Archive: August, 2012

You Can’t Do That on Television!

As a PGA of Canada member, past Canadian Tour member, Canadian National Team member, Golf Canada Calgary Centre instructor, and Swinkey co-founder, I cannot stress how grateful I am for the initiatives of golf organizations worldwide. Millions of dollars are spent every year worldwide to grow the game of golf. The efforts by these organizations are incredible and inspiring. Thank you.

I can’t help but think, that more of the efforts and finances should go towards television. Should the governing organizations in golf (Royal & Ancient, USGA, PGA of America, PGA of Canada, Golf Canada, among hundreds of others) lobby the television industry for changes and improvements in how golf is presented on television? From here on out I will refer to any and all golf organizations as “The Man”.

I believe that golf broadcasters have an INCREDIBLY important role in growing the game. Every week they reach MILLIONS of people. At this moment I have no idea who the president of the PGA of America is, but I can name 20+ Golf Channel employees. These are the people that influence the game. If you influence that many people, you are a leader and educator. Golf Channel is doing an amazing job with the new shows like “On the Range”, “Down the Stretch”, “Feherty” and “Big Break”. I believe they are growing the game. Kudos to the guys at “Morning Drive” as well, awesome work. Shout out to Michael Breed and Martin Hall too!!

So here are ten ideas, and obviously there are barriers to each..but if the right person in the right position read these ideas, they could make it happen and make a real improvement in the way our game is perceived and grown. Remember, it’s cold up here, we can’t golf year round!

My Top Ten Ways “The Man” Can Grow Golf via Lobbying/Supporting the Television Industry

1. A bi-yearly, week long education seminar for all Golf Channel employees (and NBC, CBS etc.). Content can be pulled from the Instructor Summits by GBN, PGA of America seminars, PGA of Canada Seminars, the World Golf Fitness Summit, AimPoint Green Reading, Trackman and Flightscope, Canadian Coaching Association, and of course many more. I’m talking to you Johnny Miller, Sir Nick, Brandel, Gary, Gary, David, Chris Berman, Jim…all y’all. As a member of the PGA of Canada, we are required to stay educated. Professional associations worldwide have education requirements of all varieties. The things I learned from Glenn Cundari at the Coach of New Competitors, Mark Sweeney from AimPoint, Joseph Mayo with Trackman, John Graham, and hundreds of other instructors, make me cringe when I listen to golf commentary on television. This is #1 for a reason. Get educated, you’ll be surprised how happy it will make you with your career on television. It is unacceptable for announcers and commentators to be flat out incorrect.

2. Pitch Count highlight packs. In the MLB broadcasts, they do a ‘pitch count’ and I think that would be cool to see this format…show a players entire back nine in 40 seconds..might add a little speed to the broadcast and spice things up a bit..

3. Have a few players play a few holes on Tiger Woods 2012 for XBOX (cue sponsor $’s)…would be fun and cool and they could commentate and have some laughs!

4. Mic’d up players. Thought they did this but don’t see it as much as I’d like. I think that kids would rather listen to Rickie Fowler or Jason Day, instead of Maltbie and Koch.

5. Primetime. I want to golf on Sunday afternoon, the pro’s can golf when I’m eating dinner and watching the game.. Let’s get a few final rounds in prime time under night sky with flood lights…

6. Show the players Twitter handles. (LPGA did this after I wrote the first draft! I promise! Here’s a list of LPGA Twitter)

7. Make a show like 24/7 Rangers/Flyers for the tour. “Inside the PGA Tour” isn’t cutting it. Ryder Cup potential here…

8. Put Trackman or Flightscope #’s up for players shots..just for fun..just for a bit..just to see how it feels…learning this stuff has helped a LOT of people.

9. This one is for all the junior golfers and their families….. I would really like the old boys in the booth to attend and even assist a TPI Junior Camp. This is how kids learn. Do this.

10. Top instructors as co-hosts. There are lots of these guys that know a ton about the game and the performance aspects…more of these guys on TV. There are 40 ish events a year, we can spread the love on this concept easily…we’ll all get a turn ūüėČ

I can’t help but feel that these suggestions would grow the game far more than the cost associated with them, bottom line.

As I write this I saw the NBC360 on Rickie Fowler. Tres cool.

Additional Questions and Topics

What are other countries, organizations or governing bodies doing to influence the golf broadcast industry in an educational manner?

Do commentators have education requirements? If not how come?

Does having a specified channel for golf isolate the game?

How much golf content appears outside of the Golf Channel?