Golf

Feherty discusses satisfaction and terror of his upcoming Myrtle Beach performance

David Feherty speaks during a 2010 appearance at the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
David Feherty speaks during a 2010 appearance at the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. file photo

David Feherty said that every time he’s about to take the stage for his two-hour adult comedy stand-up performance billed “David Feherty Off Tour: Wandering Around on His Own,” he thinks: “This is not a [very] good idea at all.”

Myrtle Beach audiences will be able to judge for themselves when Feherty takes the stage for a charitable performance at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Oct. 27. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster outlets and the MentorCup.com website.

Feherty is an analyst and on-course reporter for NBC and Golf Channel – he formerly held those duties with CBS – and he has an Emmy-nominated self-titled talk show on Golf Channel that first aired in 2011 and will kick off a new season in May.

As a player, Feherty won five times on the European Tour and played in the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, and he has become more of a public figure since discussing his previous struggles with alcoholism and depression.

Feherty is in his third year traveling for the standup show, and does approximately 20 appearances per year at about 1,000-seat venues.

“It’s very satisfying and terrifying at the same time,” Feherty told The Sun News on Wednesday. “My show on Golf Channel, I get some help from guests and things like that. This one is just me and a microphone and a stage and a spotlight, and that’s it for two hours.

“Every time I do one I think this is not a … good idea at all. Before I get on stage I’m a basket case, but once the bell rings so far I’ve been alright.”

The convention center can seat up to 2,000 for his performance. There will be 29 round tables closest to the stage that will seat 10 people each backed by bleacher seating. The first 150 people who purchase tickets at $169 will receive a pre-show meet and greet that will include a signed book and photos on the show's set. Tickets start at $59.

The performance is part of the festivities for the inaugural Mentor Cup, a tournament on Oct. 27 at Tidewater Golf & Plantation featuring junior golfers and their mentors that has been organized in part by Feherty’s former Golf Channel colleague, North Myrtle Beach native Kelly Tilghman.

Applications for the mentor-mentee teams are also being accepted beginning Friday. Tilghman said she hopes to attract great stories and good players. The entry fee is $200 per team.

“We’d like a blend of personality and playing ability to take a big step forward in our first year,” Tilghman said. “We also want to create an experience the participants won’t forget.”

Feherty’s performance, the tournament and an Oct. 26 dinner and gala at the Surf Golf and Beach Club will benefit the Gene’s Dream Foundation and subsequently The First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas youth development chapter that includes juniors in Brunswick County and the Grand Strand. The late Gene Weldon, whom Tilghman considered a mentor, was a devoted First Tee supporter.

“I just volunteered,” Feherty said. “I’ve known Kelly for the best part of 20 years. She’s one of my favorite people and it’s just one of those things I wanted to do. I never met Gene, but obviously Kelly loved him very much.”

Feherty doesn’t believe he’d be a great mentor. “I don’t think I’d be much of a mentor for anyone,” he said. “I’ve got too many skeletons that are actually out of my closet. They’re not even in it anymore.”

He did, however, have a mentor of sorts growing up. He looked up to David Jones, the head pro at his family’s club in Northern Ireland, Bangor Golf Club. “He taught me how to play and kind of gave me the desire to be a tour player,” Feherty said.

Feherty, 59, characterizes his show as a collection of jokes and stories.

“There’s a bunch of Irish jokes, Irish humor, and stories from my childhood and adolescence, and 42 years as a golf pro and the people I’ve played with and the stories,” Feherty said. “A lot of the stories aren’t mine, but if I don’t tell them they’ll die. Men like Ken Venturi and Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer – these are stories that if someone doesn’t continue to tell them they’ll just go away.”

You’re likely to hear some hilarious stories about Feherty’s former caddie, Rodney, as well. As carefree as Feherty could be while touring, Rodney may have lived life even more moment to moment.

Feherty has been to Myrtle Beach previously, as recently as 2010 as a guest speaker during the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Handicap Championship.

“I think it’s a real nice area and obviously it’s very golf-centric,” Feherty said. “We’re hoping to get a big crowd because of the concentration of golf courses and golfers there.”

Though Feherty has a comical persona, one subject he takes seriously is support of the U.S. troops. Though he’s a Northern Ireland native, Feherty moved to the Dallas area in the late 1990s and in 2010 he was granted U.S. citizenship.

Feherty has traveled and raised money to support military and veteran causes, and he and Tilghman traveled to Iraq together several years ago to appear in front of troops. He manages to bring humor to veteran causes, as well.

He said the show could take a number of turns, and he won’t know exactly where it’s headed until it happens.

“The show is two hours long, and I’ve probably got five hours of material, so it sort of changes up depending on where I think the crowd wants to go with it,” Feherty said.

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