Keith Hirshland, our producer, came up with the idea based on the fact that he loves the natural sounds of the game and conversational interaction of player and caddie. With GC's Executives Jack Graham and Tom Stathakes in full support, the idea went forward . Golf Channel prides itself on "listening in" on the banter between player and caddie better than any other network. Nothing irritates him more than having announcers interrupt and talk about what the player might do or what are they thinking instead of being quiet and listening to the actual conversation. I wholeheartedly agree! What could possibly be better than hearing first hand what the player faces? Yes, even the GC commentators have interrupted from time to time, but we're cognizant of it and effort to not get in the way.
Well, this Saturday, we won't be given the chance to get in the way. After Jerry Foltz introduces the show and what is going to transpire, there will be no more play by play commentary or on course commentary. No more announcer taking you in and out of commercial. Phil Parkin, Stephanie Sparks and I will do a few interviews during the 2 1/2 hour show and Jerry Foltz and Curt Byrum will answer viewers questions and comments via Twitter and/or e-mail . Word on the street is that a couple of PGA players who are at home being couch potatoes will contact us.
GC's graphics and audio team are going to have to go above and beyond and really excel to make up for the lack of commentary. Fortunately, we have a top notch team in place and that shouldn't be an issue.
What will be interesting to find out is whether the public misses the announcers voices. What happens if, heaven forbid, it becomes apparent that we commentators are not missed or needed? Can our egos handle that?? Is the audience going to have a better or worse experience? How will hearing more natural sound and less created sound affect the viewer?
Regardless of whether the telecast is a huge success or failure, I admire the GC for taking the chance on something new. It's good to experiment and try something different. And who knows, maybe the other networks will learn from our show and it will ultimately make all telecasts better! Tune in on Saturday 4:30-7 pm eastern time on Golf Channel to join in on the fun!