Greetings Golfers,

Last Sunday, standing on the 10th tee at Riviera CC, Harold Varner III was tied for the lead of the Genesis Open. Usually, televised golf tournaments cover the leaders – especially their important shots. Well, Harold cold-topped his drive off of #10 and proceeded to make double bogey. Unfortunately (shockingly?), CBS did not show Mr. Varner’s brutal tee-shot. I don’t mean that they didn’t show it live-action … they just didn’t show it … though they did refer to it.

While at home, we were bouncing back-and-forth from the tournament on CBS to the Senior tournament on the Golf Channel. And, like most other Sunday tv golf viewers … we were dozing off throughout the afternoon.

However, I definitely would have wanted to see a leader of a PGA Tournament cold-top a tee-shot. I like Harold Varner … that’s not the point … but most of us enjoy seeing the best in the world almost whiff … especially if they’re in the lead and really trying. It’s not like watching a guy about to miss the cut and just chop-it-around on his last hole … this was serious playing.

That gave me an excuse to write about golf tv coverage. I was thinking about doing it anyway … because it needs to be talked about. I’m sure that it’s tricky covering the action … players are all over the course … and things can change quickly. That’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about how uninteresting it is – not the golf – but the commentators. That’s why everyone’s sleeping. But, it doesn’t have to be like that.

The other night, my wife and I were laughing about quips from a former golf pro – he’s one of the funniest people we’ve ever known. Then, she brought up another retired golf pro who should have been a stand-up comic. Both of these guys have that really dry sense of humor … with great timing. That got me thinking … probably the funniest people I know are or were golf pros. I’m talking club pros – not tour pros. I’m not saying that every golf pro is funny … but I think that the majority are … and that golf lends itself to humor. The old guys that I play with down here in SC are hilarious. I don’t mean that they’re hardy-har-har guys … they’re just funny.

They say that stand-up comedy is the hardest thing to do on the planet … you’re up there totally naked. Same with golf … you’re standing there over that shot all alone … you better be able to deal with it … because you are going to hit bad shots … just like Harold Varner.

So, why do networks hire dull guys to be the broadcasters … or are they muzzled? Either way … it’s not good. I don’t want a comedy show … I just want the same kind of commentary that I’m used to on the golf course … or afterward in the pub.

If they want to change the format … I know a bunch of guys they should hire.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional

Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351