Johnny Miller: Can Golf Commentating Get More Negative?

Yes, Yes, Yes, the mentality of the TV Producers to mandate that golf be viewed like a team event is really wearing on me.  Gone are the days when Lord Byron was on the tube and gave you lively stories on each player’s swing and reasoning on why they made a shot instead of Johnny Miller’s claim they hit the hit ‘about two groves too high on the club’ or ‘Gary, even though this is a 50ft putt it is really makeble for anyone who qualifies for the US Open’.  All things that the novice or non-golfers can really understand..(yaw, right!)

Now we have to hear from Chris Burman on the ESPN coverage of the US Open ask questions  and make statements in terms that sound more like someone who wants to appear ‘cool’ when in fact he has no idea what he is talking about.  Coming across as cheesy as someone saying…the putt he made was really Groovy.  But, the jocks like him because he is the guy they listen to while spilling beer all over the living room floor yelling at the screen like… ‘Kill the Bum’, ‘Hit him where it hurts’ and ‘Come on Ref, get with the program’. So, these guys think, ‘if Chris is covering this golf thing, it must be Cool’  Thus, the ‘U-da-Man’ mentality was evolved.

On the other hand you have the Masters, where due to political arrogance, have no commercials to fill the air so it is much calmer.  It could be that it is that way my designed since the Masters controls everything about the event and may go so far as to have someone in the booth to direct, or oversee the direction, of how the tournament is aired.  Whatever they do, it comes across as probably more like how Golf really feels than any of the event.

As far as the US Open, yes, the same should be true, but there is a difference in the US Open than any other golf tournament, outside of the FBR in
Phoenix, where the crowds who attend the event may not be as pure golfer as at the Masters or British Open.  The US Open is more of an outing for anyone who wants to watch a very difficult sport.  And that could why they keep the event up in the Northeast where people are starved for outdoor events.  So, people with the ‘full contact’ mentality want to get out of the house so they go to a golf tournament to, as has been said, watch for the ‘meltdowns’, ‘train wreaks’, ‘car crashes’, ‘busted helmets’, ‘broken bones’ or players jumping into the crowds (looks like they got their wish at this year’s US Open).

So, I say more needs to be done to let the media know what they are doing to the game.  If the game of golf is to grow, as it should, more people who care about golf need to take action and express their opinions.  More needs to be done to tell the sponsors of the event how disgusting it is to watch the bastardization of a game that does not fit in the model of NASCAR or NHL marketing.

I say it is time to stand up and voice our objections to how our intelligence being insulted with negative attitudes from Johnny Miller’s and glamorous presentations from the Chris Burman’s in hopes the producers of these televised events will get back to telling the viewers more about how golf works and is played instead of what product we need to buy so they can get paid. 




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