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« GCA Q&A With David Eger | Main | Tiger Commits To Torrey Pines »
Wednesday
Jan092013

Notah Replaces Dottie

Not a big surprise that Notah Begay has been officially hired by Golf Channel, but I am surprised to see he's been thrown in to the difficult on-course reporter job for network broadcasts with minimal experience. 

Brian Wacker reports:

"I'm absolutely thrilled to join the Golf Channel and NBC golf broadcast teams," Begay said. "The game of golf is as exciting as ever and I look forward to utilizing my extensive experience to provide viewers with insight into the competition and its players."

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Reader Comments (47)

On course (either hole or player specific) could potentially be easier that doing overall color. Less generic talking, more directed response. (eg. "Let's check in with Notah about that bunker lie that Bubba just had ..." Begay speaks about the bunker. the shot, etc... then we're back to the overall chatter.

Just an idea.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
Kelly T's plan become Mrs. Tiger Woods proceeds apace.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
ain't gonna work, but they are hiring...who's next?
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
TGC make some inspired hires (Miceli aside), I still can't believe that SI let Damon Hack go.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStord
It'll be interesting to see what they do with Matty G...he's got some break-out potential.

As for Begay, the on-course stuff should be easier for a pro....just reacting to shots/situations the players face. He's at his weakest when asked to analyze Tiger, way too protective.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMedia maven
What MM said.

Notah certainly seems very intelligent, and he has a lot of character, given his past stand upp-edness, or however you say that.

He is too wamby pamby about TW though. That dog won't hunt.

Best wishes to him.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Notah might be Tiger's bff, he's at least on the short list, but I'm not sure how that's any diff than Nobilo with some of his buds, or Chamblee with the guys he plays golf with etc. Really Tiger prob gets more negative critiques abut his golf game than anyone else - and he won 3x last year, that's pretty nuts.

As to Notah as an on course reporter, I am hoping to be surprised. He def knows the game, and he seems like a good guy, but he's never struck me as a natural on his feet in front of the camera. I imagine he'll be able to get a post rd interview with Tiger though :P
01.9.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
On course reporters can be muted, hole announcer have to talk when the leaders come through. Seems like a good spot to break him in slowly.
A decent college player who looks and sounds like he's taking Valium before the camera rolls. Inspired, really inspired.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
tlavin-- ever see ''mountain man'' on Duck Dynasty?

Notah sounds like a meth addict.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Good offer of a good opportunity to a good fellow. His BFF status with Eldrick notwithstanding, I hope he succeeds in all his nalyst endevours. I've no reason to think he won't. Go Tree!
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPasaplayer
Sorry to not agree, but the best on-course reporters get in and out quickly and from what I've seen of Notah he has insights, but they are slow to come out. I hope I'm wrong, but I thought Dottie was the most underrated announcer in golf because she could get in her thoughts, some commentary and let you know the key stuff in rapid fire fashion. I think that's a unique talent.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOB
OB makes a good point...apples to oranges, but most were certain Ben Crenshaw would be tremendous in the booth. He was done by lunchtime due to being too nice and too slow to make his points. We live in an ADD world. Thoughtfulness is a sin.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjeff
"...decent college player..." Are you kidding?

Three time All-American including 1st Team in 1994. Is there something above 1st Team? Played on the 1994 NCAA Champion and shot 62 in that tourney. The best part is he graduated....from Stanford no less! Oh, and he was selected for the Walker Cup team in 1995.

Then he turned pro and shot 59 in a Nike Tour event, played his way onto the PGA Tour. Went out and won 2 times in his rookie year on the PGA Tour and backed that up with 2 more wins in 2000. Shortly thereafter hurt his back and it's been tough sledding competitively since then.

Notah's no saint and has had a couple slip-ups, and you may be inclined not to like him because of his association with Tiger...

...but to label him a "decent college player" is way removed from reality -- he was an elite talent.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
<< difficult on-course reporter job >>

Uhh....SINCE WHEN?

Name me an easier gig in all of broadcasting.

"Noah, what's he got?"

" 'Bout 145 with a little breeze helping. Little 9-iron. He could put this close."

Yeah... that's brutal. Too bad he sounds like his only lasting endorsement is with Sominex.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBenSeattle
Notah clearly admires the network model of people who talk without saying much and aspires to be like them. He does not burn to be lively, outspoken or different. His filter is very strong and obvious; he aims for the middle of the every green and with Tiger he lays up even on par 4s.. The media and industry people love this guy the way they love Judy "Best Announcer, Man or Woman" Rankin--he is a darling and they will not permit him to fail.
Ergo, he will succeed, but will not stand out.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoctor
Great, a Tiger Woods sycophant doing on-course reporting. Wonderful.

