By Fergus Bisset published
Here are seven examples of the stock phrases TV commentators are liable to use during the course of Masters week.
When live coverage of the U.S. Masters kicks off next Wednesday with shots of the curtain-raising par-3 contest, armchair golf fans around the world will settle down for five days of glorious viewing. The Masters undoubtedly provides a wonderful spectacle. But, returning to the same venue each year, with the same holes, same driving-in ceremony, same super-slick greens and perilous pin positions, it’s difficult for the TV commentators to think of new things to say. As a result they can end up saying the same things rather often. Here are seven examples of clanging Masters clichés:
“A tournament like no other.”
Yeah, it’s kind of true. But let’s face it; there are some similarities between The Masters and other tournaments. It’s 72-holes strokeplay with a 36-hole cut, featuring the best players in the world over a beautifully manicured golf course… sound at all familiar? The winner receives over $1 million for his efforts and a Major title – that’s the same for all four of the year’s big events.
But the winner at Augusta does also get a funky jacket. Although, so does the winner at the Australian Masters, Harbour Town, Colonial… There is the fact it’s played on the same course each year. Hmm, so is The Players Championship, or even the Omega European Masters…
Perhaps then, it’s “a tournament that has some similarities to others, but is more memorable than most.”
“Following in the footsteps of legends.”
This is likely to be said during quiet moments when you see someone like Kevin Streelman walking over the Hogan Bridge to the 12th green, or a long shot of Cameron Tringale and Brian Harman strolling up the 18th fairway.
“That is, quite literally, the best he could have done there.”
This one often comes out when a player short-sides himself, or leaves a ball above the cup on the green and makes a reasonable fist of the next shot. (Mark Roe is almost guaranteed to say it at some point.)
It’s true that Augusta features some of the most difficult green complexes in world golf and it can be fiendishly difficult to get the ball close to some of the precarious pins. But, if the ball doesn’t go in the hole, it’s not the best the player could have done. “That is a fabulous effort,” would cover it. Even, “That’s a near miracle to get the ball so close from that spot.” But, if the ball doesn’t drop, it’s not “quite literally” the best he could have done from there.
“A sea of colour.”
Look out for this one to be said at least 46 times through the coverage of the par-3 competition. It’s pretty difficult for the commentators to speak for three hours about old-timers playing distinctly average wedge shots and kids in mini-boiler suits missing putts. So, every few minutes, the cameras will pan out to show the banks of spectators surrounded by blooming azaleas – a veritable, “sea of colour.”
“Watch out, Tiger’s on the prowl.”
This one will, of course, only come out if Tiger Woods actually tees it up at Augusta. But, if he does, this cliché will be used any time the former World Number 1 makes a birdie or holes a putt, even if he’s +4 through 27 holes and in danger of missing the cut.
“It’s like watching a well choreographed dance routine.”
Towards the end of the first two day’s play, when the main protagonists are finished and coverage is winding down, there will generally be some footage of the Augusta greenkeepers mowing the fairways in precise formation. It’s an impressive sight and evidence of the attention to detail that goes into making the course look so near-perfect each year. But it’s hardly Swan Lake.
“He just had to blow on that one.”
No, that would have been against the rules. He just had to hit it very, very softly.
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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