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How to watch Golf.

Before I started playing - I thought golf should be removed from TV - it has been compared to watching paint dry. However, it can be fun. You can learn a lot watching too. I scream and yell during a tourney so much - you would think I'm watching football or a boxing match.  Here are some tips to help you enjoy watching the game.

1. Get to Know The Players

If you are new to the game - you will need to get to know the players. There are some real characters.   If you had a friend playing - you probably wouldn't mind watching them. So get to know the players by watching one of the bigger tournaments - where they all show up - on a Sunday afternoon. Find some players you LOVE and some you HATE - makes it fun.  You can yell "Shank! right before the ones you hate Tee off -  from the comfort of your own home and the marshal's wont say a thing. If you you make some bets you'll do that a lot - when anyone you don't have money on is about to hit the ball.

2. Bet a Couple Bucks

I don't want to encourage gambling - but - for a few bucks - the game gets way more interesting. Go down to the Hilton sports-book - (now called LVH) The sports-book in is the back - Swenson north - turns into Joe Brown right after Flamingo - next to Las Vegas Country club. They are the only book I know of other than maybe MGM that always has a betting sheet on golf. Put $5 on 5 or 10 players. The odds are great - you can get anywhere from 6-1 to 1000-1. Yes that' not a typo - 1000-1. Watching someone make a 4' put takes on a whole new meaning when you have $400 riding on a $5 bet.

If you want a little advantage - You can get the latest player stats here:  

Just remember - never bet anything you can't afford to burn.

3. Coverage - Luck of the Draw

Whether or not your players are shown on TV is determined by start times. On Thursdays and Fridays each player will play late one day and early the next or vice versa. Coverage the first two days is usually limited to Golf Channel starting at either 10 or 12 in the morning until about 3pm. So, if it's an East Coast tourney - 9am Tee times are 6am here and those players will be finished before coverage starts. But they will play late one of those days and you'll get to see them. Saturdays and Sunday's are broadcast on Golf Channel around 10am and then the coverage switches to NBC or CBS around noon. You may throw something at your TV as the Golf Channel coverage ends at 1130 and there is a half hour gap you will miss. The last two days of start times are determined by the leader-board. Leaders play last. So unless a player is near the bottom of the leader-board you'll get to see most or all of their round. However, there are a lot of golfers - they can't show them all. If your guy is near the top or bagging birdies and moving up the board - they'll put a camera on them. With something called the Golf Channel - you would think we could just watch the whole tourney - no such luck - email them and complain:

4. DVR the tourney

It takes a lot less time to watch a tourney if you can fast forward through players you don't care about. Plus you can enjoy the summer outdoors and watch when you get home. Watch the broadcast until they show the guys you wanna follow - and remember what colors they are wearing. That way you know when to stop the FF and hit play. One other cool thing - with our new smart phones. If you see a great shot - rewind and film in on your cell cam - works pretty good.

The tournaments start on Thursdays and end on Sundays. Remember - they cant win a tourney on Thursday or Friday - but they can lose. You're just hoping they are not way over par on Thursday and make the cut on Friday. Then cheer them on Saturday -  hoping they are near the top on Sunday. If they are - you will suddenly find yourself transfixed as your guy makes the winning put. The ladies are fun to watch too. Don't miss out on a great finish by failing to tune in to them as they finish on a Sunday - or setting your DRV for the last hour on Sunday. Tourneys can run over - so adding an hour extension is not a bad idea. Don't forget to tell your golf buds that you are taping it - so they don't text you with a Tiger update and spoil it.

5. Check the Leader-board.

See who's leading and where your players are. Once you know who's leading, you know who to root against and how many shots ahead or behind your players are. If they are not in the top 20 you might have to check online - I like to go there on my phone. The sites sucks up a lot of RAM online but works great on a mobile. There's a "color" tab to the right of each player. You can color the players you are rooting for and easily scroll to keep track of where they are on the leader-board. There is also a Play by Play button you can turn On - to get shot by shot updates on each player in between TV coverage.

6.. Look at the Par and shot Overlay

Looking at what hole they are on will help you know how far along they are in the round. When they pan to your guy - look at the overlay - what the par of the whole he is on and what shot he is on. Simple but important. You want them to score. If they are on the second shot of a par 4 - you know they need to stick it close to the pin in order to have a make-able birdie put. Par 4 = needs it in the hole in 3 shots to score 1 under par for that hole. Lowest score wins! Checking for that and doing the quick math in your head will tell you if your player is about to birdie, par or bogey - then root for the outcome you want. Works on players that you are trying to beat too.


-Rick Jansen-

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