Posted: Monday October 23, 2006 11:34AM; Updated: Tuesday October 24, 2006 8:33AM
SI: Ken Venturi, your predecessor's predecessor, was famous for his Kennyisms. "Touch of class," for example. Do you have a favorite Kennyism?
NF: I was never one to watch much golf on TV, but I liked, "You got to take your hat off to him." And, "He'll bring it in high." Even for nine-iron shots.
SI: Are there Nickisms?
NF: Not that I'm aware of.
SI: What about, "Simple as that."
NF: Really? I'll watch for that.
SI: You have a Hollywood look-alike in Harrison Ford. Have you and he ever been in the same room?
NF: Not that I know of. Once he left a party in Jamaica before I arrived, and people said, "Oh, did you forget something?"
SI: Could he fill in for you in the booth?
NF: Only if it's dark.
SI: You're designing courses in different parts of the world and have one in the works in China. Do you think the Chinese will become good golfers?
NF: Oh, yes. From martial arts, they're very disciplined in the mind, a bit of that Zen thing -- mental strength and balance in equal parts. In 20 years it wouldn't surprise me to see five to seven Chinese players on the PGA Tour.
SI: Donald Trump thinks golf will take off in China because the Chinese love to gamble.
NF: There's that, too.
SI: Who's your bet as the next European to win the Masters?
NF: That's tough. We need them to take the mind-set they have in the Ryder Cup and apply it to the majors.
SI: We're looking for names. Sergio? Paul Casey? Ian Poulter?
NF: I'd better not name names. The British media have a field day with that sort of thing.
SI: How will you be different from Johnny Miller as an announcer?
NF: Johnny's great, but I'll do it my way. I think of it not as a golf broadcast but as entertainment, for three to five hours. I need to make sure I'm quick, informative, serious when that's what's called for, funny when that's the right tone. I'd like to offer a bit of instruction. You have to be sharp, and you have to be entertaining. Simple as that.