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Watching Golf Live vs Watching Golf on TV

By: | Sun 22 Sep 2019

Recently, I wrote about the high of my first ever live golf tournament, the thrill that I got the first time that I ducked under the ropes and got to see the pros, including many of my golfing heroes, in the flesh. It was a brilliant experience and one which I’ll never forget. As I get older though, I find myself less and less willing to fork out the £50 (not to mention all the additional costs like petrol, lunch money and so on) to go and watch competitions live. This year was the first in some time that I didn't to Wentworth, breaking a several year streak. When it comes to watching golf, if not yet playing it, I’ve become a couch potato.

Live Golf is So Expensive

As much as I love the glamour of watching a live event, however, the truth is that its pleasures are overrated. First off, there’s the problem of cost. I’ve hinted at this already, but, for max impact, it’s worth taking the time to spell it out. Here’s the full list of costs I would have incurred had I seen Wentworth live instead of on the TV. Ticket: £50 (roundabout); petrol: £15 (again, speaking approximately); lunch and snacks: £20-30; obligatory Wentworth memorabilia: £10. Roughly £100 then for the day, compared to maybe £5 (spent on Doritoes and dips) for sitting in front of the tele. That could buy you a new putter!

The Views are Better on TV

So from a monetary perspective it’s fair to say that TV is the winner. But what about the experience? Well, there’s certainly something magical about seeing the pros in the flesh. But once that initial buzz of watching Rory McIlroy moonball a towering 5 iron has worn off, the experience is decidedly less stellar. I say watching Rory McIlroy hit a shot, but crammed behind 6 lines of sweaty fellow crowd-members, it can often be difficult to tell. Though you can sometimes get a good view of the action, more commonly your view is blocked by a swarm of people, TV towers or various other of the minutiae that get filtered out on the TV shots but exist to foil the sight lines of the live spectator.

Watching Golf on TV is More Relaxing

Even socially, I’m not sure that watching golf live is the best way to experience it. Though I felt a little guilty, breaking my several year Wentworth streak, I had a great time watching the tournament on TV. It’s easy to overlook it when you’re swept up in the excitement of a live event, but watching golf in the flesh is exhausting. Seriously. When you’re not struggling to get a good view, most of the rest of your time is spent running around, trying to keep up with your favourite players, or bustling a way through the crowds, which doesn’t leave much time for socialising. This year, with me, a couple of good friends and a bag of Doritoes clustered around the TV, I had a much more relaxing time. I could even pause the action for a chat with my friends.


All in all, then, watching golf on tele is the way to go. If you haven’t seen an event live, you should definitely do it – there’s nothing quite like spotting Tiger Woods in his famous red shirt or seeing any other well-known golfer in real life – but if you’ve already experienced the magic, I’d advise you to save yourself the money, the hassle and your energy, and stay home. Bolstered by some suitably high-calorie snacks and some company, there’s no doubt that an afternoon in front of the tele is the superior spectator experience.

Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography

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Tags: Wentworth Live golf golf on tv daily picks bmw pga championship

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