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« 2017 PGA Final Round This And That | Main | Watch Rickie Leave His Ball Down As A Backstop »
Saturday
Aug122017

Hollow Golf: Sluggish Pace, Prevent-Birdie Setup And More Streaming Issues 

*First World Problem warning alert* (especially given the day's news)...

Brandel Chamblee summed it the difficulty of 2017 PGA Championship Saturday on Live From where Kevin Kisner holds the lead and tees off at 2:45 ET Sunday.

 “It was a Saturday that felt like a Sunday… Outside of Carnoustie in 1999, this felt like the toughest major championship that I have seen since going back to the seventies. Nothing like the major championships we have seen as of late.”

Other than the silly green speeds--a big departure for the PGA of America--everything else about Saturday's sluggish PGA Championship repeated issues from the past:

--Too many commercial breaks and promos creating a difficult-to-watch-broadcast, an annual issue that dates to the PGA's unbreakable contract with TNT and CBS. The deal expires in 2019.

--A super-difficult setup that created little sense to a general fan that golf is actually interesting, fun and good sports viewing. Kevin Kisner is to be commended for navigating his way around and setting up a potential dream win. But Jordan Spieth's comment about holes cut on spots was particularly distressing if true. Granted, when greens are 14 on the Stimpmeter, it's hard to find flattish spots. Still, this is chintzy but not unprecedented in the world of tournament golf:

 Fowler also noted this issue but also defended the actions as part of a typical major setup:

--Turner's dysfunctional PGA app. At the request of many of you, I thoroughly tested the PGA app Saturday and can concur on all complaints about it freezing, crashing and replaying ads constantly each time you have to restart a stream. Why an advertiser would want to be associated with this issue, which seems to be many years in the making now, is beyond me. (Tip for cord-cutters watching Sunday, users reported solid experiences with the CBS Sports app). The website aesthetics and functionality are also very substandard compared to what we get with other golf events.

--Pace of play. 5.5 hours will not grow the game, even if it was heat-related as some players claimed, though Quail member Webb Simpson blamed the setup (Menta/GolfChannel.com). Neither does a green rolling 14. The PGA of America's Kerry Haigh has long and most admirably resisted publishing Stimpmeter speeds because it sets a bad example. But host Johnny Harris has gotten his way this week to make this Augusta National of Charlotte, with much less architectural sensibility. The green speeds have overtaken the players as the tournament story. It's even more of a shame because they are so beautifully maintained and should be an important opportunity for the world to see a more sustainable Bermuda surface on display. But the superintendent doesn't cut the cups...

While most of these problems are not new and the media issues won't be fixed until 2020 with new contracts--and maybe presenting sponsors for limited commercial breaks--the subpar player and fan experience is a shame but hardly a surprise.

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Reader Comments (31)

Only exciting thing has been the meltdowns near the end. Otherwise a complete bore. The golf course is so uninspiring. Can't get into seeing 30 yards of Bermuda rough around every green. Just awful.

The coverage is worse. I used to like CBS but they suck now. Dottie needs to go! Too many commercials. I do like Trevor on TNT. More of him please.
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEM
Leader was 10 under before a couple of late hooks. 15 players under par and the set up is too tough????
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterConvert
In a major championship no less. Faster player is leading BTW.
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterConvert
EM,

Your continued discourse against Dottie and female reporters in general isn't welcome here.

Also, this Fazio design is beyond reproach...
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnti-EM
Heaven forbid this PGA's difficulty resemble an old-school major. Those lamenting that should take solace in the very non-major-looking Kisner-Stroud final pairing. The PGA is seemingly always going to be more closely related to your Wells Fargo Championships or any of the old Buick events than it is to any of the other majors, at the end of the day, after all.
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDrBunsenHoneydew
Kisner's greatest test may have been surviving the slow play.. some of the time lapse between shots and Day making a mess of 18...good Lord
But as Jeff commented +1, it's only a golf tourney and thoughts & prayers for Charlottesville
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPrairiegolfer
Can't wait for FedEx Cup this year!! Maybe Rickie will forget to mark his ball and Phil will fire his caddie and hire Dottie! Fed Ex app is excellent for track manning my package! Balls go too far.
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEric Wolske
The underdog fan in me so wants Chris Stroud to win the PGA on Sunday. What a two week run it would be. From 144th on the FEC standings prior to the Barracuda into the top 20 of the FEC in two weeks. He would have to be on the Presidents Cup team as a captains pick right? How could he not? Please let this happen. What a story.
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
I think the problem is that is is boring tough.

