This Is Getting Uncomfortable (The David Feherty/NBC Golf Marriage Saga Continues)

We got our answer as to what NBC Golf producer Tommy Roy would do with his announcers on Sunday at The Honda Classic by watching his lead in production on the golf channel. His decision…”To heck with the golf fan I’m sending both of my high priced, high profile announcers with one twosome. Roger you get Sergio, Feherty you take Adam Scott. Viewer you get screwed”.

What is this the final match of the U S Amateur Championship?

There were more than 60 professionals still on the course (at 1:50PM ET) but we, at home, would only get good inside information about exactly TWO of them. Thanks NBC. By the way Blaine Barber birdied the first (right now he’s 4 back) as did Graeme McDowell (he’s won a U S Open). Wouldn’t it be fun if one of those guys, or ANYBODY else, went on to win?

Please don’t misinterpret my musings as anti NBC Golf. As a rule I enjoy their coverage but the minute they hired Feherty I wondered how the heck it was all going to work. I’m still wondering.

To feed the ego of their “announcer monsters” NBC Golf has decided to leave us hungry for insight and information. Knowing both guys, I’d bet Maltbie and Feherty aren’t pleased about the arrangement either. At least not if they’re being truthful. Roy did the same thing in Phoenix, the last time they were all together. So is this the new formula for covering golf on NBC? Take your new, best,  and most highly paid guy and team him with your old best, also highly paid guy and have them each work half as hard? The scraps can be gobbled up by Notah and Rolfing, the viewer be damned.

One good thing to come out of it is that Scott is the leader and that’s who Tommy Roy “gave” to Feherty. Because Johnny seems so reluctant to engage with the “new help” it means we’ll hear less from Miller when NBC hits the air after their meaningless hockey game, the uninformative US Bank Sports Report, and a lengthy, flowery tease.

One bad thing about this failing marriage of convenience is that it has made, at least in this honeymoon stage, David Feherty LESS fun to be around. Miller, Maltbie, Koch and the rest of that branch of the NBC Golf family on the invite list are all still the same “Vodka tonic” they’ve always been. Sadly that’s made Feherty, once the life of the party, the “turd in the punch bowl” at this soirée.

Sunday’s first real golf shot on NBC proper came at just after 3:07 PM. The first time Johnny Miller “interacted” with Feherty was…37 minutes later and it could be best described as estranged. They weren’t so much speaking to each other but around each other and neither sounded like they looked forward to doing it again. Johnny can’t enjoy not being the center of attention these days and he is no doubt steamed about not being at the top of the salary heap any longer, but does he have to display his jealousy so publicly? I can only imagine what it’s like in the buffet  line, those two aren’t talking to one another but everybody else is talking about them.

It’s clear they are all still trying to find a groove. But I’m not so sure how much of an effort anybody is actually making. It’s like they’re on the dance floor shuffling their feet to “Endless Love” while we’re at our tables listening to the band play “Brick House”. We’re all invited to another party next week. I’ll continue to hope it gets less uncomfortable, not more. In case you’re wondering I’m not holding my breath.

About Keith Hirshland

My name is Keith Hirshland and I am a four decades television veteran who has spent time both in front of and behind the camera. During nearly forty years in broadcasting my path has crossed in front of, behind and alongside some of the best in the business... And some of the worst. Many of those people I count as friends while others wouldn't make the effort to spit on me if I was on fire. This television life started early watching my Mom and Dad found, fund and run a local affiliate TV station in Reno, Nevada. As a teenager approaching adulthood I worked for them, first as an on-air sports reporter/anchor and later as a director and producer. Jobs in the industry took me across the country and then to many places around the world. Sports is my passion and putting it on TV has been my business. Production credits include auto racing, baseball, basketball, bowling, college football, field hockey, soccer, volleyball and water polo but the majority of my time "in the chair" since 1990 has been invested in the game of golf with both ESPN and The Golf. Channel ( I was one of the first forty people hired by TGC in 1994 ). I am a fan and I watch TV sports as a fan but I also have hundreds of thousands of hours watching from inside a production truck. I think that makes me qualified to comment, my hope is you agree. I have written two books, Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In (Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat), a memoir that is a tribute to my parents, the hard working, creative people who started ESPN2 and The Golf Channel and a look back at my life in television. My second book is a novel, Big Flies, and is a mystery that tells the story of a father and a son with four of the world's most notorious unsolved robberies as a backdrop. I look forward to sharing new thoughts about golf, golf television, sports in general and the broadcast industry with you. The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are not connected to nor endorsed by any other person, association, company or organization.
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