I’m way late posting this, considering this it is now March, but let’s do this anyways….
@NoLayingUp Farmer's coverage was awful. How should they make golf coverage less horrible?
— Sarah Endacott (@sendacott) February 11, 2015
This is the million dollar question, Sarah. And I really don’t think it’s all that hard. I’m obviously not a TV exec, but I don’t think any of these things are that difficult, expensive, or impossible. I’ve never worked in television, and it is easy to sit back and pick people apart that undoubtedly work very hard at their craft. Putting on a golf tournament has to be one of the most difficult sports to show live, if not the most difficult, considering the vast amount of landscape that has to be covered, and the amount of action going on all at the same time. I also have no idea what rates well (maybe people love seeing Gary Mule Deer’s swing?), so I’m saying this from a golf fan’s perspective.
With the current social media dynamic, we’re living in an unprecedented era of instantaneous feedback. Whoever has been monitoring CBS’ Eye on Golf twitter feed lately HAS to be reporting the cursing that has been thrown in their direction, right? Was there ANYONE on social media that like the coverage of the Farmers or the AT&T? If Jordan Spieth would have birdied the 18th hole at Riviera instead of bogeying it, he would have won the Northern Trust. And he didn’t have one single shot aired until the 17th hole! And we’re talking about one of the biggest superstars in American golf! The faster execs realize how much online chatter matters, the faster they can evolve to producing a quality broadcast.
Here are my suggested improvements:
- More ProTracer – How hard is this? Does ANYONE dislike ProTracer? I don’t care if you’re protracing a caddie stepping off a yardage. Put some more red lines on my screen!
- When you can’t get the protracer in there, how about the low to the ground shot, where the ball stays in the frame for a decently long time? Like in this video? Anything but the view where it looks like a Webb Simpson shank off to the right of my screen. Give the viewers something to watch when the players are swinging.
- More shots – Not every shot or story needs a Jim Nantz diatribe before it. Just set the scene, and show the action. I don’t need to see Jim Furyk’s exhausting routine before a short putt. I don’t need to see JB Holmes stalking a putt from every angle as if he’s inspecting a crime scene. You’ve got camera men out there working their ass off to get in position for these shots, and you’re not showing them on TV. I’ve always loved how ESPN does their US Open coverage (ignore the Berman part), where they seemingly just cram as many shots into their window as possible. It’s also ok to show guys that aren’t in contention that didn’t hit a horrifically awful or spectacular shot. Here in Europe, when the US feed goes to commercial, I get switched over to an “international feed”, where it’s just pure golf. It’s usually guys way off the pace that are grinding for a few extra bucks, or fighting their swings. But that kind of golf gives you a lot better perspective on what actual PGA Tour golf is like.
- Take some notes from the guys that do PGA Tour Live @ online. I can sit and listen to those guys talk golf all day. They have the luxury of knowing that they’re only appealing to the biggest golf fans (Casual Joe is not going online for his golf coverage), but they don’t do the Gary McCord singing gimmicks, nor feel the pressure to try to entertain you. They just talk golf, and they somehow do it for like 8 straight hours either watching the same group, or watching the same hole. It’s not easy to talk about anything for that long, John Swantek, Mark Immelman, Craig Perks, and the rest of their group do an excellent job.
Some buddies and I (including a fluctuating group of NLU guys) do a trip every year in Northern Michigan called the Boyne Cup, and it is one of the highlights of the year. We play six rounds in four days, with some not exactly street legal night golf mixed in as well. The shit talking literally lasts the entire year. This is the key to the entire trip. You need to divide into two teams, and there needs to be some kind of a true rivalry between them. The guy who leads our trip (@GinoCanChug) is the biggest shit talker on the planet (f you click on his feed right now, you’ll see he’s literally tweeting out random stats from the history of the Boyne Cup). This will make the golf that much more competitive once you’re in the matches, yet still remaining fun.
Perhaps the most shocking thing about one of the best traditions from this trip is that it has not yet got us kicked off a course yet. This group of guys is filled with guys of all skill levels, with most of them being…. not excellent. So birdies are not that common of an occurrence, but when they do happen, they are met with a boisterous “BOOOOOYNE BIRDIEEEEEE” cheer that can be heard no matter what hole you’re on.
If you’re only playing three rounds, I would play team games the first two days (handicapped obviously). Then on the final day, two nine hole matches per person, so the same amount of points are available on the final day as there were on the first two. Live updates from the other groups are a necessity, and you need to keep the beer flowing. I don’t have a specific rule for the drinking, but make sure the whole group is keeping pace, and no one is taking the match so seriously that they aren’t having a good time.
For the prize, you HAVE to have a trophy, and preferably one you can drink from:
@NoLayingUp will Tiger break even Snead's record?
— Kyle Nathan (@DrawsNFades) February 11, 2015
If you would have asked this three months ago, I would have laughed you off as a troll. After seeing whatever the hell is going on with his chipping, I don’t think we can say with any certainty that he’s going to win four more PGA Tour events. For the last year plus, I’ve been telling myself that he won five times in 2013, and that he’ll be back. Right? I mean, it’s Tiger.
We’ve seen him play poorly in the recent past, but I’ve never seen anything like these chip yips. I’ve never seen a two handicap look this bad around the greens, nevermind the best player to ever walk the Earth (it’s true). If this happened to one of my 5-handicap buddies, I would be floored. THIS IS TIGER F’N WOODS! I often ridicule how much attention he gets for everything he does, but I actually don’t think this chipping thing is getting enough attention. This is truly one of the most remarkable developments I’ve ever seen in golf.
I still say he gets there, just because I refuse to believe that he could just completely forget how to play golf. However, the chipping disaster covers up the fact that he also hit it like shit in the two weeks that he played, so it’s not like that part of his game is close either.
@NoLayingUp Here's a question and we blogged about it | http://t.co/gSp0vP9Ciw | @noclassfriday
— Troy Klongerbo Golf (@troy_usgolftv) February 11, 2015
For those too lazy to click the link, the question is basically about comparing Masters Sunday to Super Bowl Sunday. For me, Masters Sunday blows Super Bowl Sunday out of the water. I actually cared more about the Waste Management on that Sunday than I did the actual Super Bowl, but that may have been slightly influenced by the Koepka man-obsession-crush.
A few years ago, I didn’t go home for Easter, and Masters Sunday fell on Easter Sunday. My friend invited me to his parents house for dinner. He said we could hang out, watch the Masters, have some nice dinner, etc. The mistake I made was assuming that dinner would be served AFTER the Masters was over. What I soon realized was that the tournament was an after thought for them. So literally as the leaders make their way through Amen Corner on Sunday, a beautiful Easter dinner is being served up. What do you do?
We paused it, but their DVR only let you pause for like 30 minutes before it just started running again. So we’re eating, and we can hear the roars. My phone is melting. The meal is done and they are still sitting around talking. I was boiling over. This was a great meal! It was me, my buddy, and his parents. Just the four of us. I felt horribly rude walking out. But I had to.
“I’m really sorry. Like…. I’m really sorry, but this is my Super Bowl.”
They were really understanding, but I still think about how rude that was of me to this day. But hey, it was Masters Sunday.