The Loop

10 parts of the golf broadcast we wish we could skip

November 12, 2019

Of the many gifts of Netflix, the skip button is one that does not receive its proper fanfare. It's like the remote control from "Click," only real! You can't put a price on those precious 14 seconds of fast-forwarding through "The Office" intro, and though we didn't understand "Bandersnatch," the mere notion that we have the ability to jump to conclusions is comforting. The skip button's latest iteration comes to us via Seth Meyers' "Lobby Baby" comedy special, in which users can bypass political commentary (Note: There's a catch, but we won't spoil the surprise).

Which got us thinking: If given the chance, how could we apply this to golf? For as much as we love the sport, its presentation can be, at times, stale. So with the imaginary power of the aforementioned technology, here are 10 parts of a typical golf telecast we would skip.

The painful interview with the tournament sponsor CEO on Sunday afternoon

These exchanges stop the coverage cold. Just have Jim Nantz read the community impact numbers like he's spouting off an "NCIS" promo and get on with it.

Pre-shot routines

If the mics pick up a colorful exchange between a caddie and player, by all means show it, but no need to see four fake swings before the real one. Speaking of which:

Patrick Cantlay’s fidgets and waggles

Watching Cantlay’s tee-to-green game is a joy. The pre-shot restlessness, however, is maddening, and contagious. MY GOD MAN, HIT THE BALL.

Blimp aerials

A friend who works in Hollywood told me overheard shots in film are Band-Aids for holes in a script. Essentially, the director doesn't know how to transition from scene to scene, or the movie needs to kill time. It's hard to forget this tidbit when watching a golf broadcast and its two dozen aerial panoramas.

New rule: One blimp view every two hours. Anything else is gratuitous. While we are here ...

Beach activity

Counting alternate events, roughly a third of PGA Tour venues are near a large body of water. So watching someone surf or walking a dog on the sand isn't as anomalous to a golf scene as producers like to convey.

Video essays

Not as systematic as the above, usually applying to only the big events. And some are really good! However, golf is already long as is. Let's not cut away from action for five minutes of a puff piece that belongs in a pre-tournament show.


J.B. Holmes’ plumb-bobbing

Little-know fact: Video of J.B. lining up a putt has been deemed cruel and unusual punishment by The Hague.

Frequent full-screen scoreboards

The mini-board is omnipresent in a corner of the screen or in the bottom scroll, so no need for a reminder of the top 15 every commercial break.

And yes, you know where this next one is going...

FedEx Cup standing updates before August

I know, ripping this is like ridiculing Taco Bell, reality TV or hipsters. But just because it's overworked doesn't mean it's not true.

Mark Rolfing waxing poetic on the Kona winds

On second thought, just mute. That fire in his eyes can light a thousand torches.