Monday Thoughts

Big Blue Live:  Tonight, and for the following two nights, PBS is airing a program which is, apparently, live coverage of Monterey Bay, showing the rejuvenation of marine life in the area.  True golf fans will want to watch this because Pebble Beach is on the Monterey Peninsula.

THIS is what Morning Drive should be…  Okay, I’m only halfway through this podcast, but it’s exactly what I want from a morning golf program.  It’s Chris Solomon (No Laying Up) and Kyle Porter (CBS) talking for an hour.  It is everything Golf Channel’s Morning Drive is not.  And no commercials.  There’s irreverence, humor, and a ton of actual golf talk.  There’s even a cool bit about Anirban Lahiri in this one, which I’ll discuss later.

There’s more interesting information in the thirty minutes I’ve heard than I’ve gotten from Golf Channel in the past month.  It’s not even close.

I should do a better job of monitoring the podcasts available online.  There are several outlets doing these things.  Maybe I should put up a link in my sidebar.  That way people, when they want golf talk, could flip off Golf Channel and listen to some of the available podcasts.

When it comes to Morning Drive, I often feel like I am banging my head against the wall, but I have only myself to blame when I ignore these podcast options.

I Try:  I try to watch Morning Drive.

Today, I woke up wanting to hear about yesterday’s action, about next week’s event, lively, opinionated back-and-forth.  I switched to Golf Channel several times, and I heard nothing about Jason Day or any of the others.  I saw Charlie Rymer and Paige hitting balls at a simulator explaining something about the golf swing and turned back to CNN.  I tried again later and encountered a discussion about whether or not Paige and Charlie like Donald Ross courses or something.  I flipped it off.  I wouldn’t mind catching Shack, to see if he has anything interesting to offer, but will I even think about it again?  Doubtful.  Radio and television are filled with football talk about the start of college football this week.  The stock markets are in turmoil.  Several interesting news stories.  And Golf Channel gives me swing tips and course design lessons?  You can’t be serious.

Consider the Monday after the first round of the NFL playoffs.  Do you turn on ESPN to hear how to grip a football so you can throw a tight spiral?  Do you want to hear a discussion of which stadium architect did the best job, which stadium is the prettiest?  No, you want to hear about the playoff games just played, and the ones to be played next week.

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22 Responses to Monday Thoughts

  1. RealGolfFan says:

    The instruction tips they do during the Morning Drive really are annoying. These are supposed to be journalist type folk, not golf instructors. Leave the teaching to the teaching golf professionals. They do have whole shows dedicated to that stuff, after all.

  2. NLU says:

    Whale in Lake Michigan?! That’s awesomely funny.

  3. Bird says:

    You’re right, of course, but have a little sympathy. They’re no different than their range-rat cousins imparting free advice to anyone and everyone, whether they want to hear it or not. I can usually hear them clearly from seven or eight stalls away.

  4. NLU says:

    DJ is a dumbass…..which is why is as good as he is

    That’s effectively what they said, and it’s hilarious.

    • lannyh says:

      Well, you will never hear that discussion on Golf Channel! Also, Kyle had some good commentary about the Woods Only crowd that will never see the light of day at the CBS website.

  5. JoseyWales says:

    I listened to the podcast…this is what I heard:
    “In terms of like, like DJ, I’m like annoyed…like, I don’t know, like, like Spieth had a good year, like…we, like, I don’t know what the word is…are you kidding me?…like, in my head I’m like thinking, like…you’re right about, like being on top, like…but like somebody needs to, like, photo shop Koepka, like…with my ear up against my phone I’m like trying to hear, like…people don’t even know what they’re talking about, like, I don’t know, like, like, you don’t understand the way DJ played, like, like, like…like

    • lannyh says:

      I have to be honest: I didn’t once notice a “like.” They may have said it a million times, but it never annoyed me at all. But then I knew what to expect going in; maybe it’s an acquired taste.

      I do have a couple of complaints I’ll try to cover in the morning. Not with the format/style, but with a couple of the remarks.

  6. JoseyWales says:

    Wk/event Wkly. ave. viewers per minute
    4/20 (Zurich) 56,000
    4/27 (WGC Match Play) 59,000
    5/4 (Players Ch.) 68,000
    5/11 (Wells Fargo) 46,000
    5/18 (Colonial) 43,000
    5/25 (B. Nelson) 62,000
    6/1 (Memorial) 49,000
    6/6 (St. Jude) 65,000
    6/15 (US Open) 138,000
    6/22 (Hartford) 81,000
    6/29 (Greenbriar) 58,000
    7/6 (John Deere) 54,000
    7/13 (Open Ch.) 68,000
    7/21 (Canadian Open) 74,000
    7/27 (Quicken Loans) 73,000
    8/3 (Firestone) 62,000
    8/10 (PGA Ch.) 82,000
    8/17 (Wyndham) 96,000

    To compare…Golf Central…which begins in evening Prime Time (6pm), averages around 77,000 viewers per minute…slightly stronger in audience share than Morning Drive. The week of the Wyndham rating for Morning Drive (96,000) was the second highest of the year ranking only behind the US Open week…pretty astounding for a second tier, weak field, PGA Tour event. The number for Golf Central during Wyndham week was 115,000. In general, the numbers for Morning Drive are pretty weak except when there is a large event being played (or Tiger Woods is in the field).

    • lannyh says:

      Here’s my question: If the ratings are always low, but slightly higher when Woods plays, would that not suggest this as a possibility?

      The Only Tiger Matters fans know MD is All Tiger All The Time, so they tune in. But the other 330 million people in the nation already gave up on MD being watchable on any day.

      I mean, how can anyone be surprised that Wyndham got better numbers when their spin was that “Tiger winning the Wyndham would be bigger then Jordan Spieth winning four events, with two being majors.”

      • JoseyWales says:

        yah…but the Wyndham rating is higher than the PGA Championship…how come?

      • lannyh says:

        Woods missed the cut, and MD has so alienated serious golf fans, they’ve lost them for good. Their only appeal is to the Tiger Only crowd. They made their own bed. I hope they all lose their jobs.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As always Lanny – you only consider hard data when it suits your argument. When it blatantly discredits your “narrative”, it’s dismissed as “real golf fans have been alienated”. What the hell does that even mean??? Do you have data to back that embarrassingly childish argument?? Great post Josey Wales!

    • lannyh says:

      What’s “childish” about it? IN a nation of 330 million, they get 100K on their “big week”? Obviously they are offering a product no one is buying. When you consider they have a locked-in audience of those in the sector — instructors, course operators, equipment sellers and manufacturers — one has consider their ratings a massive fail.

      You keep right on watching. Well, you keep right on watching when Woods plays, as that’s all you care about. You and the other .015 percent of the nation can cheer, cheer, cheer for Tiger to “come back.”

      Me, I’ll be listening to the podcasts that cover golf instead of an over-the-hill freak show.

  8. JoseyWales says:

    The numbers I posted are just for the Morning Drive show…not for the tournament viewership. It is a measure of interest in “hot topics” and “chatter” in the morning on Golf Channel …the numbers go down during the weeks where there is “not much happening” and up when people are engaged.
    Some numbers that surprised me: pretty weak during the Memorial…unusually strong for the Hartford week…but the Wyndham number to me is astounding.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Lanny – it’s not about the actual number of households, but the relative increase when Woods is in contention. That’s the point that you are either unwilling or unable to see. We all agree – in total numbers, these do not compare at all to any of the Big Three Sports. As stated before – those are the facts – It’s not about anyone’s opinion. I would hazard a guess that you even get more hits and comments on this website when Woods is in contention (which is incredibly rare).

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