Reactions to Fox's televised golf debut
By Torleif Sorenson on 12/15/14

On Saturday afternoon, Fox Sports debuted their televised golf coverage on Saturday afternoon, presenting the final round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout from Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida. And while your humble correspondent would normally have watched, a VIP visit at a regional airport took precedence over watching television.

Golf Digest contributor Geoff Shackelford praised David Fay's analysis of a rather ugly rules incident at the 17th hole involving Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel. But elsewhere, Shackelford took some delight in torching most of the rest of their coverage.

John Iaciofano seems to have authored the best and most detailed analysis of the ups-and-downs of Fox's maiden voyage into golf on television, grading both the announcers and the appearance. But given that Iaciofano is an attorney, his comprehensive and well-written overview perhaps should be expected.

Chicago-based writer and blogger Ed Sherman soberly acknowledged that this was a dress rehearsal and that "it's hard to make much of an assessment with a silly season event. It almost had the feel of a NFL preseason game, with no real juice or drama."

Over at, Sports Illustrated senior editor Jeff Ritter said that "(i)t wasn't always silky smooth, but overall Fox had a nice debut. Norman and Faxon had an early tendency to talk over each other, but eventually they settled in and added some nice color to a laid-back event. My biggest gripe: They need to ditch the NFL intro music and do something new and original for golf. When I hear that music it just feels like it's time to settle in for Eagles-Cowboys."

Indeed, the awkwardly-recorded clip that somebody posted on YouTube (top) shows that Fox Sports botched the opening to their golf coverage, unwisely borrowing their NFL theme song and tooting their own horn about their new golf coverage. This writer is also a classically-trained musician and a previously published critic. And while I must say that the Fox NFL music package isn't nearly as cringe-inducing and monumentally dreadful as The Supremes' gobsmackingly bad 1968 hit "The Happening," or even Rebecca Black's "Friday," it does not belong on on their golf coverage.

At least Joe Buck was nice enough to acknowledge the late, great Frank Chirkinian by name. But while Buck then acknowledged that golf fans simply want to watch golf, Fox spent at least three-and-a-half minutes doing anything but. And Buck's ubiquitous presence on Fox Sports leads this writer to ask if we are seeing a modern-day revival of the Brent Musberger "anchor monster" phenomenon.

Those of you who watched on Saturday, please pipe in!

Have you seen an interesting golf story? Tell us about it!

[ comments ]
jpjeffery says:
Firstly, who's the "You have golf on Fox!?" girl.

Secondly, what do you guys think of Joe Buck? I can't say I think much of his baseball commentary, I find him a little emotionless and macho.
SpaceMaNy0 says:
I wish Joe Buck laryngitis. Permanently.
Torleif Sorenson says:
SpaceMan: Would you prefer Gus Johnson instead? :-P
brianmk24 says:
Joe Buck is awful doing baseball and golf and mostly awful doing football. I'll take Gus for college basketball and that's it, certainly not for soccer. The Fox Sports/football music was a little discombobulating. I'm sure that I'm in the minority, but I don't mind Brent and it's entertaining to figure out which side/total he bet for the game.
MikeyPingJ says:
Joe Buck has no personality and therefore hard to listen to. Greg Norman is, was and will always be an assh@le. Just read about how he was with Chris Everett's kids. what's he going to talk about, how he choked his way out of so many majors? I wonder if FOX will add those "cool" fake sound effects to golf, like they do with baseball and football. Oh and maybe they will do those "cliffhanger moments" and go to commercial, before the putt gets to the damn hole. Nice going USGA!!!! And, does anyone really miss Holly Sonders on the The Golf Channel? I don't miss seeing her overly made up face trying to hit a golf ball with high heels on, while staring at herself on the monitor, off to the side of the set.
MikeyBomp says:
Mikey, I couldn't have said it better myself!!!
jpjeffery says:
American TV is weird. I've read so many posts on so many sites in which people express a dislike (or worse) of Joe Buck it makes me wonder how much that reflects the wider US public. If If the reflection is fair, and therefore most US people don't like Buck, how the heck does he keep getting the gigs?

I realise this is largely moot, but...
jpjeffery says:
PS the question of who's the "You have golf on Fox!?" girl still stands!
Jattruia says:
JPJ - According to the signage behind her, that's Katie Nolan. I had never heard of her, but i think i'm a fan.
homermania says:
I liked some of the graphics, but the theme music is so associated with football, it felt like a juxtaposition with the golf. I like the drone flyovers, too.
srogers13 says:
JPJ, that is Katie Nolan,she was on that show on Fox Sports 1 that had Regis Philbin. Now, she mostly does video features on the website, and some other features for their nightly sports show. Not sure if she is more cute or funny.
slimpks1850 says:
I thought the HD didn't quite look up to par. I didn't watch much but did catch a back & forth between Norman & Faxon about pitching that was good. If they keep up the back & forth it'll be entertaining.

Can I just add ---one of the greatest addition by subtractions--- No Johnny Miller babbling about who knows what. He is horrible.
jpjeffery says:
OK, Katie Nolan, just looked her up and she is a cutie! Thanks, guys.
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