CBS's New "Aerial Tracing" Is Getting Slaughtered, Maybe A Bit Unfairly?

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People, people! Breathe!

Sure, the latest attempt at breakthrough technology was not perfect in its Saturday debut. GolfDigest.com’s Christopher Powers rounds up the rants in reaction to the first hole tee shot of Justin Rose, the technology’s debut on CBS.

The issue appears to be one of scale and visibility. The holes were presented horizontally, forcing a reduction in hole scale that made it hard to tell if a ball was heading for fairway or rough. The shot from the blimp kept the entire hole in view, which took us even farther away from being able to see details. There was also some uncertainty in when to cut away from the trace to the ball landing.

I still see a level of authenticity in seeing the actual hole instead of a graphic (since the graphics often do not reflect reality).

If the architectural features of the landing can be better delineated by the view, and the hole presented vertically to improve size and perspective, this could have great value.

Here is the Tweet with quite the onslaught of comments


2019 PGA First Round Ratings Hold Steady, Close To Last Year's May Players

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Paulsen at Sports Media Watch notes the “slight bump” in PGA round one ratings, the first in the new May date. Up 1% from the 2018 PGA, down 7% from 2017 PGA.

The average audience of 990,000 viewers was comparable to last year’s Players, played a week earlier, where the audience was slightly larger (1 million viewers).

Tip O' The Cap: Fox's Shane Bacon Heads To U.S. Open Sectionals

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Nice work by the Fox Sports lead-when-Joe-Buck-isn’t-working voice of golf to make the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying this year. Good luck Monday in Dallas.

Though there is a U.S. Senior Women’s Open this weekend to cover first. At least you have Mid-Pines and Pinehurst nearby for some early morning or late evening practice!

Koepka Explains Why He Escalated Chamblee Manspat; Admits To No Photoshop Skills

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Golf.com’s Dylan Dethier talks to Brooks Koepka about why the top golfer took to Twitter to post a photo of Brandel Chamblee sporting a clown’s nose after the Golf Channel commentator’s latest criticism of the three-time major winner.

During the Masters, Chamblee ripped Koepka for his recent weight loss by suggesting that the 29-year-old lost the weight for vanity reasons. It has been rumored that Koepka lost the weight ahead of an appearance in ESPN‘s The Body Issue later this year.

“He’s done it a lot, he’s always got an opinion on something,” Koepka said. “And I don’t really respond too much. I know he said a bunch of things at Augusta and I never responded, that’s not really my style.

“But there comes a point where you just don’t care, and like I said, a picture’s worth more than a thousand words.”

Koepka does admit the image came from a buddy in a group text exchange. I smell an opening for Brandel!

Meanwhile, the saga has generated debate about who can discuss and critically analyze careers and we discussed today on Morning Drive:

He Wins Majors, Photoshops Too: Brooks Koepka Ups Manspat With Chamblee

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You know Brooks Koepka is annoyed when he takes back control of his Twitter account from sponsors to post this jab at Brandel Chamblee, Golf Channel analyst and recent critic of the three-time major winner.

In the latest installment of Chamblee’s views of Koepka, he tells Jaime Diaz on their podcast that there are “likely two” players who can “hang” with the revitalized Tiger Woods. From Dylan Dethier’s Golf.com account:

“In the aggregate, you’d have Dustin and Rory who are the likely two who could hang with him,” he said. “Jon Rahm’s still got a lot to learn. His iron play’s not as sharp as it needs to be to be the best player in the world, and it forces him to have to pitch the ball…his pitching, generally speaking, is not as good as it needs to be. And Spieth’s game has fallen off. So it’s really only two players who could challenge him. 

“Irrespective of the world rankings, I think all of us know what we need to know without the world rankings telling us, and it’s Rory and it’s Dustin Johnson and it’s Tiger Woods, but Tiger’s simply not going to play enough to get the points that he needs to get.”

