2020 PGA Tour

Also shame on Kostis for not calling Reed out to the officials.
Interesting question...should journalists get involved in the stories they're covering? Not that Kostis was a "journalist" in the traditional sense of the word, but Jim Nantz caught holy hell from many quarters for getting involved in the Tiger drop controversy on #15 at Augusta, and if Kostis had accused Reed of cheating and tried to get him DQed, that might have significantly affected his broadcasting career.

(I'm reminded of the AP photographer in Saigon in 1963, I think it was, who photographed the first Buddhist monk to set himself on fire in protest of the budding war in Vietnam - I think he said he was in position to potentially stop the suicide from happening, but that wasn't his job, so...)
 

cshea

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Kostis said he was always followed a “report the story, don’t be the story” rule of thumb.

It’s the old argument about golf being a gentleman’s game. You’re supposed to call infractions on yourself, not tattle tale on everyone else.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Fair question. This is my personal wish list off the top of my head, and I recognize I'm not a typical viewer and it may not all be feasible.
  • Stop with the unending commercials and promotions. At one point Sunday we had seen Jimmy Fallon swing a golf club more than Max Homa due to the amount and repetitive nature of commercials. The Aon Risk Reward/Fedex Cup Updates/Konika Minolta Swing Vision/CEO interviews take way more front and center placement than the golf does. I know bills need to be paid, but it's infuriating to me as a viewer. All of these kill the flow and make all of the other things I'd like to see more difficult to do. Fox's US Open and the Masters Broadcast are the two best TV viewing experiences in golf, for these reasons in my opinion.
  • Give me more player/caddie audio. I want to know what they're thinking/deciding and what their plans are for the shot. Mic up the caddy bags and only broadcast the convo on delay (or even after the shots) but have that audio there. That shit is like crack to me.
  • Do more split screens - showing two guys at the same time is totally fine, and often enhances the drama if their shots/putts are to tie or go ahead of each other. Moving to a more Redzone style approach showing a ton of shots simultaneously would be interesting to at least try, especially in the earlier rounds. Showing where players are on the course/hole itself helps provide context too, with overhead graphics of where each players tee shots ended up, for example.
  • Find a way to bring the viewer into what the story is behind the shots. I fully recognize that this is probably the most difficult, but seeing more than just "this is a putt for par" without knowing how the round/hole played out loses some of the impact. Obviously the larger the leaderboard the more difficult this is.
  • More deep dive on the course early in the round. I love the heat maps showing where players ended up (and avoided) and how the hole is designed to encourage or discourage certain strategies.
  • Show more tee and approach shots and less putts. Unless we're getting to the back 9 of Sunday, I don't need to see Tour players cleaning up 2-3 footers that they make 90% of the time. If they miss it, show it later, but I love seeing them hit full swing shots, which is where they are truly elite.
  • New camera angles - back the cameras further away from the players. Let me see the depth and scope of shots from a wider vantage point, and keep using the Top Tracer (TM) on those.

Again - I'm not the typical viewer and I recognize there is a sliding scale of what's feasible here. But I think even trying some of these things would be a huge step forward.
For the first, I like the Swing Vision for bad shots. For a 340 drive down the middle, there is not much takeaway from that. But for a 160 yard chunk (cold top I saw it called here ) , or a duck hook, or a hosel rocket... that is what I want to see the analysis of. Mainly because I am guilty of all of those, but I imagine 95% of all viewers are. Let us see what happened that led to it. Maybe that is just the educator in me.

Get rid of "Now we go to 18, where some random player who is 20 shots off the lead is hitting his approach in/has a 70 foot putt for birdie"- yes, he makes it, we know.


I love the mic'd up idea- Is there a player's union/ would they need to ok this?
 

Average Reds

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Interesting question...should journalists get involved in the stories they're covering? Not that Kostis was a "journalist" in the traditional sense of the word, but Jim Nantz caught holy hell from many quarters for getting involved in the Tiger drop controversy on #15 at Augusta, and if Kostis had accused Reed of cheating and tried to get him DQed, that might have significantly affected his broadcasting career.

(I'm reminded of the AP photographer in Saigon in 1963, I think it was, who photographed the first Buddhist monk to set himself on fire in protest of the budding war in Vietnam - I think he said he was in position to potentially stop the suicide from happening, but that wasn't his job, so...)
As the person who made the comment you reference, let me state unequivocally that the two situations are not close to being comparable.