His previous TV experience mostly include occasional appearances on The Golf Channel's Live From when Tiger is playing. For the early rounds anyways. If Tiger shoots himself out of the tournament, Begay mysteriously disappears from the Live From Desk.

There is no way we would have heard of this guy beyond about 2003 if it wasn't for one thing: he's a Friend of Tiger.

That's what sitting in the audience at the "Tiger Woods Blue Velvet Curtain I'm So Sorry Now Fuck Off" apology speech will get ya.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
I thought Pepper did a good job. She reported the lie and other circumstances, the yardage, the club, and any other pertinent information. She did not try to be a comedian or ''the show.'' It sounds easy, but apparently some of her colleagues have difficulty with this.

Begay will do fine. He is only ~ 40. Did he retire from competitive golf because of back problems refractory to medical treatment?
01.10.2013 | Unregistered Commentergov. lepetomane
perfect for the golf channel, another Tiger lap dog to join the growing herd of more Tiger lap dogs, arf, arf, go fetch Notah
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
With one more win the annual Angry Award will be retired to ADG but I think we have an early contender to snatch it from his grasp!
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Abu Dhabi says it with a real edge, but what he's saying is basically spot on DTF. At least in my opinion.
I think Notah may be a nice guy - who knows?
Supposedly Notah is a friend of Tiger's - what does that mean? does T answer his phone when Notah is calling? Following hydrant-gate, Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley who were Tiger's friends, could not get him to take their calls. A few years after Barkley said he still could not get in contact with Tiger.
During the time Notah spent in front of the camera on the Golf Channel, I saw absolutely nothing that made me think that guy should play a larger role in the telecasts of golf and TV, either on course or not. That's not saying he's a terrible person or a bad guy, like I said, me may very well be a nice guy, but I hope they have done some test runs, because I just don't see it.

Now, if he calls Miller on some of his bone head mistakes, like saying "that sounded chunky" when someone knows it in the hole with backspin, I may change my thinking on him. ; )
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I don't think Notah is very good. Loved Dottie and will miss her.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
sorry, "knocks" it in the hole.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Hi Press Agent....I'm not really arguing with anything you say. Personally I haven't seen Notah on camera at any length so have no opinion on his ability, as an announcer, clearly as a player he is extremely accomplished.

What I don't get is why so much anger directed at Notah, all he did was say "yes" when offered a job.

If people are really angry about having to watch Notah on GC shouldn't the anger really be directed at them, the Golf Channel?

PS...not sure why anyone would care about whether or not Tiger answered Notah's calls but I think you can safely assume that he does.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF - I think you are making a mistake by calling it anger.

Instead, there is a lot of frustration, exasperation, and annoyance with NBC - NB3 has no obvious talent for the job and appears to be chosen because of who he knows and partially because of his non-golf backstory. There are good reasons to object to his hiring - and yet they may be good reasons to support it. Dottie really grew into the role, and she was fearless when there was a need to criticize something - "Freakin' Choking Dogs." The concern is as a replacement, we are just going to get some politically correct bland on-course reporter.

Honestly, I think he will be average and that might be okay. He is probably aware of the of his reputation as a Tiger buttkisser and I would imagine that he will try hard to be objective knowing this.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Hi Rob....

One post opened with "sycophant" and closed with "F*^# Off"......possibly I'm confusing anger with ribald enthusiasm? Then there's "lap dog....arf arf", and "decent college player", etc...

Look, there's no doubt Notah's connection with Tiger played a HUGE role in his attraction to Golf Channel. Notah has bills to pay too and in life you play the cards you're dealt, but again, he simply accepted the job -- same as Chelsea Clinton taking a reporting gig at NBC. Seems to me the displeasure or frustration or whatever you want to call is should be directed at Golf Channel but instead people want to tear down Notah because of his connection with Tiger.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
One of the more entertaining groupings of posts in some time.

DTF is right in his observations, but, while I am a supporter of Notah, t least until he proves me wrong, I can see how it is easy to diss him. He REALLY did roll over on his ''obsrvqations about TW''.

On Morning Drive he did say thwe hardest thing will be to be critical of his friends, ie: DA PROZ.... so we'll see.

Dottie was great.period..

The ''blue curtain''post is classic!
01.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Maybe Notah's new assignment is to shore up the noticeable lack of Navajos in prominent positions at the Golf Channel. After all, before he went to Stanford he grew up in Albuquerque. That alone gives him fresh perspective, which I look forward to.