Koepka has won three majors over the previous two seasons and was in contention at the Masters again this year, finishing T2, one back of Woods.

In reply, Koepka posted this image of Chamblee with a retweet:

We will be discussing this and other weighty issues on Monday’s Morning Drive.

Though I will say for now that I think a few more layers taking some shine off the nose and adding a bit more dimensionality would suggest Koepka needs to quit his day job.

USGA Downsizing: Where Has The Money Gone?

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It’s a question that will ruffle the feathers of Executive Committee members and USGA groupies, but after the news reported by Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com that downsizing in Far Hills is a thing, the question must be asked: where has the money gone?

From $37 million a year in NBC/ESPN money to $93 million under Fox through 2026, and yet, as Hoggard writes, the organization confirms 63 employees 55 and older have been offered a benefit plan closed to new participants in 2008. So far, he reports, 50 have taken the offer, kissing goodbye to oodles of institutional knowledge, insight and wisdom at a time the organization needs it more than ever in its history given issues the game faces.

From Hoggard’s report the USGA confirmed the program:

“As the USGA continues to evolve its organizational structure in an effort to drive greater impact and sustain a strong financial future, we have offered a voluntary retirement incentive plan to a segment of our staff,” the USGA said in a statement provided to GolfChannel.com. “It provides eligible employees with enhanced pension and retiree health benefits, with no obligation to participate.”

The deadline to accept the plan was Tuesday, and although employees still have a window of seven days to decide if they want to participate, sources have told GolfChannel.com that at least 50 have volunteered.

Costs for all businesses rise and the USGA has done its part to up purses for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, while better compensating host venues to pick up costs that come with the U.S. Open. They’ve improved Golf House, protect golf history when it’s called for and invest in some “grow the game” programs, it’s still hard not to wonder where the Fox money has gone.

Hoggard writes:

The move is surprising for an organization that appeared flush with cash from a 12-year television deal the USGA signed with Fox Sports in 2013.

According to various reports, the television rights deal is worth $93 million per year and the association reported $214 million in total revenue in 2017 according to tax forms.

Since we can’t really pick apart the budget, the news of layoffs and reorganization provide a wonderful opportunity to revisit where the organization was supposed to be with the Fox millions. That means re-reading Ron Sirak’s definitive Golf Digest story on the deal and what it would do for the USGA.

Of course, it’s cringeworthy reading given proclamations in Sirak’s story by the deal’s visionaries Glen Nager, Gary Stevenson, Tom O’Toole, Mike Davis, Casey Wasserman and Sarah Hirshland. Four of those names have all moved on to leave the mess behind to Davis.

Let’s catch up with them!

While this review is no comfort to those who are taking early retirement to help the USGA keep the lights on, it’s hard to say anyone but Wasserman has landed in a better place.

Nager is representing a dreadful Chinese company suing the United States and looking even more miserable than ever, Hirshland is dealing with the unfixable US Olympic Committee mess and stepping in it early on, while Stevenson has an MLS job and Pac-12 network launching on his resume, a notch above “former Enron executive” in the current sports business world. O’Toole, meanwhile, has not turned up in a green coat at the Masters but has been seen driving around carts with Fox logos at recent U.S. Open’s. I’m not sure if he’s working as Joe Buck’s go-fer, or just a friend of the network, but it’s not a great look for all involved.

Wasserman’s highly successful and generally well-regarded agency is still collecting USGA consulting checks as the engineer of the deal, but I can’t imagine his word in the golf world carries the weight it once did given Fox’s failure to deliver the USGA to the promised land of increased prominence and Masters-level ratings dreamed of by Nager.

The U.S. Open became golf’s lowest rated major in 2018.

