Golf Media Notes: Buck, Norman Will Have Different Feel Than Longtime NBC Crew
YAHOO SPORTS' Shane Bacon wrote Fox' new golf announcing team of Joe Buck and Greg Norman is "definitely going to be a different feel from what we've come to expect" during the U.S. Open from the NBC duo of Dan Hicks and Johnny Miller. Miller is one of the "most knowledgeable golf announcers out there," while Hicks "always seems to handle himself as a professional and do a solid job" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/15). GOLF DIGEST's Alex Myers wrote of Buck and Norman replacing Hicks and Miller, "Good luck, guys. Those are some big chairs to fill" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 4/15). Norman is represented through Great White Shark Enterprises. Buck is represented by CAA (THE DAILY).
FINDING THE FAIRWAY: GOLF WORLD's John Strege writes those who "wanted more from Masters Week might have found it by tuning in to Golf Channel, which was limited only by the hours that tournament golf was airing." The net "took advantage too by breaking news," including Ben Crenshaw's announcement that he would play in The Masters for the final time in '15. Before the tournament began, Golf HOFer Gary Player appeared on Golf Channel to "defend Tiger Woods against charges that his fitness obsession might have played a role in his myriad injuries." Meanwhile, ESPN aired the first two rounds, but "offered little reason to change channels, notwithstanding its knowledgeable stable of analysts" that included Paul Azinger and Dottie Pepper. Azinger is among the "most astute analysts in golf, but he spent the bulk of his Masters week working for the BBC" (GOLF WORLD, 4/21 issue).
IN THE ROUGH: GOLFWEEK's Martin Kaufmann writes under the header, "It's Time For Augusta To Drop CBS." CBS Sports Coordinating Producer Lance Barrow "clutters every show with redundant highlight packages and graphics, apparently so that he can rack up shots on tape rather than show live action." The "poor production work ... obscured a solid week for analyst Nick Faldo." Kaufmann: "Why must we listen to Faldo and Jim Nantz chatter as Jordan Spieth and caddie Michael Greller are discussing the approach to 10?" If Augusta National wants to "continue to play it safe, it can continue to cede its precious TV rights to CBS." But if the club "has the courage to take TV's biggest golf event to the next level, it will make the long overdue decision to move its production rights to another outlet" (GOLF WEEK, 4/18 issue).
STAYING HOME: Media writer Ed Sherman noted the Dallas Morning News "wasn’t at the Masters this year," which means it "wouldn’t have had a staff byline piece from Augusta" if Dallas-native Spieth had won the tournament. The Morning News "used to be big time into golf," sending golf writers "to 10-15 tournaments per year, maybe more." Sherman noted he was not "trying to single out the Morning News" but rather make a "striking statement about the current state of newspapers and their coverage of golf." Sherman: "It isn’t a priority anymore" (SHERMANREPORT.com, 4/14).