Lanny’s Very Smart Golf Brain



Golf Activist Lanny H Forces Finchem’s Hand

Sayonora, Tiger Woods!

Armed only with truth, facts, and the 21st century equivalent of a No. 2 pencil, Lanny H Golf has once again shaken up golf’s power elite.  After Emily Kay wondered aloud why the PGA Tour’s website still featured Tiger Woods, Lanny H made it Priority One to pressure Tim Finchem into changing the PGA Tour’s Players page to something with a reasonable relationship to reality.

We wrote about it at this website, and we also contacted the PGA Tour directly:

emkayHere’s the before and after:



It’s amusing to note Finchem couldn’t bring himself to immediately put Jordan at the top — nor to completely delete World No. 351 in order to add, oh, I don’t know, maybe World No. 1 Jason Day — but perhaps his shrink recommended this intermediate step of “Tour Eligibility Ranking.”

Anyway, it must be noted that we — and your comments carry as much or more weight than my posts — made this happen.  The power of the Old Lions!  We think for ourselves and speak our mind unafraid of bosses, sponsors, players, retailers, Finchem, Steinberg, the golf media, or anyone else.  (With apologies to younger readers!  I’m just saying it’s easier to be fearless when your “career” days are behind you.)  I might not take this website all that seriously, but golf’s power elite sure do.


Two Fridays ago, early in the morning before play began that day, I wrote this:

Rookie of the Next Year is narrowed down to two players: Smylie Kaufman and Emiliano Grillo.

Little did I know I was picking the first two winners of the season.

Last year, the Tour had a rookie winner, but it was in an opposite-field event (SOF = 40).  This year, we have two rookie winners after two weeks (SOF = 283 and 244, respectively).

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42 Responses to Lanny’s Very Smart Golf Brain

  1. Ken says:

    Great final round by Kaufman.

    And again Kevin Na comes up short. But that bungled chip on #17 tells you why he always comes up short.

  2. Anonymous says:

    ““The new stars are resonating with the public and with the sponsors and advertisers, whether it’s Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy or Rickie Fowler,” McManus says. “This is a very exciting and very meaningful time in the game of golf. It would be nice if Tiger were in the mix, but all of the arrows are pointing in the right direction. It’s a good time to be in the business of golf.”

    Sean McManus…Pres. CBS Sports.

    • lannyh says:

      Well, they sold the idea that Woods was critical to golf. Now they look like fools when the reaction to Woods’s demise is a big yawn.

      Funny thing is, participation rates were down during the Woods era. They just ignored that.

      It’s a common strategy, though. That make like the Ryder Cup is a huge thing, but its ratings are abysmal. And it’s going to happen with the Olympics.

    • lannyh says:

      I just looked it up. The highest rating ever for Ryder Cup was 5.2. Remember when Bubba Watson won the 2014 Masters in a runaway and everyone was wringing their hands about how horrible the ratings were? That pulled a 7.8.

      The way the media presents the world doesn’t have much to do with reality.

  3. JoseyWales says:

    The Golf Channel is going to have a tough time with ratings next year…they are in a three year decline…I expect layoffs but if they happen it will be kept hush-hush.

    • Ken says:

      When you see their actual numbers of viewers, it’s kind of stunning that they stay on the air. That a big production and staff for a minuscule audience.

      • JoseyWales says:

        So true…I think they have been lucky to have NBC right there to bail them out…but if they had to stand alone, they would be in trouble. Their numbers separate from NBC and CBS are very weak.

      • Anonymous says:

        I guess like with all golf ratings, who watches (professionals with disposable income) is more important than how many watch. That’s why the “Tiger moves the needle” stuff means very little.

        Still, there has to be a minimum acceptable number and GC must be challenging that.

      • lannyh says:

        Are the live coverage numbers not in line with what they might expect? For me, the major problem is Morning Drive. I still feel like if they’d move to a Mike and Mike format — ahem, like Williams and Kuselias — they’d have a better offering. Maybe they like this format for the product placement opportunities.

  4. TigerFan says:

    GC has been on the air for roughly 20 years but is flailing. Tiger’s career basically lasted 20 years. Not a coincidence. When Tiger goes away, so will the GC.

  5. JoseyWales says:

    I actually agree with Tiger Fan about the Golf Channel. I can see them going away, disappearing. There really is no substance to 90% of their programming…when they are not showing live golf they basically have zero viewership, and most of the live golf ratings are weak. And with constant pressure on cable tv channels to survive, I would bet on GC not making the cut within the next 4 years.

    • Ken says:

      Despite the ratings, I don’t see them going away. The people who do watch are prime advertising targets.

      Even as low as their ratings are, a lot of cable channels have next to no viewers. All those various specialty channels on food, travel, religion, etc. don’t have large audiences. The cable/satellite providers need content.

      • JoseyWales says:

        True…but live golf costs a lot to telecast…operating expenses are heavy. I mean, the food channel has one person tossing salad and a couple camera people.

      • lannyh says:

        Here’s the truth no one wants to acknowledge: the more coverage costs, the worse it is. The marquee group online streams are generally great. No frills, just golf.

        The Golf Channel isn’t going anywhere. NBC just signed a deal for the Brit Open for the next 12 years.

      • Ken says:

        You are right about live golf coverage. Gotta be pricey to produce. I still think GC isn’t going away, but we might see even more insipid programming replacing some of the live golf.

