“If it works, it could be to golf announcers what reality TV was to actors," according to Golf Channel announcer Stephanie Sparks.
Sparks and Kay Cockerill will be on the 13th and 15th tees doing player interviews and Jerry Foltz and Curt Byrum will limit their comments on air but will interact with viewers "via social media channels such as Twitter," according to a network release.
You will also hear commentary directly from the caddies and players as the final four pairings will be equipped with a boom microphone.
Will this Twitter, Facebook social media experience have golf fans frantically typing away on their smart phones interacting with announcers or will the experiment prove to be a flop? Television commentary has been known to be dry at times so why not spice it up, chatting back-and-forth with an extended audience? And, isn't it better to experiment at the Albertsons Boise Open than open up all social media communications right before the Masters?
John Daly whose Twitter following is about 71,000 (31,400 Facebook) and Stewart Cink who has amassed over a million Twitter followers, Golf Channel currently has about 19,000 followers on Twitter and about 28,000 Facebook fans. With this interactive take on golf, it will be interesting to see by how much Golf Channel's followers increase.
Foltz mentioned that his bosses claim that this isn't a long-term plan but, if Golf Channel's social media 'announcer-lite' pure golf experiment improves numbers on Twitter and Facebook, I'll bet the broadcasting team will be cracking their knuckles for another event in the near future.
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