From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Justin Rose isn’t a fan of people stealing his thoughts

with one comment

Justin Rose wishes you, the golf fan, weren’t so quizzical. Honestly, he wishes you’d just enjoy his game and quit wondering what he’s saying or thinking during a golf round.

At least that’s the way he put it in an op-ed piece that ran in Sports Illustrated this week. In the article, Rose comes to the defense of those players who have no interest in being mic’ed for a PGA Tour round.

If you’ll recall, the Golf Channel went to great lengths — I use that term loosely — to make sure golf fans got an inside look into the inner thoughts of professional golfers by using portable microphones this year during rounds.

There was only one problem; the Golf Channel made sure the microphones were optional, thereby making it very easy for players to get out of wearing a microphone at all. Oops!

During the last week’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, only one player in the field — Jonathan Byrd — agreed to wear a mike during a round. The Golf Channel was so excited about Byrd’s commitment, in fact, that they showed up to Friday’s round with faulty equipment for the only player in the field that agreed to wear one.

The idea ended was nixed before it even got a test-run in 2011.

Golf Channel not only ended up with egg on its face, but also with a bigger problem: nobody wants to wear the darn thing.

So on Monday, Rose took to to tell people why the mike is a nuisance that will almost certainly disappear in 2011.

I’ve worn a mike on the golf course before — at the Tavistock Cup. Physically, I was oblivious to it after the 1st hole, but the effects lasted the entire round. I try to feel as free as possible with my game, and I don’t want to be too mindful and conservative while I’m on the course. When I’m having a conversation with my caddie, Mark (Fouch) Fulcher, or a playing partner, I don’t want to feel self-conscious.

If I’m in a frustrating situation, sometimes I need to vent. In the heat of battle I may walk up to find my ball in a divot after hitting a great shot and get upset. I’m generally comfortable with my attitude and how I handle myself, but in golf that’s not going to happen every time.

Long story short, these guys just don’t want to have their entire lives broadcast to viewers at home. While the Golf Channel claims the comments and remarks on the course will only be used at various points in the telecast (i.e. nothing live), there’s still somebody in the truck that’s getting to hear every word during the round.

I’m a guy, so I know exactly what I talk about with my friends when I’m on the golf course. And I can assure you it’s not always PG or PG-13-friendly; sometimes guys just want to have fun and relax.

It’s hard enough that these guys are grinding all week for a paycheck, and possibly their livelihood. So if, by chance, they end up in a group on Friday with a buddy, why not enjoy the time to relax and shoot the breeze? Nobody wants to be forced to watch what they say during a round.

Look, I understand what Golf Channel’s trying to do; they want fans at home to see the inner-workings of a player-caddie relationship, and maybe glean a little bit from some of the best in the game. But I think this is the one boundary the players don’t the fans to go beyond.

Like the ropes at a tour event, there are some places that should be reserved for the golfers on the course. Sure, the idea sounds good on paper, but the last thing you want to do at this point is piss-off the moneymaker (the golfers). The network would be smart to let this issue be and just go on with the tour season.

I can assure you nobody will miss the idea when it’s gone.


Written by Jonathan Wall

01/12/2011 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I think that’s fair. I love to hear what these guys say or go through but ultimately we can’t have it impact their game. A lot of the younger guys give us good insight through Twitter or a blog.

    If they will wear it for charity events, maybe that’s a good compromise.

    01/14/2011 at 1:45 pm

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