Furthermore, Fox Sports 1 has not provided what was predicted by Hirshland in the Sirak story, and the organization has consolidated its exposure to a smaller audience. Maybe the documentaries portion is true:

"Financials are absolutely important, but that was not the only factor," says Hirshland, neither confirming nor denying the monetary terms of the deal. "First, we get the opportunity to expand our exposure and tell our story to a broader audience. We also get the opportunity to create some distinctiveness about the role we play in the game through ancillary programming like previews of major events, wrap-ups of lesser events and documentaries that use our archival material."

While Fox Sports 1 has finally stabilized in terms of programming, ratings and vision for the future, this AP story by Joe Reedy today mentions many things, but no plans to expand its place in golf.

Which brings us back to those who have devoted their lives to the sport serving the USGA and have institutional knowledge to share, but now face early retirement: if the Fox money and massive revenues of the U.S. Open—plus nearly $500 million in the bank according to the latest tax filings—are not enough to keep the USGA from needing to downsize, then where is the money going? What has happened?

Sadly, the folks who made the decisions possibly leading to this day have all moved on to other jobs while many of the folks they left behind are giving up theirs. It’s hard to see how this could possibly be good for the good of the game.

How Nantz And Tirico Called The Final Masters Putt

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The contrast and moment is similar to trying to compare Vin Scully and Jack Buck’s calls of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run since one legend was working television and the other legend on radio.

Jim Nantz was in Butler Cabin at that point for CBS while in the 18th hole booth Mike Tirico was working for Westwood One.

We were a little busy in the press building so I didn’t realize how long the CBS team went without saying anything: just over 2 minutes and 30 seconds. That is beyond an eternity in television history, but especially in modern TV.

For perspective, Scully went a minute after “She is gone!” before resurfacing with the brilliant “in a year that has been so improbable the impossible has happened.” Then another thirty seconds. Both eternities but Nantz and Faldo stayed quiet even longer as Tiger greeted his family and friends.

John Ourand interviewed both Nantz and Tirico about their calls and the moment was a blur for both.

“I have a hard time going through it with great detail because nothing was scripted out, and I’m not exactly sure of what I said in that entire scene at the 18th,” Nantz said.

Tirico had almost the same reaction. When I talked to him on Monday following the tournament, he had heard his final call several times from audio clips online. But immediately after the tournament, when he was asked on Golf Channel to describe his call, he couldn’t remember. “I just did it from the top of my head,” he said.

And that’s why we have embeds these days and kudos to the Masters social feed for including the full clip.

Tirico, on the other hand, could not leave Westwood One listeners listening to crowd noise, so he offered this exuberant call:

2019 Masters "Quad" Supercut And Final Talley Of Shots Shown

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Two of my favorite Masters traditions arrived and one took longer than normal, but boy was it worth it: Michael David Murphy has not put together his usual Tiger Woods “supercut” of the final 18 holes, but all 72 holes of the 2019 Masters. That makes it a Quad Supercut!

You can see it all in about 14 minutes and it’s pretty mesmerizing to watch. (Embed below.)

Jeff Haggar at Classic TV Sports filed his annual tally of shots shown last Sunday and I apologize for not recognizing this always-fine piece of work. But as many have wondered, runner-up Dustin Johnson was in fact forgotten about by CBS, albeit on a Sunday when so many players put themselves into contention. Still, 10 shots for a runner-up is not many given that the telecast was Chirkinian-esque in how many shots CBS did show.

The Tiger haters will be sad to hear CBS actually showed more shots of Francesco Molinari.

CBS covered 69 of the 70 strokes from winner Tiger Woods (skipping only a tap-in putt on hole #1). Francesco Molinari actually received coverage for 70 shots. His final score of 74 included two penalty strokes, so CBS only bypassed two of his shots (a layup on 15 and his tee shot on 17). Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau were spotlighted for 59 shots each. Those four players accounted for 57% of the televised shots.

Haggar also broke the numbers down by holes shown most and one number will surprise you.

GOLFTV Signs "Charismatic" Francesco Molinari To Exclusive Content Deal

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He’s a wonderful Champion Golfer of the Year, nice fellow and a fantastic story, but uh…charismatic? Maybe they were thinking of his charismatic brother Eduardo?

