LOCAL GOLF NOTEBOOK : EX-PRO FEHERTY TO SPEAK ABOUT ADDICTION

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golfpro.jpgBy: Mike Bailey

Original Source: Chron.com

Most people would agree there’s nothing funny about addiction, but David Feherty, who will be in town on Friday to speak at a luncheon benefiting The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, might shed a new light on that notion.

Feherty, known for his quirky sense of humor, will tell his personal story of recovery from alcoholism to a crowd at The Waggoners Foundation Speaker Series’ 31st Annual Fall Luncheon, at the Hilton Americas-Houston. Feherty, a PGA Tour pro turned golf commentator for CBS Sports, has been sober since 2006.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Feherty said he grew up in an environment where drinking wasn’t exactly discouraged. The 55-year-old has endless stories of how drinking compromised his life, like in 1986 when he won the Scottish Open. After a night of celebration drinking from the trophy cup he had just won, he woke up on a tee box at Gleneagles with no idea how he got there. The trouble was that it was 45 miles from Glasgow, where he won the tournament. He still hasn’t recovered the trophy.

In Irish culture, he said, if you admitted you were an alcoholic, it was like coming out the closet. It would be viewed as “you just weren’t very good at drinking.”

“When, in fact, the opposite was true,” Feherty said. “I was excellent at it.”

Drinking hasn’t been Feherty’s only problem. He’s had three serious bicycle accidents, one of which nearly killed him in 2008 and left him unable to swing a club. His marriage failed, and he has battled depression. A big part of his recovery has been his passion about several causes, including his new country of citizenship.

“I think there are so many things to be proud of, being an American,” said Feherty, who attained his citizenship in 2010. “It upsets me when I hear people who are lucky enough to live in this country who want to complain about it and concentrate on what they think is wrong.”

Feherty, who has made many trips to visit the troops overseas, is also a tireless supporter of the military. He’s written several books and is in his fourth season of the popular “Feherty” interview show on the Golf Channel.

As for public appearances, those help, too.

“It’s a tremendous therapeutic tool for me to be able to do this kind of thing,” he said. “It’s kind of a cleansing experience each time I go through it. I feel a little bit stronger myself.”

The luncheon has raised over $10 million in the last three decades. If you’d like to attend, go to www.Council-Houston.org for more information.

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