I the course's defense is Bermuda rough, it is the recipe for blandness.
08.12.2017 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
It's becoming survival on the course as course set ups struggle to contain par because the ball goes too far on courses under 8,000 yards. The result is rounds over 5 hours, pre shot routines pausing everytime the wind gusts. Greens at crazy speeds, again to contain scores. Instead of growing the game in this media age it's shrinking it, so boring it has become to watch. It wouldn't matter if Tiger in his 20's was playing either, the courses have gone past the edge to stop the equipment making a mockery of them. All they do is make the best players in the world look silly. I love golf, care about the game a lot. But pro golf is becoming easy to switch off, with the money grabbing networks, ads and the crazy attempts of announcers to make out we've never had it so good. Enough is enough.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
I'm with you, Easingwold.

I feel like I'm nearing the end of a long and gradual process of estrangement with the game.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJimothy
Jimothy, I still love playing the game. But the big sell, ie growing the game is nothing more than a money grab by all parties concerned. New drivers every 6 months, etc, etc. And watching it on telly in the States with the ads is sheer torture, our American cousins have my sympathy. I'll play until I drop dead, love the challenge. But I doubt I'll watch much on telly. Too slow these days I'm afraid.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
A PGA playing like an old school U.S. Open. How about that!

The technology gripe has merit. Total embarrassment in this day and age. Singling out TNT/CBS for too many commercials is a hollow argument at best when every network does it. A presenting sponsor for majors would make life less complicated for the sales dept. Not so much finding them and negotiating a contract. But tell sales it's the profit model going forward for every golf broadcast and they'll react like a poleaxed steer. ANGC has one week a year to worry about profit. And I doubt they worry much. Network executives have 52 weeks of worry.

Please stop with this "grow the game" BS at majors. Attract a young audience unfamiliar with the game that might be enticed to give it a try? Good luck. If they were disappointed Michael Phelps didn't climb in the water with real white shark, what chance does golf have?

As for course setup in a major, Rickie has it right IMO. The Masters will be whatever the Green Jackets want it be. The Open has firm turf, weather variables and topography that govern stimp. If the wish is for the U.S. Open and PGA to lower stimp, somebody better get busy coming up with a rota of courses that present these variables to defend the course. Until that happens, a players work shouldn't become less stressful once they've arrived on the green.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
I don't care about shorts or long pants, but those NIKE shirts don't meet my dress code.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterZimmer
TV show American Greed should do an episode on the PGA Championship ad buyer.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCaperman
Boring. Golf in the East except courses on coast.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBill
Strangely, the telecast had this glitch where a few random golf shots kept interrupting the commercials.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterH. Montgomery
What's the fuss? The PGA and the U.S. Open just swapped roles this year.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
The problem is that QH's difficulties don't translate well to a TV screen. Difficult is good, but it only works as weentertainment when we can see the fear factor - an island green, a drive over a hotel, knee-high rough or flag-bending wind. Short but dense bemuda rough and holes cut on subtle knobs, though, doesn't look difficult, and that makes the players look like hacks. And that is simply no fun to watch.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
+1 Easingwold
This is what you get when you don't properly regulate the equipment in a game. Just like tennis ruined the serve and volley with giant raquets golf has redefined the balance of skill sets at this level with poor regulation. Still way under par will win when some players said even would be good enough. What makes it a boring telecast has more to do with the corporate approach to the presentation, too little golf being shown. As for pace of play it will never get faster without penalty strokes and a time clock.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMunihack
I actually kind of liked the toughness mixed with some real chances to score...and I had been initially critical of QH.
The CBS broadcast is what it is...awful. The idea that McCord is actually getting more airtime is downright criminal.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
A tournament is a 4 day thing. It's not like the Masters hasn't had a Saturday where it was very tough to score.