For Immediate Release…

Francesco Molinari signs exclusive global content deal with GOLFTV 

·        Reigning Open Champion and European Ryder Cup hero joins GOLFTV

·       Molinari to feature in exclusive GOLFTV content, including instruction series, behind-the-scenes access and post-round commentary 

·       Molinari: “GOLFTV’s passion is clear, and I’m proud to play a part in their mission to become the digital home of golf.”

NEW YORK, LONDON, April 17, 2019 – GOLFTV today announced a deal with reigning Open champion Francesco Molinari to produce a range of exclusive content for the live and on-demand video streaming service.

GOLFTV subscribers will be able to follow the charismatic Italian closer than ever before with unique behind-the-scenes access at PGA TOUR events. Italy’s first-ever major champion will give GOLFTV an unprecedented view into his tournament preparations and provide exclusive post-round reactions at select PGA TOUR events. 

GOLFTV will also produce exclusive video instruction series with Molinari, in which the World No. 7 will share insights into the techniques and practice routines that have helped him win 10 worldwide titles (including a major championship) and become the first European player to win five out of five matches in a single Ryder Cup. As part of the arrangement, Molinari, who continued his excellent recent form with a tied-fifth finish at The Masters on Sunday, will sport the GOLFTV logo on his staff bag at all tournaments.

Commenting on the partnership, Francesco Molinari said: “I love what Discovery and GOLFTV are aiming to achieve and I’m thrilled to be joining the team on its journey. It’s an exciting time for golf and for me personally, so I’m proud to play a part in their mission to become the digital home of golf around the world. I can’t wait to share my insights, reactions and opinions on GOLFTV. It’s going to be great for the fans to see what I do, and give an insight on my team behind-the-scenes and all the stuff that we do to show up on Thursday morning ready to go and try and win a golf tournament.

 

“I’ve been watching a lot of GOLFTV content and of course saw the reaction of their Italian commentators to my win at Bay Hill, which was truly amazing. Their passion for golf is clear and I’m hoping that by sharing my own practice tips it will inspire more people to pick up their clubs and play, and of course watch all the biggest tournaments on GOLFTV throughout the year,” Molinari added.    

Alex Kaplan, President and General Manager, Discovery Golf, said: “As a leading player on both the European Tour and PGA TOUR, Francesco is one of world’s most recognizable and popular golfers. We are delighted that he’s joining the GOLFTV team and excited to hear from him on a regular basis as we go behind the scenes and learn how he’s elevated his game to become Italy’s first major champion and a European Ryder Cup legend.

“Our partnership with Francesco further supports our broader ambition to grow GOLFTV into a true ecosystem for all things golf, powering people’s passions for watching, learning and playing,” Kaplan added.

The news that Molinari will link up with GOLFTV follows November’s announcement that 15-time major champion Tiger Woods, who captured his fifth Masters title last week, had joined in an exclusive content partnership agreement. In February, GOLFTV revealed it had further strengthened its line-up of experts with former Ladies European Tour professional Henni Zuel joining the streaming service as Lead Tour Correspondent. 

GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR, launched in January 2019 by Discovery and the TOUR, is available to fans around the world.* It presents more than 2,000 hours of live action each year** - including THE PLAYERS Championship, the FedExCup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup - as well as a wide range of premium content on-demand, featuring the sport’s most exciting moments, superstar players and tournaments on every screen and device. 

GOLFTV users in all international countries* can enjoy live coverage of the PGA TOUR’s Featured Holes and Featured Groups live streams, which feature many of the best players on the TOUR and appears before the traditional television broadcast window.  Full live rights are available on GOLFTV in a range of markets and growing year-on-year**. 

