Week In Review Jan 8-14: New TV Deal

WeekInReview2.jpgJohn Huggan got the week off to a wonderful start with his Sunday column looking at the 2006 season and beyond.

Charles Howell likened Augusta National to Torrey Pines and struggled to say nice things about the redo. But he never said anything negative either. Oh just read the post.

We had our first driving distance watch and dispelled the myth that Kapalua has been artificially inflating the averages.

The college coaches signed up a third distance measuring device corporate sponsor, making them about the only body in golf pushing the devices for competition.

Lawrence Donegan introduced us to Steve Otto, R&A ball scientist who had some interesting things to say about the "miracle ball" concept that was widely denied to exist.

Meanwhile Peter Dawson insisted again that the distance issue has plateaued and nothing has changed over the last three years, ignoring evidence to the contrary.

But of course the big news of the week came from Ponte Vedra where Tim Finchem announced a new TV deal and his press conference raised more questions than it answered. On Friday afternoon (hmmm...someone else releases bad news then...) the Tour released its 2007 schedule with some stunning changes. More on that this week. Look for writers in towns that lost events to rip the Tour, and writers in towns saved by the bell to praise Finchem's streamlining.

I'm offering a major award to the first golf writer to actually contemplate whether the PGA Tour's "product" was less appealing to networks because of influences such as the Tour's anti-birdie approach to setup, slow play or the power game.

The early round-ups indicated the golf media thinks the 15-year deal is pretty impressive, all things considered (though they won't consider what those things are that are dragging the game down). Even Larry Bohannan was positive despite the dreadful deal the Bob Hope Classic is receiving.

We offered this flashback looking at comments following the last TV deal.

And finally, the SF Chronicle revealed the stunning budget overruns at Harding Park.

Comment of the week comes from Ned Ludd, commenting on Donald Trump's planned entry into the uh, Scottish marketplace: The warm welcome by the locals sounds like something from the movie "Local Hero"; play the chap for all the money they can. Doubt the ending will be as good.

Big points for citing one of my all time favorites Ned! Local Hero that is, not Donald Trump.