      • lannyh says:

        The trend has been more and more live coverage. They also buy coverage from third parties in some cases.

      • Ken says:

        Carrying the European Tour probably doesn’t cost them much.

  6. JoseyWales says:

    The British Open never draws big tv ratings in the US. If it was a money maker, why would ESPN drop it a year early? The BBC ditched it. ABC Sports also ditched it years ago. NBC picked it up because they were in the embarrassing situation of having ZERO majors to televise. NBC probably paid too much for it because they were in a tough spot, especially after losing the US Open to Fox.

    • lannyh says:

      It’s a 12-year deal. Does that sound like NBC is going shuttle Golf Channel?

      I think the troll has gone from “Tiger will win 30 majors” to “GC will go under without Tiger.” I think that kind of trolling plays better at

      • JoseyWales says:

        As long as Golf Channel makes money or at least isn’t losing money, NBC will protect them. But if GC becomes a drain, NBC will make a move…maybe absorb them. It’s all about the money. As for Morning Drive, their numbers are weak but I think that show is cheap to produce so they can exist with minimal ratings. Don’t forget, that morning slot on GC was filled with infomercials for years. As far as the MD format, it’s basically a puppet for the PGA Tour and the golf equipment companies. They will keep the format milk toast, squeaky clean and cheap to operate.
        They downplay the drug thing at all costs. You will never see the Mike & Mike thing or the First Take thing…too risky. Even way back when Peter Kessler challenged the Callaway illegal driver Arnold Palmer was pimping, you saw what happened… Mr. Kessler disappeared and the subject was dropped. Golf Channel is controlled by those who pay the bills: the PGA Tour, PGA of America and the golf equipment companies.

      • JoseyWales says:

        Lanny, re: the 12 year deal. NBC basically was boxed into making a deal for the British Open (Open Ch.) or be left with ZERO Majors to telecast. I say the deal was made more out of fear and necessity than financial gain.

      • lannyh says:

        Whatever the reason, it is not the kind of thing they’d do if they are considering the shutdown of Golf Channel.

        BTW, did you see where SB Nation referenced this article and gave me a shoutout? Pretty cool, eh?

        And to think you guys thought my bluster was all bluster.

    • Ken says:

      The BBC didn’t ditch the British Open. They were outbid. It draws a huge worldwide audience. In Europe, the time difference obviously isn’t an issue, which does impact US ratings.

      • JoseyWales says:

        from the AP…
        “The BBC is surrendering the live domestic television rights of one of its most prized sporting events, golf’s British Open, to subscription broadcaster Sky a year early for financial reasons.
        Earlier this year Sky Sports secured exclusive rights to televise the Open from 2017 to 2021, but the Royal and Ancient announced Wednesday that the satellite broadcaster controlled by Rupert Murdoch would begin live coverage in 2016.
        BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said the decision was in ”light of financial development” and ”a pragmatic one.”

        You can call it “outbid” if you want but basically the BBC didn’t want it. Yes, the British Open does well globally but tv ratings in the US are not that great and the fact is it has bounced around from ABC to ESPN to NBC through the years.

      • Ken says:

        I still think “outbid” is accurate. The BBC made a financial decision not to outbid Sky. The British Open is one of the most-watched events of the year worldwide. Though it was a valuable property to the BBC, Sky wanted it more.

        Yes, it’s bounced from network to network in the US. ABC and ESPN are the same thing. NBC just paid big bucks for it. The event isn’t hurting for an American TV outlet, it just waits to see who pays the most.

  7. Pingback: Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour demotion just the latest sign of the ex-No. 1’s plummeting popularity | NeoBlack News

  8. Pingback: Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour demotion just the latest sign of the ex-No. 1’s plummeting popularity | The Scoopp

  9. JoseyWales says:

    “BTW, did you see where SB Nation referenced this article and gave me a shoutout? Pretty cool, eh? ”
    Lanny…some good advice…if you are going to stick around in the media biz (yes, like it or not you are part of the media)…”check your ego at the door”

  10. JoseyWales says:

    Speaking of golf media…the best golf follow on Twitter…by far…Steve Elling.

  11. lannyh says:

    Stats tell me I’ve gotten a million visitors from in the past 24 hours. They must have a link up. Do they have discussion boards over there or something? (I can’t find anything, but I’m not a member.)

  12. JoseyWales says:

    Not sure how that works.

    • lannyh says:

      I got a lot of traffic from SB Nation, too, from the link in Emily Kay’s article. That made sense. However, at, I could not locate the link. Wherever it was, it got a lot of attention. Most times such a traffic surge comes from a link in a comment someone left, but in this case the traffic seemed far too high for that.

  13. JoseyWales says:

    Lanny…listen to this podcast with Dottie Pepper…some good insights behind the scenes of televised golf…it’s 39 minutes long but worth it…

  14. TrueGolfFan says:

    Lanny thinks he’s God’s gift to “media” reporting. Problem is half the crap he says, a bunch of us already thought of.

    But, he’s got a website so that makes him special. That makes him the voice of reason. Get over yourself.

  15. Anonymous says:

    ANOTHER withdrawal by the media obsessed boy in Eldrick. Now the worthless golf channel can talk for hours and hours as to why he’s not 21 anymore, without ANY mention that STEROIDS, or lack thereof, had much to do about his success….

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