Is anybody watching this?

The second round of the Wyndham on the Golf Channel…Mike Weir just launched a 4 wood into a gazebo full of people. The commentators (Nick Faldo and some others) got into a long discussion about how POOR the driving accuracy is these days. Faldo remarked back in the persimmon days they relied much more on tempo, and drove the ball 270 or so…but it was straight. He went on to say that “although the rocket scientists who design the new clubs may disagree” the swing the guys use to hit these new clubs if not done perfectly, makes the ball just goes off sideways.
One of the other commentators went on to say that the thought it was amazing that “the best players in the world today can’t seem to find a swing to get themselves into a fairway and win”.
The next commentator remarked about how every now and then someone brings him an old baseball type card with his stats on it. His average drive was 261 and he was 70th on tour in driving distance. Used to be Par 4’s were a driver and a 3 iron, now it’s a driver and a wedge. They also remarked that many of the players blatantly admit that you don’t really need to hit fairways, you just bomb it out there and hit a wedge in from the rough.

De ja vu?

Lag… you should get a job commentating with Faldo…

This is probably correct but even the Golden Bear said in his haydays that he’d rather hit a wedge from the rough than a 6 iron from the fairway. So it wasn’t all about precision in the good ol’ days either. Of course, one of the “bad” things that has happened since is that Tiger came out 30 yards longer than anyone else and started to work out serious. Golf began to look like a true sport and not just like a few chubby guys with some ball control hitting the ball around the course before they settled at hole 19.

Personally I enjoy that golf has become more of an athletic challenge lately. But I am worried about great golf courses being outdated by long driving.

In biathlom (skiing + shooting) they changed the ammunition quite a few years ago to a very light type, and moved the target closer. Biathlom has since become a TV hit for winter sport enthusiasts…

Pretty much the reason I don’t watch much golf… I find it for the most part boring and uninteresting. I’ve seen it on TV and in person last year here in SF at the President’s Cup. The ball striking on tour has really degraded itself. The gear is not giving the pros the proper feedback to keep their swings in top form. Over time, the precision of their action gets lackluster, and the way the courses are set up, precision striking is not required off the tee, and long irons have been removed from the bag for the most part because the course are too short to justify carrying them, and we have what we have.

I suppose they could mow 25 yard wide fairways, then grow a 4 inch cut for 3 yards, then 10 inch rough for 10 yards, then just put white stakes down both sides after that or make the gallery ropes OB. I think that would be interesting. Then we might see some drama.

It’s good that Faldo and Miller are in the booth talking about it. The more they talk, the more I talk and blog… and others, the sooner some kind of action will be taken. I don’t expect the USGA to do it… but I see another offering of the game, a more disciplined traditional offering coming our way to give the game it’s due respect. Golf is a great game, but much less of a great game than it was. So something should be done, and I believe it will.

Much like last weeks controversy at Whistling Straits. ALL the commentary related to whether DJ got a good or bad ruling on 18. I saw plenty of bunkers and “maybe-bunkers” in the rough and in the next zip code where he hit his tee shot. I didn’t see any bunkers or “maybe-bunkers” in the fairway on that hole. Mix in a fairway off the tee and there IS no controversy.


Every hoser on this forum groans to read that. Weirsy, what happened to ya mate?

I watch quite a bit of golf on TV - helps me fall asleep… But i have different thoughts about, why it is boring for most of the time.

  • Putting - why do they show so much of it. On TV every putting surface looks pretty much the same unless you watch it in 3D, and they are not only showing just the putt - they show the whole process, and you as a viewer get nothing out if it, since all you see is a flat surface and you wonder why the guy is aiming 15 feet to the left when the surface looks plain flat. I dont know about you, but if you go out there and ask people whats the most exciting and most boring part of their game, i bet that Putting shows up a lot in the latter category.

-Ballflight - with all this technolgical advance, couldnt we expect by now to clearly see the ball flying and tracking it from a position that is relative to the pin? Instead we see a ball painted against the sky for 8 seconds but you have no idea where it is going. Further, they have technology like ProTracer from time to time, but not a consistent basis and not on every hole. It would be so much more intresting to see the different kinds of shot types these guys play, from the tee as well as the fairway.

  • When somebody gets into contention, lets say by sticking an approach on a par 5 to 8 feet - all they show is the putt, but most often not, how he got there, which would be a lot more intresting than watching him sink an 8footer for eagle. That is probably because they dont have enough cameras around to cover everything.

  • I´d love to listen in to caddy/player dicussions on a regular basis when they discuss upcoming shots.

So you have all this new equipment playing on tour nowadays, but the television coverage/concept compared to it, is from the stoneage. The goal should be to entertain the viewer and at the same time maintain the respect and traditions for the game, which imo can be achieved without too many problems.

And of course such things cost a lot of money for the Tour, but the last time i checked, Finchem´s paycheck off 5mil/year should be a good indication that they are not exactly cashstrapped.

Everything that had to do with golf discussed this matter to death - who won again?
But i pretty much had the same thought on it, just learn to hit the fairway and you dont get into trouble in the first place.

I think miked up caddies and players would be good, the problem of course is the potential for an f-bomb while kids are watching. The other stuff is just too expensive for the tv companies.

Probably best they show the putting, because this is actually what the guys on tour do best. It certainly isn’t their ability to drive the ball in the fairway, and if I see another top tour player miss another shot 40 feet left of the hole with a wedge in their hand, I’ll be switching the channel as fast as I can find the remote.

For the amount of money they are making, we should be seeing top shelf ball striking. Apparently the general public either has no awareness of the issue, or they simply don’t care…

But I do.