Golf Channel goes to school

I can’t take credit for the following press release, as Geoff Shackelford somehow picked it up.[photopress:tadd_1.jpg,full,alignright]

Ever wonder why the Golf Channel was moved to digital cable in Canada? Because no one watched it. There was simply nothing worth watching. I didn’t even watch it and I write about golf for a living. I didn’t want to see Mark O’Meara talk about the Medicus 2000 anymore. I didn’t want that guy to tell me the “truth” about golf. I didn’t care about the Golf Channel because it was full of informercials and propaganda for pro golf. It was not — and is not now — very critical or insightful. It was a whorefest for any company that could shill any sort of swing fix. The best thing in the last three years on the Golf Channel is old repeats of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf and early morning European Tour broadcasts. And those to things have combined audience of six.

Anyway, the Golf Channel now has PGA Tour coverage, so maybe there’s a reason to tune in again (I did for parts of the Mercedes and Sony). But here’s what the Golf Channel plays when they aren’t showing informercials with over-the-hill pro golfers or their instructors:

Golf Channel sent out a “newsflash” on this important note:

GOLF CHANNEL to Highlight Fujikawas Return to High School on Tuesdays Golf Central

The GOLF CHANNEL will follow Tadd Fujikawa as he returns to classes on Tuesday at Moanalua High School in Honolulu, two days removed from finishing in a tie for 20th at the Sony Open in Hawaii and becoming the youngest golfer in 50 years to make a cut on the PGA TOUR. The segment will air on Golf Central on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.

The GOLF CHANNELs Mark Rolfing will be on-hand to document the 16-year-old sophomores return to high school and the reception from his fellow classmates. On Wednesday’s Golf Central, Fujikawa’s first bowel movement will be discussed in an up close and personal sit-down interview with Rolfing.

That last line is Geoff’s, just to see if you were still reading. I liked Tadd. The kid is as small as Prince, and hits the ball a long way. But come on — what is Mark (I’m a complete sychophant) Rolfing going to actually say? Of course the kids at the school know their exceptionally short classmate is a pretty good golfer, and those that don’t will wonder why he’s being followed around with TV cameras or perhaps think Tadd is auditioning for the Gary Coleman biopic. This is the sort of propaganda Michelle Wie usually gets from Rolfing — but since she can’t hit the ball straight anymore, we get Tadd.

I can see it now:

“Megan, Rolfing here, I think Tadd is going down the hall, and yes, that’s right, he’s entering the lavatory. Well, you know it has been a stress-filled week, so maybe he’s going to relieve some of that pressure….”

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • RT…..There’s plenty of worthwhile programming on the Golf Channel, always has been. European Tour, LPGA, Nationwide, Cdn Tour, highlights from old major tournaments, instruction (some of it good, some not so good), some informative equipment programs (What’s in the bag), interviews and analysis (Golf Talk Live, Sprint Post Game, Grey Goose 19th Hole)……..Sure it’s got some fluff (Big Break, infomercials)…..Doesn’t every network have the occasional miss?

  • RPF: Whorefest — Webster’s def — the act of prostituting one’s self with several others of the same intent. Also see repeated informercials.

    Notta: Come on? Sprint Post Game? What’s in the Bag? I’ll tell you what’s in the bag! That said, I agree on the Nationwide and European stuff. But beyond that it is an informercial whorefest.

  • The Golf Channel is doing a decent job. Like others, I enjoy “Playing Lessons with the Pros”. Have picked up some terrific tips. Golf Academy is not bad as well. Like you (Rob), I enjoy Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf repeats and the early morning European Tour. Also, have enjoyed Golf Channels first couple of PGA broadcasts. Enjoy Nick Faldo’s comments and insite.
    Regarding the infomercials. Yes they are a “pain”, but they are necessary to keep the the Channel on the air. Thank goodness, they air them during the week day when the majority of us are working, or busy golfing on the week end afternoons.

    Regarding Tadd, Golf needed a “feel good” story like Tadd
    I think everyone needed for a Tadd to come along, as we are getting fed up with the exploits of Michelle Wie. Like most golf analysts are saying its not Michelle, but the management/marketing team/parents who are controlling her career. I guess when you made $19.5 million in endorsements last season there are certainly big expectations.
    Following Tadd back to school was mean’t to show that this kid is just like the majority of the public school kids out there, and is not previleged like many of the up and coming amateurs.
    Here is an excerpt from an article printed yesterday:

    Regarding Tadd’s mother, she does clerical work in an auto body shop. Her husband is a project manager for a contractor. Lori Fujikawa works until school gets out at Moanalua High, picks up her son and takes him to various golf courses, where he plays until dark.

    Wie has been working with David Leadbetter’s stable of swing coaches since junior high, and it wasn’t long before she added a nutritionist and a sports psychologist.
    As a pro, she had three agents from the William Morris Agency at the Sony Open.
    Fujikawa took his first lesson from a PGA teaching pro when he was 12, then decided last fall to figure out the rest on his own.”

    I think this was part of what the Golf Channel wanted to portray is that Tadd is not a spoiled kid and has been a fighter since being born premature.

    Lets just hope that Tadd’s parents let him finish high school, play some college golf and then consider the tour. As Tiger once commented on the Michelle Wie subject. She needs to learn to win!!! Just look at what Tiger does to his competitors who have not mastered this. Can I say Colin Montgomerie…….!!!

    Enough for now, as I could go on and on…………

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