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First Morning Drive Review Is In! 

Golfweek's Martin Kaufmann watched the entire debut week and now weighs in with an entertaining review of the revamped show.

So far, Kaufmann writes, the show has suffered from golf's lack of news to dissect and from too much scripting of dialogue.

When the men of “The View” – er, “Morning Drive” – are seated in their comfy chairs, it would be nice to think they’re just four buddies swapping stories and opinions. But it often seems so scripted: On the “Front 9” segment, for instance, Holly Sonders poses a question to the guy to her left, who then talks to the guy to his left, who talks to the guy to his left, who talks to the guy to his left, who kicks it back to Sonders. I’m sure they’re sharing their own thoughts, but it’s so structured that it sometimes feels as though they’re speaking their lines. A little more spontaneity would be nice.

While there is a big cast, there’s no compelling voice who will make viewers put down the morning paper to listen. (As an aside, does every guy on “Morning Drive” have a sweater endorsement deal? It was 80 degrees last week in Orlando, but the guys were bundled up as if they were broadcasting from Oak Hill in the dead of winter.)

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Reader Comments (37)

Show is not perfect, I could do without some of the presenters (Rashad), and sure, an entire show focused on Golf might find it a stretch sometimes. But, lets see, considering Golf if lucky gets 30 seconds on Espn, and then usually after a Tiger win, I will take it. Keep tweekiing it and getting better, sure, but If I have the time, thats what I will have on in the AM.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
I think you can't really judge the show until the Tour leaves the West Coast. More of a chance for a better Thursday - Sunday show. Then they can focus on what happened over the weekend on Monday. General golf, leftovers on Tuesday, and what's coming up on Wednesday.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGus
I think the show is great! I watch it everyday (in whole or in part) to be entertained and that is what it is about at the end of the day. The cast is well prepared and even though some say it is too scripted....'s supposed to be! It's television.
Gary Williams and Charlie Rymer are great! Especially Charlie. Ya gotta love that guy.
And then there's Holly and the rest of the girls.
No complaints here!
02.11.2013 | Unregistered Commentercpgapro
I have been watching the show since the beginning. I do think there are too many people on set. I like the front and back nine questions with just two guys and Holly. I do like the new look but I think they need to keep the smaller feel.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny Miller
To start off a review of something (anything) by saying that

"First, a confession: I’ve never much cared for Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Part of that is simply because it doesn’t fit my morning routine. .... Over the years, none of the fixtures of morning TV – neither Matt nor Katie, and certainly not George or Soledad – have ever been welcomed inside the gates of the Kaufmann estate for morning coffee."

To me basically invalidates the entire review. So he hates morning shows, this one included. Fine, don't watch. But perhaps he could acknowledge that some people obvious derive value from the format, or you would think that eventually it would cease to exist. Then as a reviewer you could proceed to evaluate it on those terms. What he has done is similar to an older fan of Frank Sinatra et. al being sent to review a Led Zeppelin concert (by my analogy, I have dated myself obviously), and producing a review that says "This music is just so darn loud". Maybe true from his perspective, but not a review worth reading.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Re: sweaters, sets are normally freezing in part to help counteract the heat from lighting.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike
They are boring and, despite the new diversity, rather vanilla. The men dress like Main Line pansies on the way to the Mixed Grill to meet Muffy and her bffs. Then there's Holly who has plenty of personality but dresses like she's clubbing. They all love the game and there is some good material in the interviews and Ginella's Travels might have promise, but it just comes off as lame television.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
This show is less than "content light". It's almost "content free" - Poor old Kelly Tilghman has been punted around so much. Her only hope is she is Arnold Palmer's favourite (like he has a shot) and she sucks right up to Tiger (moreso than any of the other Tiger sycophants there) .

This show is a "catch all" for TGC staff with no real portfolio. Brandell Chamblee should be added to the ever expanding cast so I can ignore him completely. He is awful. Tim Rosaforte is very uncomfortable there because he knows these guys are bringing him down. I don't mind Charlie Reimer, but the rest of the show is so weak....
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRob C
When the Golf Channel hires and/or retains a Tiger Woods Sycophant, what does GC get in return?
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
after his weeping for Woody bit, I cannot take Rymer seriously
02.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchicago pt
Lose Ahmad Rashad - immediately!
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Spachler
DTF: "When the Golf Channel hires and/or retains a Tiger Woods Sycophant, what does GC get in return?"

I imagine more TWS's would mean more TIGERTALK (if at all possible), which is apparently what TGC is about, no?
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ
Golf channel people drool over Graeme, eat at his restaurant, others coach other pro's, or play regular games with them - but apparently it's only an issue when the golfer they play or are friends with is Tiger. Odd. (not that I'm a fan of Ahmad, haven't even seen him on the show).

Oh as to the rest, don't really watch morning drive, but any review that calls Chamblee a tar is not to be taken seriously. Then again I'm not a fan of shouting extreme opinions
02.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Agree about Chamblee Elf. I think the guy could anchor one the 6 o'clock news. He's knows the game and isn't afraid to voice an opinion. BTW, leave the girls alone.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
JJ, does more "TIGERTALK" lead to increased revenues?

I'm just trying to dig down on this thesis that XYZ "only got hired because he/she is a Friend of Tiger". GC is a business, for-profit, wonder what their motives are for hiring FOT's?
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Where's Dan Jenkins when you need him!!!!!!
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTLB
DTF: I only offered an opinion on what benefit TGC might derive from hiring TWS's. Perhaps it increases ratings when it's all Tiger all the time. I would venture that to be true, or we would have seen a different TGC this past decade and change. Perhaps it increases access to his Tigerness? No clue.

