There seems to be no shortage of ways to watch this week’s Masters. In one way or another, we owe it all to Frank Chirkinian, considered the father of televised golf. The “Ayatollah’’ passed away last month but his influence in televised sports, even beyond golf, will live forever.
Chirkinian probably would have loved DIRECTV’s Masters Experience that features an expanded six-channel HD Package that offers ESPN and CBS coverage and includes a new extra “Featured Group” channel, extended hours of coverage and a 24-hour interactivity is only available on DIRECTV and viewers will be able to follow every shot from two foursomes throughout the tournament.
There’s also a host of other interactive services such as “Masters Mix,” “Amen Corner,” and a 10 questions Masters trivia. Check it out. Frank would.
FRANK TALK: The Golf Channel did its usual average job in paying tribute to Chirkinian during this week’s pre-Masters coverage. It could have been much better if the Golf Channel had someone other than blowhard essayist Rich Lerner host the tribute. It’s doubtful Chirkinian ever would have let Lerner near a CBS broadcast booth.
TOM TERRIFIC: On the subject of unqualified, there’s Brent Musburger. Chirkinian had to put up with Musburger on golf telecasts for a few years in the 1980s basically because he was the ‘voice’’ of CBS Sports.
In a great interview with Geoff Shackelford (ww.geoffshackelford.com), Tom Weiskopf recalls Musburger’s incompetence during the ’86 Masters.
“They’re bringing in a lot of information to Brent Musburger, who is not really a golfer,’’ Weiskopf told Shackelford. “As Frank Chirkinian told me, ‘your job is to babysit Brent Musburger.’ That was the definition of my duties. He was there because they’re justifying an enormous salary to an individual who could care less, in all honesty, about the game. He didn’t know the difference between a chip and a pitch.’’
The rest of the interview is just as good.
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