Nantz caught holy hell because (1) he followed up with rules officials and attempted to impose an outcome that was not called for in the rules, (2) he pushed the story of the rules violation hard the next day without reporting his part in it, and (3) after being corrected on the rules he (along with others on the broadcast) implied that Tiger had a moral obligation to withdraw and continued to push this angle for some time on the broadcast.

I have not yet heard the interview, so I don’t know enough to offer an opinion on what Kostis should have done. That said, I don’t see the two situations as being remotely similar.
 

cshea

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Would he? I don't think that's accurate. There's a way to go about this that doesn't cause a shit storm.
Kostis implies that part of the reason he was let go by CBS was because he refused to mention 500 FedEx points when doing the post round interview with the tournament winner. The Tour leaned on CBS, Kostis stood his ground, and eventually CBS took the interview away from Kostis and didn’t renew his contract. Given how much the Tour has bent over backwards to protect Reed since the incident, I don’t think it is out of question he would’ve lost his job had he called out infractions on Reed or any other player.

I don’t think Kostis can really quietly do it either. He’s there to report on the players, they’d probably go nuts if they found out he was snitching.
 

cshea

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Elsewhere in the professional golf world, the PGL is still at the forefront of discussion. There was a presentation done on the league to several top players and agents last week at Riviera. Phil, Brooks, DJ, Rose, Bryson, Reed were among those in attendance. Phil is apparently ready to make a decision soon, and I’d imagine he’ll be jumping in headfirst.

The NLU guys reported on their Riviera wrap-up pod that Tiger has $200-$250 million offer on the table from the PGL, but there is a lot of skepticism that he’ll actually take it.

Rory became the first “no” today at his WGC Mexico press conference today.

View: https://twitter.com/bobharig/status/1230166242432077824?s=21
 

jercra

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For the first, I like the Swing Vision for bad shots. For a 340 drive down the middle, there is not much takeaway from that. But for a 160 yard chunk (cold top I saw it called here ) , or a duck hook, or a hosel rocket... that is what I want to see the analysis of. Mainly because I am guilty of all of those, but I imagine 95% of all viewers are. Let us see what happened that led to it. Maybe that is just the educator in me.
They have Trackman on every tee box but only a certain amount of cameras with TopShot tracking so it's really about showing the data when they have it. There's also no guarantee that either system picks up the terrible shots with any accuracy. To some degree, I think, there's also the idea that they're trying to highlight just how good these guys are, not that they're human. To another degree, I think, these are actually humans and they're probably much happier to see their highlights, not their lowlights on TV.

Get rid of "Now we go to 18, where some random player who is 20 shots off the lead is hitting his approach in/has a 70 foot putt for birdie"- yes, he makes it, we know.
There are only so many shots happening at once though. Going to 18 to watch someone make a 70 foot putt isn't dramatic, but it's more interesting than watching Rory stand on the tee waiting for the group in front of him to find their ball in the woods.

I love the mic'd up idea- Is there a player's union/ would they need to ok this?
Strictly speaking, there's no union but the PGA Tour is made up of the players themselves so it kind of functions that way. There is more than one reason the players and caddies aren't mic'd though. First, they really don't want to have to think about everything they say being televised while their trying to golf. Second, and most importantly, is that it could lead to a competitive advantage. Players could easily have people in the stands listening in to broadcasts to hear what other players are hitting, what their though process is, what conditions are like in certain areas of the course, etc. I'd guess it's similar to why there's no baseball broadcast that includes nothing but mic'd up dugouts and bullpens.
 

cshea

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They mic’d up players on the KFT this season. I believe they only did it for the featured groups in the first 2 rounds. It was pretty great, in addition to the player/caddie conversations and decision making, the real time player reaction to their shots was great. Maybe it is something PGA Tour Live can utilize?

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t need the Trackman stats on screen. I’m much more interested in the Top Tracer which gives the viewer a sense of the line, trajectory and movement of the hall.
 

jercra

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They mic’d up players on the KFT this season. I believe they only did it for the featured groups in the first 2 rounds. It was pretty great, in addition to the player/caddie conversations and decision making, the real time player reaction to their shots was great. Maybe it is something PGA Tour Live can utilize?