It's not just the TigerTalk. Can we watch a tournament without having to endure the verbal rose petals strewn in the path of every playing pro? I can never figure out if I'm watching a sporting event or America's Greatest Guy competition.

Fortunately, I no longer watch TGC or golf tournaments lately, to no deficit in my quality of life. The comments section here gives me all I could need or want. :-)
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ
"Where's Dan Jenkins..."?

If he were here he might plagiarize and/or embellish just a tad and say:

"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Golf Channel viewing public."
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
The Dan Jenkins Golf Channel Lineup:

7:00-8:00 - Ben Hogan and why he is greater than all other golfers
8:00- 8:15: Modern Golf and why it is inferior to the Classic Days
8:15 - 8:30: Free Dinners on the Road
8:30 - 9:00 - Why Today's Writers are Lousy
9:00 - 10:00 - Great Golf Books written in Texas
10:00 - 11:00 - Ben Hogan: Can anyone really stack up to Him ?

Repeat the above
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Too bad all these negative commenters don't have an off button on their tv.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
The View...
Perfect. Cause I've only seen each of these shows once.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
Just what the hell are Kaufmann's credentials to offer up TV critiques? Oh wait! You don't need any!
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRexReed
Kaufmann hit the nail on the head when he said the show doesn't have anyone whose opinions I value. There's been no need to watch the show since it started and there's certainly no need to change that now. I want to be entertained or informed and TGC doesn't perform either function very well.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Smith
Paul Goydos, Paul Azinger, Arron Obleholser, and Steve Elkington

This would make for a great foursome that would be an interesting watch.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
Today was the first B team run, and after a few minutes of Kelly on caffiene, Rashad on Rashad (I think I am the only person he has not played golf with, according to his named dropping.... anyway....

The Westminster Kennel Show repeat was coming on, and those dogs are actually pros!

~*~*~*~You ain't nuthin' but a hound dog~*~~*~*~~*~
02.12.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I just caught up with the "new" MD today. Wow, how bad is that! Is Kelly T the most glib person on television? That fake chuckle is nauseating at night, but much worse at this hour. Morning Sickness. Why is Rashad there other than being FOT (Friend of Tiger)? Damon Hack needs to stop staring into the camera looking like a baby dinosaur wondering what that big rock falling out of the sky is. Matt G is just meh, which is at least a few notches above Charlie Cheeseburger. Seriously, who thought it was a good idea putting Rymer on tv? Tripp is right down there with him. Tripp has a bad case of Rosaforte Disease which makes it impossible to ever say a remotely critical thing about any player. Memo to Tripp: You don't play on the Tour anymore and you won't again, buddy, so speak your mind. I'd prefer to get Brandel on this show cos at least he's going to say something that'll get me thinking, agree or not. The girls, obviously, are good to look at, so there's always that ...
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAK47
elf is right about Graeme...never met a microphone that he didn't love.

Classic self promoter and GC eats it up. When did he last close a tournament?
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames H.
Too much speculation by the talking heads. Not much substance. Do I really care about who will win this week's tournaments?
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteven T.
Please not Zinger...
I liked him as a player and he was a good Ryder Cup captain.
But put a microphone in his face in this format and he won't be able to stay away from politics. Just like his Twitter posts.
Like the suggestion of Guydos though.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
I'm afraid that this new set and format for Morning Drive (MD) is just not going to make it --- it is simply not an upgrade. It's not uncommon in any business for a larger acquiring entity to screw up the smaller acquired business or product line --- and that looks like what has happened in this case. Part of the viewing interest in MD was that it was a relatively small and comfortable show that offered an alternative to the ''coming at you" Sports Center mode or the unbearable formats of the big 3 morning shows -- but with MD's move to umpteen contributors and the over sized and coldly antiseptic sets, it is lost its uniqueness and attraction. While it has always been a little awkward to watch some of the hosts present/deliver their segments at least most are golf literate....however, it is really hard to understand the value of Ahmad R. beyond the suggestions already made by other posters here. This is likely to blow-up in way way or another in the coming weeks.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrian in NYC
"over sized and coldly antiseptic "

You just described Orlando, FL to a tee!
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Make the world a better place, punch Ahmad Rashad in the face.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered Commenterbk
Rasha's kinda fun. Of the two Tiger lovers, I prefer Rashad over Rymer.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
Format has too many people--how am i supposed to start caring about, say, Gary Woodland's point of view whan Gary's point of view is lost in a crowd? Today show has Matt, Katie, the news person (typically someone stupid) and the weather person. Morning Drive barrages me with i dont know how many people and they all opint on everything.

And i cant tell from the set if iam watching Gray goose 19th hole, golf talk live (remember that one), morning drive, or some other Jerry Foltz/Rich Lerner/Brandel Chamblee/they all look and sound alike to me prime time offering from TGC..

gold channel needs to develop a theme and a brand for each show. As it is they all run together.

Original morning drive was an am radio drive time sports show, oriented to golf. It followed the ESPN, guest heavy format. This thing is a copycat of all the other golf channel prime time shows.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered Commentered
I like Morning Drive when they bring players on to talk about the game. The rest of the show is mainly fluff that I tolerate when the morning headlines on the cable news channels is so depressing that I contemplate going to sleep in my car in the garage with the engine running.
02.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPA PLAYA
This show was ten times better with Erik Kaselious
05.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterArky
Pure schlock. Holly is eye candy with a lobotomy. Winn and Lauren run circles around her. More filler than a McDonalds hamburger.
07.22.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill

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