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Michael Bamberger
February 08, 2010
Is Phil playing fair? When will Tiger return? How's Golf Channel doing? What will happen by 2020?
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February 08, 2010

Pga Tour Confidential

Is Phil playing fair? When will Tiger return? How's Golf Channel doing? What will happen by 2020?

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Anonymous Pro: I'm more critical than most, but Golf Channel is getting worse. They're trying so hard to generate interest in the FedEx Cup and how important this year is because, without Tiger, they know their ratings will stink. On Thursday or Friday, Golf Channel is unwatchable. If I do watch, I turn off the sound.

Bamberger: I agree. There's too much hyperventilating. If you're watching golf on Thursday, you're already a believer. Talk to us like we're adults, even if we're not.

Garrity: I'm very conscious of the anchors' pushing the drama. It's a natural reaction to Tiger's absence, but they seem to be forcing it this year.

Dusek: You can't manufacture drama on Thursday or Friday.

Bamberger: Just like you can't make Sunday at Honolulu feel like Sunday at Doral, which isn't at all like Sunday at the U.S. Open.

Garrity: I like Nick Faldo. He babbles, and he's not afraid to be silly. He actually responds to what is happening on the screen.

Van Sickle: I loved that moment in Hawaii when they were showing idyllic shots of surfers and sailboats and crashing waves and then switched over to tournament coverage, and Faldo blurted, "Oh, no—not back to the golf!" That was brilliant and funny. Overall, I'm a little tired of him because he's on the air so much—CBS and Golf Channel—and spread too thin. He's better when he has someone pushing him, like Paul Azinger did at ABC.

Anonymous Pro: Nick was at his best with Azinger. He had to be sharp because he knew Azinger would call him on stuff. Nick doesn't have anyone doing that at Golf Channel. Nick is a lot better on CBS because he has to step up his game to compete with the talking heads—Peter Kostis, Gary McCord, David Feherty, Peter Oosterhuis and the rest. Those guys have game. Brandel Chamblee is by far the best talent at Golf Channel, and they don't use him enough at tournaments. Frank Nobilo is really golf-smart too. Either one of those guys sitting next to Nick or filling in for him would be a welcome improvement.

2020 Vision

Van Sickle: Finish this sentence: Ten years from now....

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