There weren't that many Native Americans on tour that I can remember. Rod Curl was the first Native American to win a tour event, the 1974 Colonial. Then there was Frank Dufina, who worked the links a century ago. Ky Laffoon bragged of his Indian background, and had himself photographed wearing a war chief's headdress, but he was kidding. (Maybe the Ghost here has some added information.) Olympian Jim Thorpe SHOULD have played golf, but football and baseball were more attractive in the '20s.

Good luck to Notah, the first golf commentator without some sort of British accent in quite a while. My advice: Don't "utilize" your talents. Use them.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHodenfield
Dottie was pretty darn good

ADG- is there a list of all the audience members at the Blue drape event??
01.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Chicago pt -

Notah Begay III
Kaltida Woods
Ubiquitous Nike Girl - CEO of Golf div
Mark Steinberg
His kids' nanny
Filler in the form of half a dozen IMG Interns

Charlie Rymer was there in spirit, attested by his sudden on-camera weeping at the conclusion of the speech.

Although some members of the media were invited to listen to Woods' remarks, they were not allowed to ask questions. The large majority of reporters and media were housed at least half a mile away, where they watched the event on television.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
"blue curtain" Can you really blame ADB? A room full of Tiger buttkissers and everyone else stay out of the room but oh yeah please cover this event media lackeys. What a laffer that scene was, all huggie and kissie afterwards and we are supposed to buy into this staged horse doo-doo? Aren't there enough Tiger lickers on golf channel now? Do we really need another one? Just say No-tah.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Regarding Notah Begay, how about we wait and see how he does. Seems like a good guy. The earrings are nice, too.

As he turns 100, let us remember someone else who was not entirely convincing in front of a blue velvet curtain:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nixon_edited_transcripts.jpg
For the younger Shackelfordians, this was Nixon's attempt to placate his pursuers with bowdlerized transcripts of his taped Oval Office conversations that included lots of "expletives deleted" and not much on the ongoing conspiracy to obstruct justice, among other things.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Rethinking it a bit....the bar isn't exactly high for these kinds of gigs. Mark Rolfing has been around forever and I think he's awful. Plus, who could forget the legendary Jay Randolph's on course reporting...(Not me, but I'd like to though)
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
NB's a little bland for my taste, but give him a shot. Perhaps he'll grow into the role.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAverage Golfer
Rob....Dottie's 'choking freakin dogs' comments were made when she thought they were off air. How this transponds to her being 'fearless' escapes me.
Give Notah a chance, judge him by the work he produces
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
Hodenfield

John Shippen?
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat Burke
I have no feelings toward Notah as a person or a friend of TW but as an announcer, at least in the studio, he is, IMO, really good and insightful. I remember hearing John Maginnes say that Notah Begay was one of the best he had heard in terms of his analysis. To say the only reason he got the job was because of his connection to TW is really shortsided. What exactly are some of you looking for in terms of a great on-course announcer? Half the fans love a guy like McCord or Feherty while the other love the simplicity of a guy like Renton Laidlaw on the European Tour coverage or Judy Rankin. Give the guy a chance.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPete North
Meant to comment on this earlier....

The reason ( I believe) that TW did not return several former homies calls is because they were ''enablers'', and as a sign of sicerity to his wife, one of the ''ideas'' of rehab is to stay away from ''bad friends''..

Sadly I have been on a deceasd friends list of ''bad friends''. He just would not call me back after a terrible drinking binge (this was all in the 80's, and I was NOT a frequent drinking bud, but we did ''other things'' ) My wife finally convinced me that he was fighting big demons (he was) and tere were several of us 'bad friends'' that he could not be around, weven if wee had become ''good friends'', and would not lead hm astray. Woods needed to distance himself frim Jordan and those ''near occasions of sinn'' that he and his ilk represented to TW...so for that I give TW a huge thumbs up---it is not easy to ''abandon'' friendships-- I have had to do same, not from addiction problems, but because this woman, whom I love as a friend, was just a frigging user.... and when al was said and done, you would just shake your head and go ''why did I do that?'' again.

Sorry for all the words here, but I just hadn't thought about a lot of this in a while.

Meanwhile, Notah steps from the blue curtain brigade and onto the green grass of HI: good luck- we all want success, for his sake, and let's face it, for ours!

digsouth
PTBSA, President 2013-
01.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Anyone watching/listening? Early returns?
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
"To say the only reason he got the job was because of his connection to TW is really shortsided."

LOL
01.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D

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