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Tough Love: Today's 59 Scare & Q-School's Demise

I heard from very angry folks today and saw some of the Twitter backlash about the sheer horror of Golf Channel not broadcasting every moment of the Mickelson-Scott-Woods first-round pairing at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

In a nutshell: we've become spoiled. But in the bigger scheme of things, you need to direct your anger toward the PGA Tour for cluttering the schedule with the Tour finals.

Sure, it would have been nice to have full Mickelson-Scott-Woods coverage from the moment they got out of bed until they signed their cards. And Golf Channel called a tremendous audible by picking up bonus #59watch coverage instead of showing the Tour Finals from Indiana. (Even though it meant lopping off 30 minutes of the scheduled broadcast.)

But how difficult is it to understand that broadcast schedules are made in advance and Golf Channel has a stacked lineup this week (including an amazing 15-straight hours of live golf coverage Sunday)? And because we've become spoiled, it's easy to forget that televising golf is a massive undertaking. There are just so many hours in the day that a production team can be going full bore.

Then there is the obligation to cover the finals.

Longtime readers know that I've not been a fan of "calendar-year" schedule concept and creating the Tour finals in lieu of Q-School. The litany of sound reasons to have kept the prior setup can be rattled off at another time, but let's take note of what's going on today. The lack of attention or interest in those Tour Finals--how many even knew they were taking place?--is already apparent as the finals try to go up against a PGA Tour playoff event loaded with a super field on TV-friendly courses.

Could there have been a more cringe-worthy moment than Golf Channel signing off from their bonus coverage showing huge galleries and big stars to an empty golf course in Indiana?

So if you are outraged about only three hours of Deutsche Bank Championship coverage today--deep breaths first--direct your ire at those who have made the PGA Tour a year-round schedule, necessitating the end of Q-School and the ushering in of the ill-timed Tour finals that are clogging up an already full television schedule.

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Reader Comments (28)

"...clogging up an already full television schedule." No kidding. Georgia plays Clemson tomorrow and South Carolina next week. Repeat, all over the country. Except Atlanta, where Tech plays Elon. LOL. This came up today several times while I was playing in a golf tournament. No one cares about golf on TV this time of year! It's football season, with the World Series coming up. OK, not "no one" since there are at least 63 Shackelfordians who care about the ReSet Cup. Our Director of Golf/GM asked where Phil, Tiger, and Adam were playing when the Deutsche Bank appeared on the Grill Room TV. No one at a table full of serious, avid golfers could immediately recall that TPC of Boston is the venue and that the name of the tournament is the DB Championship. That about says it all.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Not that serious, and not that avid – except maybe about their own game – if they couldn't recall the schedule. However you feel about the Fedex Cup concept, it's the best in the world playing for increasingly higher stakes – beats the old "silly season" Skins Games.

The people who care about college football either went to those schools or wish they did, in which case -- get a life. If you REALLY care about golf, you're watching golf…
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterWill o'the Glen
Understand the TV constraints...but how about ponying up some of PGA Tour's pile-o-cash to get a Featured Group stream on the website? Tim wants fans to buzz about The Playoffs (tm), despite the crowded sports landscape--but then drops the ball (and kicks it through the back of the endzone) when he gets THE Holy Grail pairing in the first two rounds of the final PGA event before Lord Football sucks all of the helium out of his balloon. They even had an extra day to get their act together this week....baffling.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjheathw
What I've Learned:
1. Golf is declining in the U.S. but there is more golf on TV than ever.
2. Golf is declining in the U.S. but there is more money in pro golf than ever.
3. If you REALLY care about golf you watch it on TV.
4. There is such a thing as a Twitter backlash.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commentertour caddy 60
And that's where we part company, Will o' the Glen. If you really, REALLY care about golf, you are playing golf, if you are able. Golf on TV has its place several times a year. This is not one of them, however much money the coddled masses of the PGA TOUR are playing for. Btw, how many who missed the cut last week are still in the playoffs? Or has that changed to PLAYOFFS? Maybe one of you can look it up. Don't care that much about college football, either. Been there, done that. The chances that Tim Finchem will be successful in really making a dent in the sports world this time of year are nil. I also have a life, sort of. Love the Game, too. Don't give a flip about the ReSet Cup though, and won't until the thing become a true playoff, win or go home event, with most of the money at stake in the very last match. Yes, I am a bad person.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
All the hype in the world won't sell a bad product. The Fed Ex is and has always been a end of season, no one cares about series of events. 10 million to the winner won't change that, they are rich beyond what we can even imagine feels like. I don't begrudge them the money, I'd sure take it too. But, just like they tried to make the Players a "5th major", the Fed Ex playoffs will always be "Hyped" way beyond what they really are.

