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Kelowna Calling: Feherty on Injuries; Mediocre The Rise; Zoke to St. George's

So I’ve been in Kelowna for a couple of days now, finishing a magazine feature and taking some time to hang out with some industry types in the IMG tent at the Skins Game at Predator Ridge.

Part of this involved interviewing David Feherty, the smart, funny and sharp golfer-turned-TV announcer who recently had a near tragic bike accident. Feherty was struck by a trailer being pulled by a truck, and as he says, the trailer then rolled over him. The result was a crushed elbow, and a punctured lung. He’s largely been out of broadcasting since, though he made an appearance at the Masters, which he now regrets. He’s had three surgeries on the arm since the March accident, and though there were concerns he might lose it, that is no longer the case. The biggest issue now is loss of mobility, but Feherty says that’s the least of his concerns.

Feherty admits he’s tired of talking about the accident, but it was unavoidable since the Skins Game was really his first broadcasting event since the accident. He’ll do six or seven more throughout the year.

He had a couple of great lines:

On his arm:

Im never going to be able to straighten my arm. But I get to keep my arm. It wasnt good there for a while. But all the things I love to do “ ride a bike and shoot a shotgun “ both of them demand a bent left arm.

On the end of his golf career:

I cant play golf. I could be the white Calvin Peete, but Id need a gold tooth and a bigger dick. I dont think itll work in either concept.

The rest, including Feherty’s take on Woods’ injured knee, will be in my National Post column this week.

******

I had a chance to play the Gene Bates/Fred Couples designed The Rise near Vernon this morning. This is a course that’s had a good buzz for some time, but also concerns about financing for an equal period. The course will open on June 20 with a $115 green fee. I’ll write a full review soon, but my immediate impressions are the course is a marginal mountain track with extremes in elevation. Bates (cause Couples really has little to do with the design side of the business) marches you up the hill, and finds some odds holes with blind tee shots in a couple of instances. Of course, if you get up to the top of the hill, you’ve got to come down, which meant two of the most extreme holes — the 17th, which would make extreme downhill skiiers envious and the 18th, which features just as much slope with a pinch of blindness on the approach — that are just awkward.

******

Bob Weeks got stuck in San Diego covering the US Open playoff, so IMG called in Richard Zokol to work the on-course commentary for the Skins event. As soon as it was finished, Zokol was off and running — heading to Toronto to meet with the members of St. George’s in the hope of securing the course for the 2010 Canadian Open. Zokol said the situation looks very positive.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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