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Reminder: Morning Drive Re-Launch Monday

In case you missed the Waste Management Open, the Golf Channel's morning show re-launches Monday morning with a new cast, new set and new vibe.

My hotel doesn't have Golf Channel so I won't get to see the re-launch of Morning Drive to a seven-day-a-week show, but I know your feedback will be appreciated in Orlando.

Gary Williams posts a short item on the show's new "AP" studio, named after Golf Channel co-founder Arnold Palmer.

And for Immediate Release:

Bradley, McDowell, Norman, Poulter, Lewis, Pettersen, Creamer, Gal and Munoz Headline Next Week’s Guests

State-of-the-Art "Studio AP" Brings the Outside in with Four New Sets

Morning Drive Debuts a New Seven-Day Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2013) – Morning Drive welcomes an A-List roster of guests next week when the show re-launches on Monday, Feb. 4 at 7 a.m. ET with a new format, a new set, an expanded cast and a new, seven-days-a-week schedule. Headlining the roster of guests in-studio on Monday are 2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley, who is making his first appearance in-studio, and 2010 U.S. Open Champion Graeme McDowell. 

In addition, Monday’s show will feature the first official interview conducted in the new Morning Drive studio: a sit-down with co-founder Arnold Palmer. The interview was taped earlier this week after he cut the ribbon on the new Morning Drive set, "Studio AP," which was named in his honor. In addition to the ribbon cutting, Palmer also introduced a new autograph board that will be signed by every guest who visits Morning Drive.

Additional studio guests throughout the week include (subject to change):

Tuesday, Feb 5: Hall-of-Famer Greg Norman, including his arrival via helicopter; 10-time LPGA Tour winner Suzann Pettersen; and 2011 Kia Classic champion Sandra Gal

Take that Tavistock Cup!

Wednesday, Feb 6: Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam, for her first regular weekly appearance; 2012 Sybase Match Play champion Azahara Munoz

Thursday, Feb 7: European Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter; 2012 LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis

Friday, Feb 8: Nine-time LPGA Tour winner Paula Creamer 

Joining Morning Drive regulars Gary Williams, Damon Hack and Holly Sonders as co-hosts starting next week when Morning Drive expands to seven days include Golf Channel analyst Charlie Rymer, longtime Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman, Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster, Ahmad Rashad, 11-time PGA TOUR winner John Cook, Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam, former Golf Digest travel editor Matt Ginella, and host of Top 10 and GolfNow Lauren Thompson. Golf Channel contributors Tim Rosaforte, Brandel Chamblee and Win McMurry also are scheduled to join the show next week. 

Morning Drive’s new studio features four dedicated sets: a main anchor desk, an interview area, a product demonstration area and a news update desk. The new home is nearly four times larger than the show’s original studio. Panoramic, high-definition video backdrops throughout the studio will make viewers feel like the cast is broadcasting from just inside the picture windows of their local clubhouse. This signature look is accomplished by linking 20, 90-inch and 10, 52-inch monitors to create golf course morning vistas.

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Reader Comments (40)

I like Kelly more than probably most of the people out there, but I don't think this is her thing - spontaneous humor and interaction. But Rashad, he will be awful.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Geoff-Get a SlingBox, its great when you're on the road.
I wake up every morning before my wife, put on the coffee and tune in the "favorites"- Morning Joe, Imus, Mike and Mike and Morning Drive (though it comes on a bit later) - pretty much in that order.
I have not missed one moment of Kuselias leaving and enjoyed the initial inclusion of Jerry Foltz as co-anchor.
Damon Hack does a good job but I enjoyed the "edge" that Foltz brought to the show.

02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commentermainuh
So Rashad is there to do the interviews that involve kissing ass, no?
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGolden Bell
"I don't think this is her thing - spontaneous humor and interaction"

what exactly IS her thing?...they've tried everything and none of it works with her
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
@ Bobby - I think she is decent as a studio host during events. I also kind of liked her and Faldo doing events. Gannon is better, absolutely, but they kind of had some chemistry going.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
On another topic, would someone please wake Notah Begah up ? Its the 18th hole already !
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
"her and Faldo doing events."

One of the worst pairings in the history of golf. If it was so good how come no more Kelly with Faldo...huh?
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
You will never see Tilghman and Faldo paired was a colossal failure and Golf Channel knows it. The Golf Channel is the luckiest bunch in the world...they come on the air just when the Tiger Woods Show gets started and rode it all the way to the NBC merger which bailed them out of mediocrity into a mass hiring spree..and none of it was because of their expertise...just incredible good luck and timing.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Holly is great.
Kelly is acceptable.

