“I Yam what I Yam”
We are in the midst of enduring the least watchable golf tournament on television The A T and T Pebble Beach Pro Am ( at least the first three rounds). It’s a parade of pseudo celebrities, corporate big wigs and various figures from the world of sports. Some might be big shots in their spheres of influence but most are mostly marginal when it comes to hitting golf shots.
The “TV people” torture us by shoving these folks down our throats when, for goodness sake, “Phil is GOING LOW over at MPCC!”
Here’s a news flash… The production people in the CBS trucks couldn’t care less that you’re upset and I’m okay with that.
This event used to be about the intriguing combination of golf’s great players, Hollywood and sport’s biggest stars and one of the most beautiful places on the planet. It’s not CBS golf’s fault that the field is diminished and the stars don’t burn quite as bright. They don’t pick who gets invited. But it is still one of earth’s most glorious backdrops and I applaud the production team for staying true to the tournament’s roots. I know what I’m getting going in so I watch in spite of that or I don’t watch at all. Other people complain. That would be like eating at Golden Corral and complaining that the lines are long and the steak is tough.
Once upon a time we got “Der Bingle”, Jack Lemmon, Clint Eastwood and Joe DiMaggio. Now we get “Boomer”, Andy Garcia, Ray Romano and Tom Brady. A downgrade for sure but again CBS doesn’t care. Friday was another salvo of showing semi stars and backscratching business bigwigs. Mix in a few painful interviews with the guys who “put Irish golf on the map”, a hundred shots of the Pacific Ocean (with or without ocean dwellers) and you have CBS’ vision of a cable golf show. Then golf’s version of a carnival barkers sideshow moves to network television and we get the same beauty shots and painful interviews, this time with what amounts to the “A listers” these days. Oh and don’t forget those unforgettable swing analyses.
But you have to understand it’s all part of a calculated plan. CBS will broadcast 22 PGA TOUR events in 2016. That’s 88 television shows. They are more than happy to take three of them, compartmentalize them in a tiny, mostly unwatchable, box and slap an “open at your own peril” stamp on it. Producer Lance Barrow said as much to Martin Kaufmann in a recent Golfweek article ( http://www.golfweek.com ). Again I’m absolutely fine with that. I’m not shocked that people still watch it but I am slightly surprised that they still watch, then complain.
Sunday is mostly pros but amateurs are sprinkled in. After all it IS the A T and T Pebble Beach National PRO-AM! It’s been that way forever, it’ll be that way forevermore, watch or save yourself the aggravation and don’t. It IS what it IS.