David Feherty Makes Hard Truths Funny at Waggoner Foundation Speaker Series

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Dave Feherty, golf commentator, hilarious dude.
Golf Commentator David Feherty hasn't recovered. He's made that clear in his address at the Waggoners Foundation Speaking Series fall luncheon at the Hilton Americas-Houston on Friday. He's not cured of alcoholism or addiction, he's just not drunk right now. The luncheon benefited the Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston.

"I take life 20 minutes at a time," Feherty, a former golf pro from Northern Ireland, has been sober since 2006. Aside from all that golf stuff, he's known for his gloriously irreverent sense of humor as well as being open about his battles with alcoholism and depression. Feherty was both hilarious and candid in telling his story to a crowd of more than 1,000 people on Friday.

He came from a family rife with alcoholism, but there were things in his own life, namely his first marriage, which he described as "an 11-year hostage incident, that basically made everything worse. When he met the woman who would become his second wife, Anita, he was drinking two and a half bottles of Irish whiskey a day and downing about 40 Vicodin, he said. "I became, as Pink Floyd would say, comfortably numb," he said. "My sweetheart wife, love of my life, she inherited whatever was left of me, which was not much."

She asked him to try being sober for 90 days. Feherty thought about it, and he knew it was going to be hard, he knew he probably couldn't do it, but he decided he owed it to her to try. He was sober for 150 days.

Feherty's story was as much about where he came from as about himself. He described the Northern Ireland he grew up, the bombings, the unrest, a culture where someone who quit drinking was looked on with disapproval. "My father drank like a Halibut. It's all over my family. It's all across the land I'm from," he said.

When Feherty went home for his father's birthday his 150 days of sobriety ended. They walked into the house and there was a bottle of Bush Mills whiskey and his father. His father looked at the bottle, and looked at his son, his hands working the cork, trying to get it open.


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