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.
GM/Head PGA Professional
Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386