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Golf Announcers Fail To Be Unbiased With Equipment Comments

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Saturday, March 1st, 2008
Categories: Golf Media

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I’ve often wondered just how many boxes of Titleist ProV1’s Jim Nantz has in his garage…

The golf blogosphere is buzzing with posts and replies about the latest round of blatantly biased golf announcer “gear comments.” It seems we have a bunch of “conflict of interest” issues with regards to announcers touting certain brands while commenting on PGA Tour broadcasts. I remember it was just a short time ago that no specific equipment brands or models were announced during PGA Tour broadcasts. That has changed.

A couple of weeks ago I was caught off guard when Nick Faldo commented on the new TaylorMade Spider putter that JB Holmes used to birdie 18 twice and beat Phil Mickelson. He went on and on about how much improved JB’s putting was since switching to the Spider. I thought that was odd. I was surprised they’d allow him to do this and surprised that Faldo, a Nike guy, would babble on so much about a piece of TaylorMade gear.

As it eventually was announced, Faldo signed with TaylorMade. That would explain the sudden favorable comments about the Spider Putter.

Goeff Shackelford pokes fun at TM and Faldo, with a phony press announcement:

“Nick Faldo is one of the game’s true champions, and we’re excited to add such an amazing asset to the TaylorMade-adidas Golf family of truly awesome brands,” said Mark King, TMaG president and CEO. “Nick’s knowledge of the game, his passion and ability to offset Kelly Tilghman’s ties to Nike should help us better reach with Golf Channel’s puny but loyal audience.”

As a TMaG team member Faldo will contribute in very few ways. In addition to playing TaylorMade® clubs and balls and wearing adidas Golf apparel and footwear in his sleep, he will be involved in the design and testing of TMaG products. He will also act as a loudspeaker for marketing and advertising campaigns during his on-air duties, glowingly evaluating only up-and-coming players using TaylorMade® clubs while posing for photos in adidas glasses, pretending to be helping in the upcoming redesign of the golf range at TMaG headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. Faldo is also expected to offset Jim Nantz’s deep admiration and love for all things Titleist during CBS golf broadcasts.”

Grouchy Golf Blog concisely nails it on the head:

“When I tune into a golf broadcast, I want golf coverage, not an infomercial.”

I sincerely hope TGC (Tiger Golf Channel or Tiger is God Channel) and the networks put a quick end to the shameless announcers’ promotion of golf companies who are lining their pockets with cash. I suspect sponsors other than the ones the announcers tout, will be crying foul and threatening to pull the plug on their advertising dollars if this continues. That’s what they should do.

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