I watch a lot of golf on television. After all, I’m in the business. Being a radio and television golf talk show host, I need to know the latest information about golf in general, and that, of course, included watching various tournaments on my flat screen. I do enjoy watching my favorite players; I do enjoy some of the beautiful scenery that surrounds the golf course and I do enjoy watching spectacular golf shots as only those who play this game for a living can make. The one thing I hate about watching golf on television are most of the announcers that call the action…whether they are in the booth or walking the golf course doing the play-by-play.
If you watch any tournament golf on television, you understand that most of the folks involved in the broadcast are former Tour players who are suppose to bring their particular level of expertise to the broadcast. Some do it better then others. Some put their foot in their mouth over and over by making obvious observations….like ,” By pulling his tee shot into the woods, he may find himself in a whole lot of trouble.” Really? The primary job of a golf announcer, in my opinion, is to enlighten the viewer in the simplest way possible of just what happened and its immediate consequence. It’s hard for a lot of these analysts to do this because they think the more they explain something the more people will understand it until it gets to the point of no return. I think most of the time the people at home watching can figure out that Joe Blow needs to make this putt to cut into the lead (pretty obvious from where I’m sitting) or that we already understand that this fairway has water down the left-hand side and that the player must play away from the water hazard. Again, really? Come on…give me something, anything, other then the obvious.
After so many years of broadcasting golf, these guys have used the same trite, boring, worn out cliches over and over to the point you can turn off the volume and read their lips. Just look at the post-round interviews with the players to get a good example. The same 5 or 6 stock, standard questions asked of all the players usually starting with, “What did you find today that made you play so good?” No wonder the players look like they want to fall asleep when getting interview. If these interviewers are getting paid to do fresh, unique, innovative interviews, they all should give their paychecks back. A lot of people would argue the point that you can only talk about so much in golf. I don’t think that’s true, but even if it were, these golf announcers need to engage their audience more, and until they do, golf announcing, golf reporting, whatever you want to label it will stay mundane…that is to say unless you’re interested in what a player is going to have for lunch after his morning round. Really?