The majors and best events don't need hype, everyone knows they are the biggest and best to win.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
Can you imagine if you couldn't watch all of Murray's matches at Wimbledon? And yet try to see all of Tiger's rounds at a major - good luck. At the US Open (tennis) right now ESPN has 6 live feeds online, plus the tv coverage. It is ridiculous, and it is the PGA Tour's fault (or at the majors the pga's and augusta).

Heck when Tiger goes over to the middle East and is paired with Rory golf channel audibles to get both their rounds live. But the PGA Tour only wants the three hours (or they want more money) and they want it at the end of the afternoon.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
I get so few hours each month to play golf, golf on TV is way down on my list. Plus there is always a DVR. But showing anything from a event is a waste of money and time.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commentervwgolfer
I 'm willing to bet over half of these ''serious college football fans'' are not alumni: they are betting on the games.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth

You're the best in the business but stop being so hard on the Golf Channel. This daily diet of criticism aimed at the network is so unfair.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenterlawrence Donegan
@KLG - "If you really, REALLY care about golf, you are playing golf, if you are able."
So there is the rub, the "if you are able". For someone in my place in iife, with work, kids - including one w/special needs - , ect, getting out to play is a treat. Buddy trip for a long weekend once a year, and then maybe 4 or so days out on the course (taken on VAC days from work), pretty much amount to my play. But I watch PGA and LPGA as a spectator sport as much as possible. It is my replacement for baseball, or football, or whatever else. The funny thing was the thing that really took the biggest bite out of actually playing golf - having kids - is what caused me to become a Pro golf on TV big time fan. I'd stay home on the weekend with the babies, let the wife shop or just get out on Saturday and Sunday. And guess what ? Turns out golf is on TV just about every weekend of the year. Some big events, some not so big, and as the "babies" get older even that gets tough, but the DVR and night time replays make up for it mostly. I am not a great golfer - but as a sports fan, I think I'm as good of a fan of the Pro Game as anyone else out there. And so yes, I care about golf. Hopefully one day the playing will increase, but in the meantime I will get what I can from the game on TV.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
When on holiday in Mexico, I watched the Golf Channel , I found some of it entertaining, even though a lot of it was constant Tiger Woods at the time (he won the Players)
The worst thing was the ads , when I watch golf at home in Sky Sports, they go to the presenters during most of the ads ( apart from their own) . The amount of ads shown in US golf networks was terrible. 2 or 3 putts, rarely a drive or a shot to the green, then an advert. I would say that was a huge turn off for golf on TV. It's a shame.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
I played today. I am playing again tomorrow. I have to get up at 5am to catch a 6am train to get to course an hour early for an 8am tee time. Can you imagine?
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterWho Am I
Brian, I completely understand. And I wish Tim cared enough to put a really good product out there for you. And the rest of us. Six minutes of semi-golf action followed by 3 minutes of Cialis/Nantz-narrated Titleist/Mercedes ads is just not it.

