Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Pebble Beach Pro-Am Has Become Unwatchable

On Saturday, after a great morning of breakfast and a few range balls, I plumped down on the couch and turned my television to the only thing I cared about in sports - golf. I flipped it on CBS, I sipped my Diet Coke, and awaited a wonderful afternoon of watching some of the best in the word play the sport I loved.

But I didn't get that. Not even close. For ten minutes I watched as actor/athlete/director/billionaire hit golf shots that make me literally feel bad for the first time ever for dirt. I cringed at Ray Romano snap-hooked a short iron on the 12th hole, nearly killing some of the people paying money to watch professionals do their job, and then Anthony Anderson hit an identical shot that went screaming at the poor fans.

I then got some puff interviews with both players, with questions that not even my 3-year-old nephew would think was good journalism.

But I patiently waited ... surely CBS would show us the golf we wanted. It never came. Not even close.

Before I even heard the name "Steve Marino" mentioned (in case you were wondering who that is, he's the guy leading the tournament after three rounds), I saw interviews with a current NFL coach and a former one. I saw actors attempting to be funny. Bill Murray was wearing some tall red hat that not even Halloweeners would have thought was amusing.

It was, in as simple of terms as I can put it, unwatchable television, which is funny, because a lot of the people that they were talking to are entertainers FOR A LIVING.

Listen CBS, I get it. Once a year you have to tickle the chin of the rich and famous at a golf course most dream of playing so that they might do something back for you. Once a year, the PGA Tour becomes David Letterman's couch, and we must sit and enjoy what they have to say. But it's bullshit, and it isn't fair to real golf fans. The Pebble Beach Pro-Am isn't the Pro Bowl, it's an event that has past winners named Jack NIcklaus, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. It's a respectable event on the PGA Tour that means a lot if you win it. So why is it so hard to show actual golf?

I have no idea who the producer of the event was, but I'd like to send him a memo - nobody at home (nobody!) cares about these non-golfers actually playing golf. Give us a lame interview once an hour, and then get on with it. It should never be the case that you're showing more amateurs golfing than actual professionals. Ever been to a driving range and seen a stick hitting 280-yard three-woods while a couple of old guys are huddling up behind him to watch? Ever notice that the same old guys are NEVER huddling up behind some hacker who hasn't found the sweet spot since the Nixon administration? It's because WE ALL SEE THIS DAILY IN OUR OWN GOLF GAMES!

Please stop doing what you're doing. It's embarrassing to the game, it's rude to real fans, and it makes CBS, the best at what they do in the golf world, look like, well, amateurs.


seak said...

For anyone wondering why TW no longer competes in the event, Saturday was a great example.

The event has turned into a joke/sideshow. For a competitive tour pro trying to win, I would imagine it's pretty close to torture (at least it would be for me)

Front9Back9 Golf Blog said...

Could not agree more. I found myself watching more college basketball.

Anonymous said...

No wonder the top 3 in the world didn't play. Why would anyone not named Mickelson put up with almost 6 hour rounds of golf?

Tommy said...

Geez Guys, chill!
It's one afternoon a year. The golf industry needs to expand its base. You can watch just the top players on Golf Channel the other 364. Sunday pm you'll get your Phil,D.A., and Steve back.

Saturday at Pebble has always been thus...