7.7 Overnight: 2019 Masters Scores Strong Ratings Despite Early Start

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Paulsen at Sports Media Watch has an excellent analysis of 2019 Masters final round ratings, which drew the lowest rating since 2004 but a fantastic share during the morning/early afternoon telecast expedited due to an ominous forecast. Combined with the 3.4 for the replay of the 12th hole on, and the total audience size was in line with Tiger’s 2010 return.

He writes:

Keep in mind that ratings are the percentage of homes watching a program out of the total number of television homes. Those numbers will be inevitably lower when fewer homes are watching television (as is the case during the morning).

Using the share, which is the percentage of homes watching out of the number of televisions in use, Sunday’s telecast fared much better. It had a 21 share, up 17% from last year (18) and tied with 2013 as the highest for the Masters since 2011.

An encore presentation of the final round delivered a 3.4 overnight from 3-7 PM ET. Combined, the live and encore telecasts grossed an 11.1 overnight. That would be the highest for the Masters since 2010, which marked Woods’ return to golf following his marital infidelity scandal (12.0).

Coupled with Saturday’s huge number and streaming’s erosion of ratings still appears not to have harmed the Masters.

GolfTV Getting Into The (Tiger) Match Business; Will This Kill "The Match"?

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Joe Levy of SportsProMedia.com reports on plans to have Tiger star in exhibition matches exclusive to the PGA Tour’s international distributor in select countries, GolfTV. The idea was revealed by Discovery CEO David Zaslav at the CAA World Congress of Sports, who said Woods will is all in and will have control of the format as part of his deal with GolfTV. One match is already scheduled for Tokyo.

Zaslav added that Woods was a key figure in the planning and implementation of these events, adding: "Tiger is going to decide what is the best format. Should it be one-on-one? Two-on-two? Should we have two matches going on at the same time. But he’s all in."

"We could bring in some local players, we could evolve the format so that it really works," continued Zaslav.

He added: “[Woods] can have a direct relationship with people that love golf and figure out what they want to see and what they want from him.”

This would seem to potentially doom another edition of The Match given that as an AT&T/BR Love/TNT play while GolfTV is the PGA Tour’s international, non-US distributor.

The move certainly makes Discovery’s deal with Woods look better given that the only content generated (so far) has been limited to Tweeted sitdown interviews.

Holly: "The golf at Fox just didn’t turn out to be what we thought it would be."

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While Fox has settled into their USGA broadcast role and delivered several innovative features as predicted, broadcaster Holly Sonders does admit some things never materialized in the form of other Fox golf properties or golf shows on Fox Sports 1 .

Talking to Golfweek’s Adam Woodward about the state of her career and her Michigan State Spartans, the intriguing quote probably is a view shared by the USGA in wondering why the network never added other golf to their lineup:

Q: Now that you’re in the studio and not doing golf coverage, what are you most excited about going forward, and what will you miss most about covering golf?

A: We never say never. Golf is still a part of who I am and what got me here. But the golf at Fox just didn’t turn out to be what we thought it would be. We hoped we would get more PGA Tour rights, and it just didn’t end up happening. But I wanted to be in the studio and show my personality. It’s what I like to do, make people smile and think and bring the best out of my co-host. There’s nothing like walking out of a studio knowing you kicked ass. And then there are a million projects that are on the table that are more entertainment and fun, so I’m kind of in that world too, and that’s been really good.

PGA Tour Dreaming Of Capturing Every Player, Every Hole With Eye On International Viewers

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Evin Priest considers the plight of Australians who are trying to stream golf via GolfTV and watching their native sons.

While the technology is still a ways off, the continued goal of the PGA Tour and GolfTV is to “localise” broadcasts so that fans can watch top stars from their country.

Golf TV executives believe the new platform is performing well in its eight markets but acknowledged the need to localise broadcasts.

Australian fans are able to watch golf's major tours live on Fox Sports as well as on Golf TV through personal devices.

Oh to see those numbers…sorry, go on.

Golf TV's future plans are to capture every shot at PGA Tour events and have a bunker-style facility package of live footage for individual countries.

