civilian society is one thing,” Feherty says. “But the dignity that’s lost because of these traumas is often just as debilitating. And to be able to give some of that dignity back is my mission these days. It’s not even close to charity. It’s just us trying to pay back a very small part of the check that we owe our military.”
What works for Feherty as a rehabilitative tool is humor – wicked humor. As an alcoholic, an addict, and a depressive, Feherty knows the healing value of laughter. “The only thing that kept me alive was my sense of humor, and a lot of the same pharmaceuticals that my combat-wounded have to take. I really believe that humor is a human’s last line of defense. If I can’t make them laugh, I want to make them smile.”
Above all, Feherty wants no one to take him seriously.