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t need the Trackman stats on screen. I’m much more interested in the Top Tracer which gives the viewer a sense of the line, trajectory and movement of the hall.
They did it for the Skins event prior to the Zozo in Japan too, but that was an exhibition. I'm sure they'll continue to do it on KFT. Those players have a lot less sway than tour players.

Just FYI, both Trackman and TopTracer provide the ball flight visualization. The stats are just something extra you get from Trackman.
 

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He said it’s the only time he’s ever been able to render McCord speechless.

And yeah - that clip is something else in hindsight.
 

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The folks down here are gearing up for The Players and the inaugural "Every Shot Live" coverage. It will be quite the technology task. Looks like at least 70 cameras (20 mobile and 50 static) will be in the mix to make it happen.
 

ezemerson

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Apparently don't need the app cuz it's on TV...wtf...what am I paying for then....also these broadcasters are brutal
 

cshea

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If you like carnage, tune in to the Honda. Only 19 players under par. Bogeys and doubles everywhere you look. Koepka is +7, Oosthuizen +9 to name a few of the bigger names in the field. Throwing in back about 10 years, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald are a top the early leaderboard.
 

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Nope. Some wind but otherwise it's perfect. This course is in their heads.

On the 2nd hole, we saw Lowry fat chunk a wedge coming up 30 yards short of the green (from the middle of the fairway), Woodland skinny shank a wedge short of the green from the same spot, and Oosty intentionally hit one into the same greenside bunker that he was currently in. And they're all in the same group. It was amazing.
 

kenneycb

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Anyone know what happened to Matt Every on the 5th hole? He got an 11, so I'm assuming it was a Tin Cup situation into the drink but he kinda broke Shot Tracker on PGATour.com
 

FL4WL3SS

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Nope. Some wind but otherwise it's perfect. This course is in their heads.

On the 2nd hole, we saw Lowry fat chunk a wedge coming up 30 yards short of the green (from the middle of the fairway), Woodland skinny shank a wedge short of the green from the same spot, and Oosty intentionally hit one into the same greenside bunker that he was currently in. And they're all in the same group. It was amazing.
What's a skinny shank?
 

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Skinny... thin... low on the grooves or even bladed. Opposite of fat... chunky... behind the ball.

Shank... off the heel with some shaft contact.

They feel like very different mutually exclusive mis-hits. I guess you can mis low on the clubface and way in toward the shaft but you're getting close to whiffing on the ball entirely at that point.
 

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Skinny... thin... low on the grooves or even bladed. Opposite of fat... chunky... behind the ball.

Shank... off the heel with some shaft contact.

They feel like very different mutually exclusive mis-hits. I guess you can mis low on the clubface and way in toward the shaft but you're getting close to whiffing on the ball entirely at that point.
This is pretty much what I meant. It was thin and shanky, not a full shank but hosel adjacent.
 

cshea

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McDonald tied with Steele. Been a long, long time since he’s been a factor on a weekend. Ranked 457 in the world.

Woodland with a 15 handicapper chunk from the middle of the fairway and 115 out. That was wild.
 

patinorange

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I am watching this on my DVR. NBC is unwatchable with these commercials. They must know this and don’t care. Or they are idiots and don’t realize it. Christie Kerr seems to have a pleasant voice but doesn’t have a clue where the ball is going, where it landed, or if it’s a good or bad shot. Shaky debut.
 

ernieshore

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They know and they don’t care. It is absolutely brutal today.
Plus, add in how NBC magically cuts to shots of people they’ve never shown before dunking their ball in the water — and acting like it’s live.

Kostis called them out on this, and it’s very obvious today.
 

jercra

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Plus, add in how NBC magically cuts to shots of people they’ve never shown before dunking their ball in the water — and acting like it’s live.

Kostis called them out on this, and it’s very obvious today.
What are they supposed to do? The majority of shots you see on TV are "slipped" because the entire course is filled with people hitting shots at the same time. They usually don't say anything about how live or slipped a shot is.
 

Lupe Whalewatch

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Textbook really poor, under pressure decision making by Fleetwood and caddy there. They both basically agreed he didn’t have that shot, but went ahead and tried it anyway. Pull a seven iron out and know it down the fairway left of the green and get up and down from 50 yards for playoff.