"The vision for us, which is a number of years away, is every shot, of every player, on every hole," Rick Anderson, the PGA Tour's chief media officer, said.

But with PGA Tour fields ranging from 30 to 156 players, how Golf TV will capture every shot is yet to be determined.

"I want to be clear here ... I can't put an exact timeline on it, but we have identified the need to localise the viewing experience," Kaplan said.

I suppose I could see how some golfers are like teams to a fan, but in an individual sport where only one player in the modern game elicits a desire from fans to see every shot he hits, I’m still having a hard time seeing how this is the best use of resources. But maybe international markets may be a different animal and the approach may sell.

2:30 ET: Azinger, Faldo And Tirico Reuniting During Players Round 3

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NBC, CBS and Fox will have reps in the Players second round booth as Paul Azinger, Nick Faldo and Mike Tirico get the band back together from their old ABC golf days.

The Forecaddie explains how this happened and what made this trio such an entertaining broadcast team.

The three got together Wednesday night on Vantage Point for a roundtable chat, with Gary Koch joining in.

"Golf Channel Scores Most-Watched February"

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But streaming is the answer to all of golf’s prayers!

For Immediate Release:

GOLF CHANNEL SCORES MOST-WATCHED FEBRUARY 

26.3 Million Unique Viewers Tuned into Golf Coverage Across GOLF Channel and NBC in February, Doubling January 

GOLF Channel Returns as No. 1 Single-Sport Network in Total Day 

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 4, 2019) – NBC Sports Group’s golf coverage posted its most-watched February ever, averaging a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 142,000 viewers-per-minute in Total Day (24-hour period). GOLF Channel also returned as the No. 1 single-sport network in February, which became the most-watched month for GOLF since March 2018 (157,000 TAD). 26.3 million unique viewers tuned into golf coverage across NBC Sports in February, driven by PGA TOUR coverage on NBC delivering its most-watched February in 11 Years, according to data released by The Nielsen Company. 

“Following GOLF Channel’s most-watched year in 2018, February’s record viewership shows that the golf season is heating back up on GOLF Channel and NBC,” said Mike McCarley, president, GOLF, NBC Sports. “This momentum will continue as the sport’s new schedule builds with THE PLAYERS’ return to March – the first of six championship events over the next six straight months.”

Additional February highlights include:

  • PGA TOUR coverage on NBC in February posted 3.25 million viewers-per-minute (Waste Management Phoenix Open and the WGC-Mexico Championship).

  • Live coverage of the PGA TOUR in February on GOLF Channel drew 682,000 average viewers per minute.

  • GOLF Digital and PGA TOUR LIVE on NBC Sports Gold in February combined to account for nearly 108 million minutes streamed.

2019 WGC Mexico City Overnight Rating Drops Slightly

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Adding Tiger Woods to the mix did not deliver his usual bump due likely to Dustin Johnson playing in control through most of the weekend in Mexico City.

From SBD’s Austin Karp:

NBC yesterday drew a 2.8 overnight rating for the final round of the WGC-Mexico Championship, which saw Dustin Johnson win by five strokes over Rory McIlroy. Last year, NBC drew a 2.9 rating for the Sunday telecast, which saw Phil Mickelson win in a one-hole playoff with Justin Thomas. 

"Nothing unites Golf Twitter like protestations about the CBS telecasts"

From Alan Shipnuck’s Golf.com mailbag:

If the CBS telecast were a person would they have dinner at 4:00 pm in a Bob Evans? Would they also wear a sweater in July in Boca Raton? -@HouseSacco

It’s true that the CBS telecast retains the sensibilities of Ken Venturi, who would now be pushing 90. I dare say that, except for slow play, nothing unites Golf Twitter like protestations about the CBS telecasts. The presentation and metabolism simply isn’t working with the modern golf fan. What’s interesting is that the PGA Tour knows it, because minions from the communications dept. have pushed back against some of the fiercest on-line critics. Perhaps all of this energy would be better spent helping CBS improve its product.