The other women including that brassy on on the Nineteenth Hole are useless.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
Lauren Thompson is awesome.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Terry Gannon is not good.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeeWatson
Damon Hack has made this show watchable
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStord
You know Ahmad is big buddies with Tiger and Michael Jordan.... Whadya say we get all worked up into a lather and call Ahmad lots of bad names?

nypost (dot) com/p/pagesix/jets_ex_wife_marriage_woe_ZY6REkc8mZx1RTdK7gExyM
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
"You know Ahmad is big buddies with Tiger and Michael Jordan"

why else would they hire him?...because he's a leading authority on golf?...more Tiger slurping
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
"Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster, Ahmad Rashad"

02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Maybe Kelly and Charlie Rhymer should have their very own show.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
Out of curiosity, what are the perceived benefits for the network/GC when hiring a Friend of Tiger?

Why do the networks do it? If in fact that's why they do it...

Surely there has to be some readily identifiable and specific benefit?

Can anyone come up with one benefit, or a list of benefits?
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
"Panoramic, high-definition video backdrops throughout the studio will make viewers feel like the cast is broadcasting from just inside the picture windows of their local clubhouse."

"the cast" these bozos think they are on Broadway...geez.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D

Yep, I used to get up at 5 am (ct) and wathc Imus, but I don't get it here- While many don't care for Imus- they only know the Imus dissed by headlines... I saw the incident that got him fired, with the ''comment'' about the ''nappy etc'', and it was a popular term at that time, used in a popular song, but when he said it, I panicked for him, and sadly I was on target. Imus' show gets politicians, and entertainers, authors, news media and musicians to relax and get human in conversation, not the lockstep crap that politicians spew daily, and the ''image'' that the rest would have us believe.

I always hope that the Morning Drive will get to hat level with golf- they have not even come close, save for Lauren Thompson in some on course interviews. Several of the personalities are likable, and the tightlipped players seem to understand that this show is a ticket to ride, if they just do it, do it .

I have never een as cruel about what's her name (humor) as some, but she can really GRATE on you, that fast cadence, and that evident desire to have TW's children. She is good at what she does,,., but great ( as opposed to grate ) is better than good.

Lauren is a complete package in that she really has an awesome voice and delivery, and a beautiful smile; her husband is one lucky guy to have that smile staring at you in the morning~~~ unless ( Psycho shower scene sound track!!!) she is raving mad in the morning!

HAck is ok, but Foltz was the one that got away.

That ''travel guy'' could use a pink slip now. NOW.

Gary W has grown on me, and I don't expect him to change in any real way, but he could sure be a lot better.

Anyone who says ''I'' three times or more in a sentence is poor at their announcing, and Charlie Tuna needs to walk out with the unnamed travel guy- I cut the sound when he speaks, and I can't remember his name, and I do not wish to scroll up and get it.

Holly is g-g-g-g-good, and must be an idiot to get hooked up with Erik K, an egomaniac, but an entertaining announcer, who fails the ''I'' test.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
@Dig - Foltz will be back when Rashad bombs out somewhere between the British and the PGA.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Hey Brian, I think Foltz is not in to the early mornings every day, and the great indoors. I got a promotion from an outside salesperson to managing a warehouse, and I went bonkers not having the freedom of movement that a roving job affords. Foltz may do stints, but, unless family issues change things, I really don't see him in the early morning brain drain. Now I could be full of it too. How bout it Foltz. Tune in and set us straight.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
This is me: I wake up every day and ask myself "Where can I find a thin-voiced minor-league small-market radio guy to irritate me over and over?" and lo and behold, there's Gary Williams. I ask myself "Where can I turn to for television that promotes magazine writers with virtually NO on air-presence onto a national stage?" and before me appear Damon Hack and Matt Ginella. I once asked myself, "Is it possible that a network could provide me with the expertise of a failed professional golfer who never won on the PGA Tour and whose best finish on the money list is a loft 103?" and there before me appeared a teary-eyed Charlie Rymer. And finally I asked myself the question "Is it remotely possible that once again I could get a load of the ass-kissingest, least-informed, most mindlessly incompetent hack of a jock-turned-broadcaster?" and then it was announced that NBC and Golf Channel would surgically pry Ahmad Rashad out of Michael Jordan's ass specifically to light His Airness' cigars on the new Morning Drive.

Since the age of 13 I've attended in excess of 100 PGA Tournaments. I attended the Masters for 10 years and even once played Augusta National. I subscribe to four golf magazine and read every golf book there is along with having broken par a few times at my peak as well capturing a city championship or two. I'm a golfer who loves the game AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET ??
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBenSeattle
I'll start watching when they remove Ginella. A complete buffoon.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Strangelove
Ginella really does seem to be, shall we say, distinguishing himself. He and "2r's" wouldn't know a scoop if it slapped them across the face.
02.3.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I love the show but miss EK for his off the wall commentary which actually made it an interesting watch.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Like Holly better as a brunette.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOPGolfer
Holly is quite the hottie, but since I'm no longer married do I still have a shot?
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoey Buttafuco
"I'm a golfer who loves the game AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET ?? "

Ben...they are thanking you when they telecast live golf we never would otherwise get to see... I figured this out a long time ago...Golf Channel's only concern is making enough money so they can afford to bring us the live golf which is expensive to produce...all the other shlock has nothing to do with golf...the Big Break and Morning Drive and the Nineteenth Hole and all the other krap are cheapo shows that sell advertising and add to the bottom line. They know this stuff is ghastly and painful to watch but it makes money so it keeps the live golf on the air which is all most serious golfers care about. It's a trade-off...80% junk for 20% live golf coverage.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
You know, Bobby, you brought up an interesting point~ the Golf Channel was drop kicked into our homes with great succss by TW hitting the links.

This has happened several times~ a few: Arnold Palmer and Television; The Beatles and baby boomers hitting their teen years; MTV and Hall and Oates, Huey Lewis, etc, good music, but made better by the video revolution and free pub from MTV...

...and in the spirit of Tiger Woods and the coat tails loaded with the Golf Channel- don't forget Tim Finchem, who became a ''great commish'' because he was holding onto Tiger's tail. The guy would probably..agghh, I won't go there.

So the Golf Channel was created at the right time, IMO because what was a great opportunity was evident to those in charge. Lucky people are ''lucky'' because they expose themselves to potential events, time and time again.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
OK, Geoff.

Rashad attempted ''funny'' all morning.

It all went well, with a lengthy interview with K. Bradley, and Graeme McD. was there too, a reprise of his being on the first show. Nothing new from either, though Bradley said he was going to let the cards fall where they may (on the putter issue) and was ''proud'' that his win sort of started the ban talk in earnest.

A couple of new things- they have this game of Wolf- easier to see than to explain, and they seem to use the different settings well.

Their was more than one reference to Rashad's palying buddies, and if that is a daily event, it will get old very quick.

Gotta run, but other than new graphics, most was a different spin on the regular stuff. New set looks less ''stiff'' than we imagined.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
The Golf Channel came on the air January, 1995
Tiger Woods made his pro debut Aug. 1996

Timing is everything.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
If they really want to turn 'Morning Drive' into something, they need to:
1 Improve the quality of their website servers and stream the show live on the internet. Figuring out advertising is simple, there are millions of examples around already.
2 Allow the show to be watched later, either by downloading or by non-live streaming.

Unless someone is retired, watching the show in this time slot is very difficult.

Kelly is treated very unfairly in my opinion, I've never seen any of the women who are on their now do anything better, but because they are bombshells, everyone gives them a pass. I tuned into one of those lesson shows last week, it was a good guy, don't know his name but he has an accent, and Holly Saunders. Other than standing there with her breasts practically busting out of her golf shirt and the protrusion of her nipples distracting you from the putting lesson, she offered very little. Now I'm not saying having that stuff is bad, I think it's great, but I don't think Kelly is / was as bad as some (Bobby D) like to say.

I also think the whole channel is nowhere near as bad as some (Bobby D) would like to have us believe as well. After all, we live in an age where there is a fishing channel, a horse racing channel, shows like Hunny Boboo etc. It's not as if the Golf Channel has to compete against Breaking Bad or The Supranos, it just has to give us our golf fix.

If they got rid of that guy Michael Breed or whatever his name is, that would be good.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
PA, it's MICHAEL BREED not Michael Breed.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdbh
Talk about a style and fashion contrast!!

The men are dressed in clubhouse semi-casual and the women appear to be sporting a golddigger/night-walker motif. Marty Hackel must be proud!
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
"I also think the whole channel is nowhere near as bad as some (Bobby D) would like to have us believe .."

The NBC merger took them from being really bad to not so bad...but Kelly is still really bad. I mean, she coud read the lunch menu from cue cards or give the weather report but beyond that...? I still cringe when I think back to her so-called "interview" on camera live with Matt Every in the middle of a tournament. It was one of the most uncomfortable, amateurish hatchet jobs I have ever witnessed. She will be OK in studio but please keep her away from the golf course.

PS...their presentation of the live golf now is really's the other junk I whine about.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
@dbh, lol. Yes he is very intense.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
Timing is everything.

Exactly, we agree, and these ''lucky people'' knew that TW was coming out and the time was right for TGC.
02.4.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I am enjoying the new lineup and whether we all agree on the details or hosts, I applaud the network for investing. There is nothing cheap anymore to the channel focused on my drug of choice. I do really like Hack but also really miss Foltz. I would gladly trade Charlie for Foltz but I imagine he represents the down home lobby which is bristled by Rashad. Amahd is the carrot to the stars so I understand his hire plus it delivers crossover to the rest of NBC sports and the Hall if Fame community. And he is a golf junkie so over time he will settle in. Great work GC MD. Big dollar invest in set, cameras, HD, Graphics, remotes and segments.
You've come a Long way.
02.6.2013 | Unregistered CommenterWes Kikuya

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