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How To Make Golf Appealing, Change Golf on TV

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In 2019, prior to the US Open Jim Nance did an interview and special on Nick Faldo.    This is comparable to say prior to the NBA Championship a special is done on Scottie Pippen - not MJ or prior to the NFL Playoffs a one hour special is done on Terry Bradshaw. Nothing against Nick or Terry but living in the past is killing the appeal of golf to the next generations.  If the game is going to survive we need to make it reasonably interesting for new players, however TV and media in general is doing us all a disservice. 

Given shot tracker technology, current golfers trying new work out routines to gain distance and accuracy, good looking players -  THERE IS PLENTY OF TOPICS other than Jack's 230 yard one iron of yesteryear.    

 Thoughts? 

                

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Cherry picking a single segment isn’t indicative of what you’re alleging.

Fox sports’ major coverage for example, has been some of the freshest life injected into the sport.

Networks are hiring new analysts as elder statesmen are retiring.

Above all, Nielsen ratings from Tigers resurgence have shown golf is as popular as it was if not more.

A single mention of golfs history during a 4 hour broadcast isn’t going to hurt the game.


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4 minutes ago, bens197 said:

Cherry picking a single segment isn’t indicative of what you’re alleging.

Fox sports’ major coverage for example, has been some of the freshest life injected into the sport.

Networks are hiring new analysts as elder statesmen are retiring.

Above all, Nielsen ratings from Tigers resurgence have shown golf is as popular as it was if not more.

A single mention of golfs history during a 4 hour broadcast isn’t going to hurt the game.


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I agree completely. While I prefer to see more event coverage over story telling. It is not too terrible at your run of the mill events. At the majors ( the masters in particular) I get a bit more annoyed by the days gone by stuff, but I still watch...

Fox is the only channel doing everything it can to inject technology into its coverage. We need lots more of that. 

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What makes an event popular or historic?  Tradition and memories.

Ask yourself why the Masters is far and away the most popular and most watched tournament every year for the game of golf.  While some are free to disagree with me, there is a tremendous amount of comfort in visiting the same beautiful golf course one week a year to see the world's best golfers vie for the coveted Green Jacket.  But what makes that Green Jacket coveted?  It's probably a different answer for different people, but I'd say that the fact that Jack has won 6, Tiger has won 5, and Arnie has won 4 of them has a LOT to do with it's popularity and prestige.  I would also be willing to wager that if you surveyed every golfer on this website, or any other, if they were given a chance to play Augusta National, how many would do anything and everything to play it?  Why is that?  Sure, it's (possibly) the most recognized golf course in the world, and the conditions for this course are 2nd to none.

But I would say that because Bobby Jones founded Augusta National, and put his name on that club, that the entire golf world reveres that golf course, and that tournament more than any other tournament or course in the world, perhaps with the exception of Saint Andrews in Scotland.  But Augusta stands alone honestly, because I can make plans today for a trip to Scotland, and show up at St. Andrews and as a single, probably be able to tee it up tomorrow if I have the patience and time.  I can't do that with Augusta National.  I will probably wait my whole life and never set foot on the property ever again, let alone have the opportunity to tee it up there.

My point to all of this is that tradition and history are HUGE in golf.  And in my case, I started playing this game due to a chance meeting with Jack Nicklaus, who signed an autograph for me while playing in a charity tournament at my home course in Miami in 1977.  Once I met him, and saw him play in person, I was driven to play the game myself.

How many people have taken up the game of golf because of Tiger Woods?  Well, without Tiger's history and success, where would golf be?

Looking at it another way, if you ripped the record books out of the Masters, and started with a clean slate, I'd lose a LOT of interest in that tournament.  Without the legacy of Bobby Jones, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, the Masters has no significance or much meaning, beyond another paycheck for these players.  But as a player, if I have the chance to play in a tournament won by any of these great players in the history of the game, I will work that much harder to make it happen.

And put another way, having had one chance to visit Augusta National at a Monday practice round in 2016, I can honestly say that seeing that place in person gives it that much more prestige and respect from me.  It's like Disney World for golfers.  And there is a reason why it's the most in demand ticket for a golf tournament, and it's not even close.  We even have threads here at MGS once a year where we can commiserate together from the fact that all but maybe a handful of spies will have won the lottery and received a coveted Masters ticket.

Again, others may disagree with me, but without this tradition and memories, golf is meaningless to me.

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Very little has changed in the way golf is broadcast from 30 years ago and that's not a positive thing.  The Masters had every single shot from every single player in the field available to be streamed at no cost to the viewer last year.  There is no reason the PGA Tour can't offer something similar through a package deal with ESPN+ or Amazon.  Changing on-course commentators isn't fixing massive production deficiencies.  Too many commercials, too many overpaid talking heads, and not enough golf shots.  Given the new TV rights deals and the spike in the fees associated with those new deals, commercials are going to get worse in order to pay for it.  

Just my opinion!

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3 minutes ago, sixcat said:

Very little has changed in the way golf is broadcast from 30 years ago and that's not a positive thing.  The Masters had every single shot from every single player in the field available to be streamed at no cost to the viewer last year.  There is no reason the PGA Tour can't offer something similar through a package deal with ESPN+ or Amazon.  Changing on-course commentators isn't fixing massive production deficiencies.  Too many commercials, too many overpaid talking heads, and not enough golf shots.  Given the new TV rights deals and the spike in the fees associated with those new deals, commercials are going to get worse in order to pay for it.  