Freezing, crashing and replaying ads sounds a lot like Golf Channel Live Extra not all that long ago. They got that fixed, so there's always hope.

The only thing I'll say about how long the rounds took is the Green Mile Channel timed out with Jason Day putting on 17. Anybody want to tell me what happened on 18?
If you have a roku or firestick CBS All Access app worked perfectly for the broadcast. You get a free one month trial that you can cancel anytime when you sign up so it comes at no cost as well.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTJ
Differing takes all bring a side dish to the picnic, but the winning post has to be D Mac. with his reference to a poleaxed steer, a new moniker Jason Day afforded on 18 Saturday. Damn, where was his caddie?!? Had him an ''out'' club and run, don't walk away. A easy 5 was turned into something, i still don't know because i quit watching when Jason was in the bushes.

@ Jeff - poetry in motion, Bro...

@em and aunty-em- I LIKE Dottie! were you spurned by her at an event, em? Didn't care for her creepy venture into botox? ( Me to!- very scary!) Her Voice reminds you of an old flame--OUT! aunty-em- your work here is done!

@Convert- points made well- 10 under be it a ''US OPEN'' type course -well- it has only happened not too much.

@EW- The Voice Of Reason, always with a read worthy of time- play on, pal, just do not drop dead!

@ Prairie Golfer- you tell it. But for the time Kisner had to weight(sic) I would be all for Texan Chris Stroud, as he is the best story, since Jordan S. spit the bit- he really putted much better than he scored, as did many, i guess. I agree that Stroud ''deserves'' to make it happen in a way- but Kisner has been met with more obstacles than a poleaxed frat boy dissed by Dotty
Pepper in front of the entire ''Live From'' crewe on Sunday after the lovin'.... with commercial interuption.

fuck ''grow the game'' Pure joy will bring about more players, not corporate weenie burns.

@ Helena, committeemmaann--- never have watched ''Breaking Bad'', but i loved ''Malcolm in the Middle'',.

Trevor is good at the mid. Commercial for criminals driving MB is in poor taste, though the reality id very accurate.

Finally- one week of poor television will not make or break golf to future real players. If it is that big a deal, the person was not gonna be a golfer anyway.

dig

one last thought- While often the wind is a factor brought up with certain areas producing more champions, I say the players who grew up with bermuda are more adaptable to oter grasses; where the bent, bluegrass. Poa Annua players seem to really struggle with bermuda,--especially the rough. Having grow up with bermuda, i can attest to the uncertainty of chip and pitch shots being a bit of a guess without much practice. the same on winter rye,, bent etc. are much easier.

one more last thought- people are making putts at the PGA
08.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
The Liberal Tears posts got deleted by Shack. He just can't handle anyone who doesn't whine right along with him. lol
@Patches- A snowman for Day on the 18th. Golfweek has a recap that is mind boggling in its similarity in which this 14 hcp can screw up a hole. Or maybe not. I certainly would not have even thought of playing his second shot the way he did.

Same article postulated that at 18, Day was tired due to the 5.5 hour round he had endured. No sympathy here for Jason AllDay as he endured that 5.5 hour slog.

Hey, Jason- Don't want to play a 5.5 hour round? Then don't be the poster child for slow and deliberate play. Tell your mates to pick it up, also.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLateral Hazard
Jason Day and JB Holmes?
PGA better hope it doesn't go to a playoff.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
Tank top, surfer shorts, pot, coke, tats, piercings, all a-ok, let's grow the game.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
@FC - I go to the golf course to avoid all those scourges of modern society!

Still not feeling the love for Quail Hollow. I wonder how those Charlotte millionaires in the houses adjacent to the holes feel about so many of the great unwashed being within their gated community. Maybe Mr. Harris will buy all the houses visible from the course and knock them down in his pursuit to be the next ANGC.

Rooting for a win by Stroud (thise pants!) or Kisner; hoping Matsuyama does not. Don't feel the vibe for Thomas or Fowler today.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterGreg B.
Some of you are whining more than the ladies at Aunt Betty's knitting club. If you are watching commercials...it's your own damn fault....lol.
08.13.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarmooskapaul

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