Friday, October 08, 2010

Will eavesdropping on PGA, LPGA golfers bring more reality to golf TV?

Golf fans previously immersed in the FedEx Cup and Ryder Cup are now being fed more reality-based PGA Tour and LPGA events where golfers are mic'd up during their round. Golf Channel continues to test this format on TV with the assistance of a few willing participants.

Will this experiment in unrehearsed 'golfer to caddy chat' increase viewership?

In a nutshell, here are four choices for golf television viewing October 7-10.
In two out of the four events, professional golfers will have microphones attached so that fans can hear conversations with their caddies.

PGA Tour logoThe McGladrey Classic
Dates: Oct. 7-10
Venue: Seaside Course, Sea Island Golf Club, St. Simons Island, Ga.

  • Davis Love III Mic’d Up – Continuing a test with PGA TOUR players with microphones in 2010, Golf Channel will fit PGA TOUR professional Davis Love III with a microphone during Thursday’s opening round of coverage.  Viewers will have the opportunity to eavesdrop on conversations between Davis Love III and his caddy throughout the opening round of play. 

LPGA logoNavistar LPGA Classic presented by Monaco RV
                 Dates: Oct. 7-10
                 Venue: The Senator Course, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Ala

  •        Amanda Blumenherst Mic’d Up – LPGA Tour professional Amanda Blumenherst will be fitted with a microphone during Thursday’s tournament coverage and also will be the network’s Spotlight Player.
           At the Turn and Walk and Talk Featured – Val Skinner and Stephanie Sparks will interview players as they are walking the fairways during all four days of coverage as part of the network’s Walk and Talk feature.  On the weekend, they will interview players between holes 9 and 10 in the At the Turn feature.
            Battle for No. 1 Continues: Rolex Rankings No. 1 Ai Miyazato and No. 3 Cristie Kerr headline a field that includes No. 6 Na Yeon Choi, No. 8 In-Kyung Kim and No. 10 Paula Creamer.  Creamer, the reigning U.S. Open champion, will make her first appearance in Prattville.

Champions Tour logoConstellation Energy Senior Players Championship
Dates: Oct. 7-10
Venue: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Potomac, Md.

  • Season’s Final MajorAn elite field headlines the Champions Tour’s final major of the year, including Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Fred Funk, Corey Pavin, Jay Haas, Mark Calcavecchia, Hale Irwin and Tom Watson.
  •  Langer Going for Three Major VictoriesBernhard Langer will attempt to match Jack Nicklaus as the only Champions Tour professional to win three major championships in one season.
  • Homecoming for FunkThe Maryland native and former University of Maryland golf coach returns to a familiar venue and will attempt to equal Langer’s achievement in 2010 by winning back-to-back Champions Tour majors.

European Tour LogoAlfred Dunhill Links Championship
Dates: Oct. 7-10
Kingsbarns Golf Links, Kingsbarns, Scotland
Carnoustie Golf Links, Angus, Scotland
Old Course, St. Andrews Golf Club, St. Andrews, Scotland

  • World-Class Field: Nine members of the successful European Ryder Cup Team and captain Colin Montgomerie headlines the world-class field that also includes three-time major champion Ernie Els, two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, major champions Michael Campbell, Paul Lawrie and John Daly, who returns to the site of his 1995 Open Championship victory.

  • Sports and Entertainment Celebrities Featured International celebrities will compete this week, including Samuel L Jackson, Hugh Grant, Kyle MacLachlan, Huey Lewis and Michael Flatley.  Sporting legends from the world of soccer, tennis, soccer and skiing are also scheduled to compete.

  • Unique Tournament Format – Contested on three of the world’s best known and respected courses – the Old Course at St. Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns Golf Links – 168 teams consisting of one professional and one amateur will play the first three rounds on the three courses in rotation.  The top-60 professionals and ties, plus the 20 leading teams, will play the final round at the Old Course at St. Andrews on Sunday.

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