ABC’s Golf Coverage Sucks!
This was originally intended to be a small part of a piece about the The Open Championship but I feel the need to vent this morning.
Being an early riser myself, I look forward every year to getting up Sunday morning and watching the final round of The British Open. And every year I’m annoyed by ABC/TNT’s coverage of the event. This year seems to be worse than ever. Apparently, the producers at those networks think that golf fans aren’t really interested in watching golf.
Believe me, I understand the need to set the tone for the broadcast but this is ridiculous. Golf is a deliberate game as it is and there should be ample time to talk about an individual player while he’s on the course. I don’t even like going to the driving range myself much less watching someone else, even professionals, bang practice balls while 16 talking heads comment on their chances. It’s one thing for them to profile Tom Watson’s potentially historic drive for an Open title at 59 years old. It’s quite another to show Steve Marino on the range TWO HOURS(!) before his scheduled tee time.
TNT showed Edgerton native Steve Stricker’s opening tee shot and never showed him again. ABC’s “broadcast” began at 7 a.m. CDT. They didn’t show an actual shot that counted until 7:33 and that was 16 year old Italian amateur Matteo Manassero missing a birdie putt. And then they immediately went to a commercial. In fact, in their first hour of “coverage”, ABC showed exactly ONE SHOT hit off the fairway.
People who are interested in a pre-tournament show for these events are welcome to tune into the Golf Channel. They are better equipped to handle such things; indeed, they are set up to do so. When I tune into the British Open, I would like to see actual golf being played.
Next year, broadcast rights to The Open are being transferred entirely to ESPN, making it the first major championship to be shown entirely on cable. It’ll being interesting to see if there are any changes to the presentation of the event. But since ESPN is under the same umbrella as ABC, I’m not holding out much hope. Maybe next year I’ll just record it so I can fast forward through the first two hours until real golf is shown.