Stellar Field at THE PLAYERS Showcases Marquee Coverage on Golf Channel & NBC

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 28, 2015, 5:50 pm

More than 90 Hours of Live Television Devoted to the Pride of the

PGA TOUR Schedule, Featuring the Year’s Top Field of Players


22 Hours of Live Tournament Coverage, Highlighted by One of

Golf Channel’s and NBC’s Most Technologically Advanced Productions


The dramatic setting of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass and its famous 17th hole will provide the backdrop for THE PLAYERS Championship, headlining more than 90 hours of combined live programming on Golf Channel and Golf Channel on NBC, May 4-10.

Boasting the strongest field of the year competing on one of the world’s most iconic golf courses, THE PLAYERS Championship is the most-anticipated tournament on the PGA TOUR schedule. A combined 22 hours of live golf coverage will air on both Golf Channel and NBC, which will be blanketed by nearly 70 live hours of the most comprehensive golf news, analysis and feature programming on television, with Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS and Morning Drive.

BROADCAST TEAM: Golf Channel on NBC’s live tournament coverage of THE PLAYERS Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks and Hall-of-Famer Johnny Miller. Terry Gannon and Sir Nick Faldo will host the majority of early round coverage on Golf Channel, with Hicks and Miller contributing.  The remainder of the broadcast team for all four rounds will include Gary Koch (17th hole) and Peter Jacobsen (15th hole) in tower positions; Notah Begay, Billy Ray Brown, Roger Maltbie and Mark Rolfing walking with the players; Steve Sands conducting interviews; and Jimmy Roberts providing features and essays. Kelly Tilghman will serve as tournament telecast host for Golf Channel’s early round coverage, while Josh Elliott will again host NBC’s weekend coverage.

Rich Lerner, Tilghman and Ryan Burr will anchor Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS coverage from TPC Sawgrass and will be joined by analysts Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, 1999 PLAYERS Champion David Duval and a host of others, including award-winning journalists Tim Rosaforte and John Feinstein. Lisa Cornwell and George Savaricas will host from Golf Channel’s World Headquarters in Orlando, and will be joined by analysts Jim Gallagher Jr. and Tripp Isenhour.

SPECIAL PRODUCTION ELEMENTS: Every conceivable angle of the famous par-3, 17th hole and its island green will be covered by Golf Channel on NBC’s production team. A total of nine high-definition cameras, including a microscopic lens embedded in the lip of the small bunker fronting the green, will be in place. Returning is the popular “Actioncam,” a cable-suspended camera system that will fly over the lake between the 16th and 17th greens. A camera also will be situated behind the 14th tee that will provide a seldom seen, reverse ball-flight for one of the more difficult tee shots on the course.

Some of the manned camera positions also are noteworthy, including a position lifted by a crane 150 feet into the air above the tree line that will show unique shots of the 16th, 17th, and 18th holes. Another camera operator is ferried to a small island near the 17th green where he is marooned for approximately eight hours during a broadcast, capturing player reactions from this unique angle.

FEATURES:  Throughout the week within Live From THE PLAYERS, Golf Channel will offer in-depth features built around the best stories in golf, both compelling and entertaining:

  • The 18th – arguably the most challenging finishing hole in golf, the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass has seen remarkable moments of victory and defeat. Interviewed are course architects Pete and Alice Dye, and some of the more famous moments at 18 are recalled, including Hal Sutton’s “Be the right club today” moment, Adam Scott’s splashdown and the amazing three-hole finish of Golf Channel analyst Craig Perks in 2002.
  • Furyk – heading to THE PLAYERS Championship – always a home game for Jim Furyk – take a look at this enigmatic player’s career and the resiliency he has shown over the last five years enduring seven runner-up finishes without a win until his recent victory at the RBC Heritage.
  • Players and Caddies – it’s a relationship comparable to marriage, so how do players and caddies handle the balance of professional and personal required to be successful on tour?  Rich Lerner reports.
  • Jason Day – he’s a regular on major championship leaderboards and is frequently mentioned as part of the youth movement on the PGA TOUR. Discover the Jason Day story and how his caddie has played a major role in his life and success.

MORNING DRIVE:  With a new set location at TPC Sawgrass, Morning Drive will have a live presence on site all week with analysis, guests and features exclusive to the show. Beginning each day with the latest news from THE PLAYERS Championship will be Gary Williams, Cara Robinson, Charlie Rymer, Chris DiMarco, Paige MacKenzie and Matt Ginella.

THE GOLF FIX: Host Michael Breed will take over TPC Sawgrass’ practice putting green for the first-ever live putting episode of The Golf Fix on Monday, May 4 at 6 p.m. ET. Breed will look back at the most famous putts in the history of THE PLAYERS, and will teach viewers the tricks to reading greens, things to consider when lag putting and how to determine if you are a “spot” or “line” putter. Junior golfers from The First Tee of North Florida also will participate in the show to help demonstrate Breed’s instruction tips on putting.

DIGITAL CONTENT: will feature expanded editorial content during THE PLAYERS Championship week, with up-to-the-minute blogs and fan interaction, including:

  • News & Features writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell, Joe Posnanski and Will Gray will be reporting from TPC Sawgrass and posting features throughout the week.
  • Exclusive Video Content will provide video updates daily throughout the week from the network’s digital studio in Orlando, as well as segments from Golf Central’s Live      From THE PLAYERS and Morning Drive news coverage.

STREAMING ON GOLF LIVE EXTRA/NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA:  All the news and tournament action surrounding THE PLAYERS Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online through the help of Golf Channel’s Golf Live Extra. Fans also can stream Golf Channel on NBC coverage of live golf with NBC Sports Live Extra.

Golf Channel/NBC live programming from THE PLAYERS Championship, May 4-10 (all times Eastern):

Monday, May 4

Morning Drive                                                                7-11 a.m.

The Golf Fix                                                                   6-7 p.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           7-8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 5

Morning Drive                                                               7-9 a.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           9 a.m.-5 pm.

                                                                                     6-9 p.m.

Wednesday, May 6

Morning Drive                                                                7-9 a.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           9 a.m.-5 p.m.

                                                                                     7-9 p.m.

Thursday, May 7

Morning Drive                                                               6-9 a.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           9 a.m.-1 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                          1-7 p.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           7-9 p.m.

Friday, May 8

Morning Drive                                                               6-9 a.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           9 a.m.-1 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                          1-7 p.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           7-9 p.m.

Saturday, May 10

Morning Drive                                                                6-9 a.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           9 a.m.-2 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                          2-7 p.m. (NBC)

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           7-9 p.m.

Sunday, May 11

Morning Drive                                                               6-9 a.m.

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           9 a.m.-2 p.m.

THE PLAYERS Championship                                          2-7 p.m. (NBC)

Golf Central’s Live From THE PLAYERS                           7-9 p.m.

Getty Images

What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

Getty Images

Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

Getty Images

Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

Getty Images

Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.