"Behind the scenes of Johnny Miller's broadcast farewell"

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Ryan Lavner of GolfChannel.com tagged along with Johnny Miller for his final days with NBC Sports, and besides the still horrifying revelation of Johnny’s love for cheese whiz, there is plenty to enjoy.

This was fun:

The provocative commentary turned off some fans at home and didn’t endear Miller to those in the locker room, many of whom thought he was a bitter know-it-all lobbing grenades from above. Televised sports is rife with pros-turned-broadcasters who offer platitudes and coddle the athletes they cover. Miller never intended to be malicious; his mantra was accuracy, truth and honesty will always prevail.

“I like to say that I take off their clothes, but I leave their underwear on,” Miller says.  

If he ever thought he crossed the line on-air, he took two fingers and zipped his mouth shut. That was his cue to change the subject, even if a stunned Hicks sometimes needed 15 seconds of silence to recover.

Early in this farewell telecast, Hicks tries to goad Miller into a few more golf spike-in-mouth moments – “We know you’ve been holding back for 29 years, so have at it!” – but the opportunity for some vintage Johnny candor never presents itself. This is a day of celebration, after all, and sprinkled throughout the broadcast are tributes from Tour legends and past commissioners, NBC colleagues and other notable broadcasters, even a taped message from President Trump

For those who missed it, Roger Maltbie’s live farewell was incredible:

 

Roundup: Farewell's To Johnny Miller As He Gets Ready For His Final Broadcast

After nearly 30 years in the booth, Johnny Miller will call his final NBC broadcast on Saturday while working part of Friday’s Waste Management Open telecast on Golf Channel.

The broadcast, with NBC filling in for Super Bowl broadcaster CBS, will represent the 20th consecutive year of Miller and Dan Hicks making them the longest-tenured 18th tower tandem in broadcast golf history.

The farewells are flowing and the takes have all been a bit different.

David Feherty’s reflections as only Feherty can summarize a career.

Eamon Lynch points out how players came around to respecting Johnny after some rough days early on. Winning at Pebble Beach in 1994 delivered another level of street cred for those who forgot how incredible he was in the mid-1970s.

Speaking of that, Jim McCabe looks back at Johnny’s special relationship with desert golf.

Jerry Tarde recalls various Johnny stories for Golf Digest.

Josh Sens recaps Johnny’s 14 most memorable moments.

Tom Hoffarth reminds us how much we’ll miss Miller.

Of course the late Dick Enberg is gone but another sidekick of Johnny’s remembered him on this week’s Real Sports. The video here, the text of Bryant Gumbel’s remarks below:

After 29 years as golf’s preeminent analyst, Johnny is calling it quits, leaving his seat in the tower on the 18th hole, and leaving a television void that is irreplaceable. 

I had the pleasure of being Johnny’s TV partner on his very first broadcast back in 1990. That’s when he famously used the word ‘choke’ as a player stood over an important shot. In subsequent tournaments, he raised hackles by saying one player ‘should’ve just stayed home,’ and that another had a swing ‘that would make a great player puke.’

That such remarks often caused a raucous speaks well of Johnny, and less so of the sad lack of candor in televised sports. In a business that is too often bland, Miller’s honesty has been unusual, his insights blunt, and his assessments smart.

That’s been his stock and trade since Day 1, so on his last day there’s no telling just what he might say from the PGA Tour stop in Phoenix this weekend. 

Look – televised golf may not be your thing, but if you never caught Johnny Miller’s work, you should try it, because there’s no one quite like him in all of live sports broadcasting. 

Given the increasing coddling of modern athletes in general, and touring pros in particular, I doubt there ever will be.

Mike O’Malley compiles the best of Johnny wisdom through the years.

Skratch put together this tribute of Johnny being Johnny moments: