At the point of writing this…THERE IS LIVE GOLF ON TV!! How good is it to see the world’s best back out there competing once again?
From the sounds of things coming out of this week’s PGA Tour comeback in Texas, they seem to have got things spot on. Yes it’s a little bit different to what we’re used to, but then again what isn’t in this ‘new normal’. Constant testing of players, caddies and pretty much anyone involved in the television production and course set up has meant that they are basically in their own little bubble, and it was confirmed before the start of play on Thursday that every single person involved was clear and healthy.
Yet the precautions are still in place when it comes things like sanitation – seeing caddies wipe down the flag stick after they’ve used it is great to see. In fact, more often than not it looked to be generally only one caddie touching the flag per hole, rather than the customary ‘batton-passing’ then we’d normally see. It just shows that all the players and caddies know how important this is for themselves and for the game of golf as a whole.
The thing that has made us at Bunker HQ laugh though is where the lack of crowds are concerned. It is kind of creepy and eerie not to have some silly American shouting random foods as players launch yet another 300 yards drive. But then to see players chipping in or holing long putts and look bemused by the lack of cheers is brilliant….on a number of occasions you can see them getting ready to tip their caps only to remember what the situation now is. They’re definitely on auto-pilot once they start competing again.
What annoys us though is the commentary team saying that is must be very strange for crowds not to be there! Firstly, without crowds you realise how many camera and sound crew are needed to bring us the coverage we’re used to….and its more people than you se at some tour events this side of the pond! Also, ultimately, these players are like you and me. They grew up playing at their local courses with their mates, they still practice in solitude at their homes…pretty sure the lack of crowds is nothing out of the ordinary and probably quite nice for them too.
One great new idea is to have players ‘micced-up’ with Rickie Fowler leading the way on this. Its great to hear how the players and caddies interact, both over the shots they’re hitting and just the general chit-chat that the players have as they walk down the fairway. It could be very interesting for sure if they put a microphone on some of the more passionate guys out there, but at the end of the day we’ve all heard worse on a Saturday morning in our club medals!