Digs, of course most football fans are not alumni. You're right about the bettors. And as the joke goes around these parts: You see someone in a Georgia Tech cap you can be reasonably sure he went to Tech; you see someone in a Georgia cap and you can be almost certain he went to WalMart, has driven past Sanford Stadium once, but lives and breathes Georgia football. I bet there are similar Aggie, Longhorn, Red Raider fans in Texas. The guys in the Owls caps went to Rice.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Ky -

That is why you never see any Rice caps in Texas!
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
R u f'ing kidding me. Just looked at g' channel web site and saw SATURDAY coverage of the reset cup doesn't start until 3 eastern time. I'm with KLG, if ur a golfer you should be playing, not watching. But, I've got a long honey do list that keeps me inside tomorrow, but allows me to keep one eye on the Telly and I have to put up with the banana open until cocktail time. I'm call BS on Timmy and TGC.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim
If GC gave the Reset Cup wall-to-wall live coverage, it might actually increase the demand -- make the masses think it's like a major.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1

Big game tomorrow night for UGA. Go Dawgs. I've never cared for Clemson.

--USC grad (not Clemson's rival, the real USC)

Hope Phil can keep it up -- shoot a 63 and you're tied for the lead.
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRandom Fan
@Randon Fan.. How about Steve Stricker shooting a 60 at the John Deere a couple seasons back and trailing by a shot after the first round!
08.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
No way they're making money broadcasting that much golf live especially when all the aforementioned football/baseball action going on. The money in golf just isn't really there in terms of the cost to cover a sport where the action gets spread over 100 acres...hence why the network execs prefer to show anything BUT golf when given half a chance. Those other sports are cheaper to produce, require less manpower, and pad the pockets better than anything short of a pharmaceutical company. The only thing saving TV golf is the fact that CEO's and other pseudo 1%ers are the target demographic.

(note: this is not always true when Tiger is on the verge of doing "something" deemed noteworthy and in the hunt)
08.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz

Man, I used to live on University Blvd down the street from Rice, and I'm not sure I have ever seen a Rice cap!

Yesterday I had on purple sox and I was asked if I'm a TCU fan.
08.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
KLG is only half right. Go play golf at twilight w/o a cart and don't buy tees, balls, gloves, or brand new clubs unless you've been custom fit.
08.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
@OWGR Fan:

Sergio is now the leader. Crazy!
08.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRandom Fan
I think the playoffs is where it's happening for TV golf this week. It's the real playoffs as these guys are playing for their careers, or at least the immediate future of their careers, which is interesting. Among the notables who missed the cut at this weeks HotelFitness Open: Ryo Ishakawa, Ricky Barnes. Any golf reporter who is in Boston and not Fort Wayne is strangely misguided. I don't know if Deutsche Bank should demand a refund, but Hotel Fitness, whatever that is, scored big by getting this event. I'd rather be playing too, but since that is not possible I'll be following the real golf "playoff" in Indiana.
08.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew
Why can't the Playoffs start after this Playoffs series is finished? Push back the opening of the 2013-2014 season a couple weeks, and give the Playoffs their own moment.

I was definitely one of those people who was outraged that I couldn't watch all of Mickelson-Scott-Woods. The schedule should be clear to televise something as big as that.
08.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJP
Random Fan - eat it.

Regards, Clemson alum Chris from DE
09.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
It may be spelled "Clemson" but it's pronounced "klimpsum," with an extra half-syllable in "klimp." ;-)

I have watched my first and last complete college football fame of the year. Tigers looked good last night and deserved to win, Chris. Very Good school, beautiful campus, and an outstanding new president. Charlie Pell and Danny Ford are a distant memory. Now, could you please wipe that silly smirk off the face of the Ol' Ball Coach? I don't think the Dawgs can do it.

My take on Mark Richt: The Greg Norman of BCS coaches, without either the two Majors or the marital history. The latter being a good thing. Of course, my peeps think the Hershel Walker years were normal. I suppose. We are still on track for a national championship every 38 years.
09.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Ah. The 'Ol Ball Coach. What a prick. We'll see what we can do. As you know it's been a rough couple of years against the Shamecocks. However, I think the Dawgs will want a big win next week and will take them down. I must say that they are an extremely physical and athletic team. Unfortunately for them, we were more physical and more athletic last night, which is the first time I can say that regarding a game against an SEC team. I watched the very poorly conditioned Shamecocks limp to victory against a decent UNC team the other night and was not impressed. Dawgs by 10.

I thought to myself this morning that Richt is probably back on the "hot seat" once again. He must live the warm sensation on his backside.
09.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE

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