‘Grow the game? Bulls—‘: David Feherty’s candid explanation for his LIV exit

David Feherty at LIV Golf Bedminster in late July.

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By now, you have no doubt heard the LIV Golf talking points. They’ve been shared from every podium and in every player statement for months.

The new league is “exciting” and “innovative,” the talking points say, the decision to join was rooted in a desire to “grow golf’s global GDP,” the “lighter schedule” was important for maintaining that ever-so-crucial work-life balance.

LIV’s newest broadcaster David Feherty would like you to know that, in his opinion, those talking points are “bulls—.” There were only a few reasons the golf firebrand had any interest in leaving his role at NBC Sports to join the upstarts, and almost all of them had to do with his bank account.

“Money,” Feherty told The Toledo Blade’s David Briggs at a fundraiser with fellow broadcaster Gary Koch earlier this week. “People don’t talk about it. I hear, ‘Well, it’s to grow the game.’ Bulls—. They paid me a lot of money.”

According to Feherty, there are at least some benefits provided by his move to LIV, but they are personal, not external.

“[LIV is] an opportunity to be myself again,” Feherty said. “It’s become more and more difficult, especially in sports broadcasting, to have any kind of character. Charles Barkley can say pretty much anything he wants, because it’s, ‘Oh, that’s just Charles.’ And it is just Charles. But I have become more and more guarded over the last few years.”

With LIV, Feherty says, he can be his truest self without fear. There is a certain irony in that sentence, given the league’s financial ties to the Saudi government’s Public Investment Fund (and the country’s relevant record on human rights). But in Feherty’s opinion, the controversy surrounding the league’s financiers is overblown.

“You can point to various countries throughout the world,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to behave like that, but wherever golf is, good happens, and I’m hoping this will do the same thing. [LIV] has said its going to donate $100 million to area charities.”

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.