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RUSH: Tonight is the big finale of The Haney Project on the Golf Channel, the big finale. They hit me with a bunch of surprises, meaning they dangled some carrots in front of me. If I was able to achieve various challenges then I would be rewarded with certain prizes, certain gifts. And it’s a great show. We did this at El Dorado, which is a golf course development in San Jose del Cabo right up the road from Cabo San Lucas. Folks, I gotta tell you about it. We used a number of places filming The Haney Project, or taping it all over the country: Kukio, out on the Big Island of Hawaii, Baker’s Bay, which recently opened over in the Bahamas, El Dorado in Cabo San Lucas. These three are part of a whole nationwide development called Discovery Land Company. Mike Meldman owns it, and I tell you, these are some of the finest places you could live, some of the finest places you could visit. With the exception of El Dorado — the golf course was there before Meldman bought the place, it’s a Nicklaus course — they’re all Tom Fazio courses.

A couple of summers ago Fazio and I and a couple friends took a guy’s golf trip to a number of Fazio-designed courses. Madison Club in Palm Springs is another one of Meldmans, but I tell you, you golfers, you would not believe the comfort stations. I mean every four holes there’s a barbecue. It’s indescribable. Barbecue grill, oysters, champagne, it’s indescribable. You want to finish the course because you want to get to the next comfort station. The quality of the homes in these places is just stunning. One of the great things about golf is that wherever you go to play it’s a beautiful place, and Meldman made available all these different places so that we could actually do a great travelogue show. We started in Hawaii at Kukio, which has some of the greatest views of the Pacific Ocean from high up the mountain, and then El Dorado down in Cabo, which is where we finished about the middle of February, two or three weeks ago.

If you ever get a chance to play at one of these places from Discovery, do it. If you know somebody who lives there, if you have a chance to visit one of these places, by all means avail yourself of the opportunity. These are the kind of places that make it worth your while to take up the game, just to be able to visit these places. They’re the epitome of quality and refinement and class and everyone I’ve met at one of these places is the best at what they do. We have the big finale tonight. George Brett was on the opener, was on the season premiere, and brought him back for the finale. They were talking about this on the Golf Channel today trying to make it a big surprise. I’m gonna blow the surprise. Fred Couples shows up on the finale tonight in a fun little episode. It’s nine o’clock tonight on the Golf Channel, which is DirecTV channel 218. Let’s grab sound bites three, four, and five and do this, we’ll get into the Wisconsin stuff and the government shutdown stuff and all that as the program unfolds before your very eyes and ears. They had Hank Haney on the Golf Channel today during their morning show to talk about the finale tonight and one of the guys talking to him was Gary Williams, co-host of the morning show. And they had this little exchange. This the first of three sound bites.

WILLIAMS: Of the three guys you worked with, and let’s go in — in kind of reverse order starting with Rush, who was the best listener?

HANEY: Actually the best listener was Rush. He’s an incredible talker, and I was really shocked that he was even a better listener.

RUSH: Now, you might be wondering, ‘Why this question?’ Like Snerdley is looking at me sort of frowning. Snerdley’s offended. Is it fair to say that you’re offended? Because Snerdley knows me, and when this program started — and I okayed it, Snerdley, because it wasn’t worth the time it would take to go to the mat with these guys to change their campaign. I knew it wasn’t gonna matter, but their whole campaign was: ‘Can this motormouth, loudmouth listen?’ That was their whole theme. And I looked at it and I laughed, I said, ‘Do they not have the slightest idea that to know the things I know you have to listen?’ Does it not make common sense that to learn things you have to listen? Okay, so they’ve got it in their heads that I don’t listen, okay, fine. So even after it’s over, that’s why they’re asking the question, ‘So were you surprised?’ because they have to carry through with their theme, with their formula.

Now, the other two guys they’re talking about, the previous two are Ray Romano of Everybody Loves Raymond and Charles Barkley. So Haney says that I was the best listener. Now, those of you who are regular listeners understand that that’s not a surprise, but it is to people who have this preconceived notion. So the second bite is Gary Williams talking to Haney, he says, ‘When you look at Rush specifically, obviously the finale tonight, what’s great is you had these various people who popped in, George Brett’s been on, Pat Perez. There’s a big-time star that I know is on the finale tonight, sometimes there can be distractions. I know George and Rush are very, very close. Do you get wary of these big stars being around these guys when you’re trying to teach ’em?’

HANEY: Not really. I mean it added to the show. I mean tonight’s show is just great. There’s a whole bunch of surprises in there, it has a great ending, and it just made it a lot more fun. I mean Rush handled everything great with the people being around, and he’s very, very good on TV. He was a great student. He was an incredible student. He’s one of the best students I’ve ever had. I mean it didn’t necessarily start out that way. But he really was a great student, and a pleasure to help. I mean I haven’t had a student, you know, very often in my career that listened as well as he did and tried as hard as he did, and it was a great, you know, opportunity for me and a pleasure to help him.

RUSH: So that’s Hank Haney on the Golf Channel today. So after that was over Gary Williams and Erik Kuselias have this exchange. They are still perplexed that I’m a good listener.

KUSELIAS: The best listener, Rush.

WILLIAMS: Shocked by that.


WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean I suppose, look, you know we interview people for a living. The people who are good interviewers actually listen —

KUSELIAS: You have to listen.

WILLIAMS: — to what the people are saying. You don’t have your questions where you run down and you’re waiting for them to stop talking so you can ask the next question, you have to listen to what they say and Rush is a very compelling interviewer so I understand that he probably does have some good listening skills. I just didn’t think that would be the one thing he would say.

KUSELIAS: Me either.

RUSH: But you asked! Why wouldn’t he say it? You asked was he a good listener or not. Anyway, I don’t interview people, Erik. It’s a rarity when that happens. Nevertheless, the show tonight, I have a rough cut and we watched it last night with Kathryn, and it’s good. It really came together. I mean this was the big test, and, by the way, they must have brought everybody at the Golf Channel. There must have been 15 or 20 golf carts running around, cameras, microphones, hidden microphones, hidden cameras all over the place. I think it was their bonus to be able to go down to Cabo so there was even more performance pressure on me, the rank amateur here. I mean this is it, this is it. You know, and it’s live to tape. There’s no shooting it three or four times to get it right. So the deal is I gotta break 85 and I got a surprise coming, some other challenges they threw my way, it’s a lot of fun, it has been fun, and if three or four more people now know that I’m a good listener that’s an added bonus. (interruption) Don’t get so ticked off about this, Bo. I appreciate your loyalty in there, but you gotta go with the flow on this kind of stuff. It just is. Oh, by the way, Koko, do me a favor. Put a link to the Discovery Land Company up there. You gotta see some of the pictures of the places we went to shoot this series. It’ll just blow your mind. It really will.

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