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How to Make Golf on TV Better to Watch

By: | Fri 10 Feb 2023

IF YOU regularly watch golf on TV you will know that in this country, Sky Sports leads the way. 

The BBC have all but given up on the sport, leaving the way open for the satellite broadcaster. When you don’t have competition it is all too easy to become complacent and rest on your laurels. It is, therefore, to Sky’s eternal credit that they have continued to innovate.

They have by far the best commentary team, the best on-course analysts and best front men and women. 

At the 148th Open Championship, Sky Sports launched Sky Scope: its new free-viewpoint swing analysis segment. Featuring an incredible use of volumetric capture technology, it allows a full 360-degree inspection of a golfer’s swing and for pundits to analyse it like never before. And it is incredible. I also love their shot-tracker.

But how could they further improve their coverage?

You won’t be surprised to learn that I have some ideas.

Sky Sports Golf

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

As good as the likes of Ewen Murray, Robert Lee, Mark Roe, Paul McGinley and Andrew Coltart are, I want to hear them being more critical of players who throw tantrums. 

The best golfers in the world earn millions. What they do is not life and death - it is entertainment. The likes of Jon Rahm, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton need to be reminded of that fact and taken to task for being so damn grumpy.

And let’s see them being tackled about it in post-round interviews rather than the usual anodyne nonsense that we are usually subjected to.

I am a big fan of the Open Zone-type sessions where top golfers demonstrate shots. But why not ask members of the gallery to come out and hit shots under the eye of these superstars?

Occasionally players agree to be miked up and it does provide an insight of sorts, but the problem is that you just know that when a golfer is wearing a microphone he is going to be rather more aware of what he is saying than when he is not. 

And, of course, the players who agree to wear a mic tend to be golfers we would describe as journeymen.

What I want is to see Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton being wired for sound. I do, of course, fully appreciate that Sky might end up having to apologise for Hatton’s language or apply a delay and then end up having to bleep him. 

But here’s the thing…if he knew that the world was listening in all the time then it stands to reason that he would reduce his propensity for swearing. And let’s face it, Tyrrell Hatton is a funny man.

Better yet, why not embrace everything that technology has to offer by inserting tiny cameras into players’ caps? This would allow us to see the game the way that they do.

I also wonder why the on-course commentators don’t spend more time with the galleries, asking for their views, who they are rooting for and why.

And let’s get into the fanzone please to sample the atmosphere and rate the food and drink for those of us sitting watching back at home.

So, what would you like to see added to make golf on TV even better to watch?

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