Golf On Terrestrial TV? Yes Please, But Not On The BBC!

The coverage of the USPGA Championship will not win any awards!

Peter Allis
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The BBC TV coverage of the USPGA Championship hit a new low after the dreadfully low key attempts to show the action from Quail Hollow

Golf On Terrestrial TV? Yes Please, But Not On The BBC!

Well what great drama at the USPGA Championship over the weekend, with Justin Thomas coming through a host of players to take the victory… what do you mean you didn’t know it was on?

The BBC appeared to be handed the broadcasting rights for the USPGA Championship a month or so ago, and since then it was clear they did very little to prepare for the event. It did coincide with the World Athletics Championships taking place in London, and also the first week of the Premier League. But at least one advertisement would have been good to see.

As for the coverage itself – pathetic

They had nowhere to show the event except behind the red button right up until 11pm most nights. This meant no HD viewing and when it did come on live the commentary team were utterly awful.

That team were clearly locked in a bunker in West London somewhere and knew very little about the field or what had been happening in the season.

So confused did the team get that they couldn’t work out who was playing with who, or simply identify golfers correctly.

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It was quite clear that the BBC had no want or need for this event being handed to them, they got huge viewing figures for the final runs of Mo Farah and Usain Bolt, and of course Match Of The Day is the highlights to many a family’s Saturday evening. So it begs the question, why did the take the broadcasting rights in the first place?

This was a great opportunity for another free to air broadcaster to take the rights and look after the final Major of the season properly, unfortunately this just given to the same old group of tired and uninformed broadcasters that were unable to properly illuminate the pictures being beamed across to the audience.

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Ken Brown who so many people enjoy, instead of charging about the course and creating nice little video segments, was left to try and make a conversation with a worryingly confused Peter Allis in a broom cupboard in a BBC cellar. Allis is able to come up with the odd ray of sunshine, but simply is not up to being lead commentator for any lengthy space of time. His incredible legacy is continued to be tarnished.

To rub salt into the wound Andrew Cotter, who is right up there with one of the best commentators at the BBC’s disposal, and a golf lover, was at The London Stadium describing the athletics rather than waxing lyrical about Quail Hollow.

I really am so happy that the PGA decided to try and get their tournament in front of more eyes and that is one of the only ways we are going to be able to grow our great game, but let’s keep the BBC out of this conversation. There are plenty of other organisations who will try to cover one of the pinnacles of our game with hiding it behind such shows as – Flood: To The Sea (opens in new tab) which was on at 10pm on Saturday night on BBC2.

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Thomas Patrick Clarke
Sports Digital Editor

Tom Clarke joined Golf Monthly as a sub editor in 2009 being promoted to content editor in 2012 and then senior content editor in 2014, before becoming Sports Digital Editor for the Sport Vertical within Future in 2022. Tom currently looks after all the digital products that Golf Monthly produce including Strategy and Content Planning for the website and social media - Tom also assists the Cycling, Football, Rugby and Marine titles at Future. Tom plays off 16 and lists Augusta National (name drop), Old Head and Le Touessrok as the favourite courses he has played. Tom is an avid viewer of all golf content with a particularly in depth knowledge of the pro tour.