‘The Red Button’

Introduction

Only a few weeks to The Masters. The one that normally kicks off the season for most of us. We grab the clubs from wherever we hid them during the winter and imagine we are strolling the manicured fairways of Augusta National. Hearing that golf music on the BBC (it’s in your head now isn’t it) still gives me Goosebumps. It’s sad now that Sky has the monopoly on all four Majors as their format in my opinion has gone a bit stale.

My post today is all about how we watch the game these days. Am I the only one who thinks it hasn’t really changed at all over the last twenty years? Granted we are getting lots of stats, ball tracer etc. But we are still only seeing the players the director of whatever channel we watch it on wants us to see (Unless Tigers playing)

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Golf coverage

Why hasn’t Golf gone the way soccer did with Player Cam or Fan Zone! I would only love if I had an option to shadow a player during a round. I mean the minute he arrives on site the camera is on him. I would love to know what he does step for step before he tees off, then watch all his pre-shot routines and listen to his conversations with his caddy, I’d even love to know what he eats and drinks during his round.

Sky’s coverage sometimes starts with a few minutes of players warming up on the range, I know for the average golfer this isn’t that interesting to watch but if I had the option to watch this feed via the red button I’d probably watch more of that then the live coverage, especially during the early rounds. Any of the live events I’ve been to in the past I always find myself standing at the range for hours watching the Pro’s practice.

Fan Zone, Imagine a couple of weekend golfers commentating, now that would be TV gold. Just calling shots as they see them, no favouritism. Forget Monty regurgitating his near misses, Ewan Murray constantly giving us players Ryder Cup records and well let’s just forget Bruce Critchley.

I know we are lucky to get live golf nearly fifty two weeks of the year but listening to the same questions at the Sky Cart “So tell us how you felt out there today?” over and over is just lazy broadcasting, Watching the leaders on a Saturday and Sunday and then we flash to another player, suddenly we all turn to fortune tellers because we know he’s going to hole that putt or chip in.

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Golf coverage in the future

Saturday just gone we got a great surprise when Padraig Harrington joined Mark Roe for a couple of hours in the Commentary box. For a dull enough tournament this made interesting viewing. To have an active player give up his time like that was amazing and hearing his point of view on what he was watching made the evening. I know this would not be possible each week but we really got a glimpse at what could happen in the future.

I suppose what I’m getting at is with smart TVs surely we should be able to hit the red button and watch who we want, on what hole we want, whenever we want.

I know this probably won’t happen any time soon but at least in the mean time we have the mute button because I’m sure a certain Mr Montgomerie is going through his vocal exercises as we speak in preparation for his spot in the Sky Sports Studio in a few weeks.

Yours in golf,

Rob Lawless,
Golf Blogger,

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