Just my opinion!

another thing is that for $65 the pgatour gold should offer more coverage. I think you should get full coverage on Sundays. 

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6 minutes ago, Quigleyd said:

another thing is that for $65 the pgatour gold should offer more coverage. I think you should get full coverage on Sundays. 

Exactly, the PGA Tour does it's level best to attract the attention of the casual fan.  It does very little to keep the attention of the avid fan!

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31 minutes ago, sixcat said:

Exactly, the PGA Tour does it's level best to attract the attention of the casual fan.  It does very little to keep the attention of the avid fan!

Especially when they have an extended interview with a Surfing champion like they did at TOC. A surfer dude? Really?  It was so dumb both my wife and I said at the same time - let's switch to something else. 

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anyone catch the Korn Ferry "mic'd up" stuff?  I thought it was pretty cool..... that would be **awesome** to hear in a major coming down the back 9 for a group that was in contention !

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3 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

Especially when they have an extended interview with a Surfing champion like they did at TOC. A surfer dude? Really?  It was so dumb both my wife and I said at the same time - let's switch to something else. 

"Extended" as in at least 20 minutes.  The only thing they showed during that time was surfing video.  Absolutely nobody watching golf on a Saturday night gives two sh**s about surfing.

Terrible!

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I love the mic'd up stuff - they do that in baseball all star game which is great - I would think they could do it in golf broadcasts of tour events more frequently.  I don't understand why there isn't always pro tracer to help us follow shots - it just seems as if there is so much more that could be done.  Tiger's return presents a huge opportunity for the sport - I'm hoping that the Tour takes advantage of it.

 

In regards to Tradition you can't ignore it - but there's a way to teach about the games history while moving into the future also. 

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28 minutes ago, GolfSpy Stroker said:

anyone catch the Korn Ferry "mic'd up" stuff?  I thought it was pretty cool..... that would be **awesome** to hear in a major coming down the back 9 for a group that was in contention !

It took me a while to warm up to it, at first I found it kind of weird and I'm not sure why, but I ended up really liking it. They should have given caddies mics, too. At times it was hard to hear both sides. It was nice that the announcers intentionally created the "space" to just listen to the players. I also enjoyed the time with Greg Norman as he was discussing what type of shot he would be trying to hit in the situation.

It would be nice to try it on the tour. I'd really like it it they gave Pat Perez a mic, with a nice delay, of course.

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24 minutes ago, revkev said:

I love the mic'd up stuff - they do that in baseball all star game which is great - I would think they could do it in golf broadcasts of tour events more frequently.  I don't understand why there isn't always pro tracer to help us follow shots - it just seems as if there is so much more that could be done.  Tiger's return presents a huge opportunity for the sport - I'm hoping that the Tour takes advantage of it.

 

In regards to Tradition you can't ignore it - but there's a way to teach about the games history while moving into the future also. 

I love it when the stick a mic in the face of a player while he is playing. They did it on the euro tour to Rahm at the race for the cup championship. I thought it was great!

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7 hours ago, sixcat said:

Very little has changed in the way golf is broadcast from 30 years ago and that's not a positive thing.  The Masters had every single shot from every single player in the field available to be streamed at no cost to the viewer last year.  There is no reason the PGA Tour can't offer something similar through a package deal with ESPN+ or Amazon.  Changing on-course commentators isn't fixing massive production deficiencies.  Too many commercials, too many overpaid talking heads, and not enough golf shots.  Given the new TV rights deals and the spike in the fees associated with those new deals, commercials are going to get worse in order to pay for it.  

Just my opinion!

I just can't watch golf on TV unless it's on DVR and I join an hour late or so.  If I can't fast forward through the interminable commercials and mindless chatter, I can't deal with it.  And I watch the final round of nearly every tournament.

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8 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I just can't watch golf on TV unless it's on DVR and I join an hour late or so.  If I can't fast forward through the interminable commercials and mindless chatter, I can't deal with it.  And I watch the final round of nearly every tournament.

I almost never watch golf on TV. It's boring and doesn't hold my attention at all. A few years back I sat and counted, the average was showing 3 actual shots over about 10 mins between commercial breaks. Nope. I love to play golf, love to practice golf, if I never watched a golf match on TV again I'd be perfectly fine. 

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8 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I just can't watch golf on TV unless it's on DVR and I join an hour late or so.  If I can't fast forward through the interminable commercials and mindless chatter, I can't deal with it.  And I watch the final round of nearly every tournament.

That's basically what I do with the exception of majors and European coverage.  European coverage is far and away better than US coverage.

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I almost never watch golf on TV. It's boring and doesn't hold my attention at all. A few years back I sat and counted, the average was showing 3 actual shots over about 10 mins between commercial breaks. Nope. I love to play golf, love to practice golf, if I never watched a golf match on TV again I'd be perfectly fine. 


Sounds a lot more like football than golf.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704281204575002852055561406
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2 minutes ago, bens197 said:

 


Sounds a lot more like football than golf.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704281204575002852055561406

 

It was golf. And I know I'm certainly not alone in feeling like the televised game is boring and isn't something worth watching for the most part.

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The shot tracker / top tracer has helped a lot.  I think its so cool to watch the ball flights / shapes.  

I'm curious to see how Michele Wie does in the broadcast booth.  

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It was golf. And I know I'm certainly not alone in feeling like the televised game is boring and isn't something worth watching for the most part.


I’m not trying to convince you otherwise . Golf certainly isn’t the easiest sport to just pick up and watch on TV.

Personally, I love turning it on and having it play casually in the background.
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