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PiKapp23

US PGA Tour vs. European Tour TV Coverage

38 posts in this topic

I watch a lot of golf on The Golf Channel (and wherever else I can find it). As time goes on I'm finding that I think I prefer watching the European Tour TV coverage over the US PGA Tour coverage.

I do think the best players in the world play the American tour and the camera work is much better, but I think the golf on the European tour is more interesting TV, in relation to the players, the courses and the announcers.

The players seem to be having more fun in European events. It always appears that they are a bit more agressive and play less conservatively than on the American tour. They are also more interesting to look at because their style is a bit more flashy (both games and clothes).

The courses are interesting because they are not as perfect looking as American venues. Sometimes the courses are gorgeous and sometimes they're not, but in Europe the course is a bigger part of the event because they are often vastly different from event to event, whereas in America all the courses seem to look alike - long, straight, perfectly manicured, long deep rough, lots of water to carry and bunkers that aren't hazards at all. On European tour courses definitely look (and play) different week to week.

The last thing that has really grown on me about European tour TV coverage is the announcers themselves. It's not that I dislike American announcers (I like Johnny Miller, David Feherty, Jim Nantz, Roger Maltby and many others), it's just that they sometimes get too analytical and force themselves to be a part of the event. The European announcers (of which I can't name one off the top of my head) just seem to be more of the average guy. They talk about the players, their game, the weather, the course, the town, etc. and keep it naturally loose - not that forced fake looseness sometime seen on US Tour coverage. It usually sounds to me like they enjoy the game, the players, the fans, the course and life in general. Sometimes when I watch it almost seems like it's just a couple of friends having a conversation while people are playing golf in the background. They also do not seem to be as concerned by what they say that might be perceived as controversial like their American counterparts.

Anyway, as I said I think the players on American tour are overall better (including players from all of the world), the quality of camera work and the entire production is of a higher quality, but it's sometimes downright boring, especially those events that do not have the big names playing (like Tiger and Phil).

Anyone else agree?
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One of the main commentators on the European Tour for the Golf Channel is a Scottish guy called Dougie Donnelly! I am from England but now over in the States and I love listening to his coverage along with the other announcers!

In my eyes, the presentation of the event is essential although at the end of the day, as an avid golf fan I would pretty much watch any sort of golf whatever announcers were present!
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I watch a lot of golf on The Golf Channel (and wherever else I can find it). As time goes on I'm finding that I think I prefer watching the European Tour TV coverage over the US PGA Tour coverage....

I have found myself thinking the same thing over the past year.

Coverage in the US is overly slick, over-produced and packaged. There must be 20 people covering some aspect of the tournament and they never shut up The Europeans cover the game in a less polished, conversational, unhurried manner... kind of like the game itself. US coverage is non-stop graphics, packages, interviews, statistics, music, retrospectives and talking heads. The Europeans joke around and converse with each other at a more leisurely pace. They don't mind shutting their yaps for 30 seconds and just holding on a shot of a player or the gallery. SubPar
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Yeah I tend to agree that the European can be more fun to watch at times than the PGA Tour. Especially since they sometimes will have tougher conditions to play through (ie. British Open).
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I like to watch both - it's great to sit down in the evening and watch the PGA tour, but the variety of courses in Europe is great - and the commentators are top notch. I'd have to prefer BBC to Sky (BBC has no ad's) but Sky is brilliant - you've got guys who've been out there and struggled on the European Tour when it wasn't so prestige and knowledgable guys who love their job.
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I love watching both as well. However, I really enjoy watching Euro golf. The Euro commentators seem like they're more, ummm, "interested" in the game. They're so "soft spoken" that you can easily fall into a trance. I was a lot of motorcycle racing as well and the same goes for it. The Euro commentators get so much more excited when someone makes a pass or gets their first win, etc..
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I enjoy the Euro announcers better as most have stated. The guys over here try to be too entertaining and as a result, come across a little silly. Gary McCord comes to mind. I do enjoy the guys that do the commentary, for TGC, on the Nationwide tour.
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The reasons I like watching Euro over US is the production value. US coverage is pretty much all about catching a player's shot. And like SubPar mentioned, just over produced. Where on Euro tournaments the cameramen will catch cute girls in the crowd, or little kids doing silly things, and just better camera angles in general. I also agree with everyone's take on the commentators. Much easier to listen to.

Now Japanese coverage trumps them all. Last year at some event, I think it was an HBSC tournament, where Tiger was playing they'd show all the neat extra stuff Euro does, plus, they'd have at least 4 different cameras on the players at one time. I remember seeing a few shots where they'd show Tiger's swing from all sorts of angles, as well as great slow-motion shots. I didn't see this event televised this year. I'd imagine it has to do with the absence of Tiger...
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There's a tendency among sports broadcasters in America to try to become bigger than the game itself, as if they are the primary reason viewers tune in. Let's call it the Howard Cosell Syndrome. It is an affliction that international television does not suffer from...as much.
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Ok, I'm from the Uk so have a leaning towards the Euro Tour..

I think there's more variety of course and location. I also think that in the US, they'd rather show Tiger putting his shoes on, rather than any other player sinking a 35 yard putt!
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After watching the ladie's tournament in Dubai , I am wishing they were covered on TV over here.

It may sound sexist, but some of those girls are HOT and know how to dress for the weather! Good golfers too. If Golf Channel covered The Ladies European Tour , they would be on my TiVo!




SubPar
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I agree 100%. Euro PGA Tour is WAY better to watch more interesting to follow. Always has been too. The announcers are great. They don't "ruin" an event like Johnny will. NBC is absolutely horrible. I only watch the TPC, US Open, and Ryder Cup. Any other NBC telecast is deleted and I watch the Nationwide or Euro event instead. Also, on the Euro Tour, they tend to show more camera angles from directly behind the golfer and don't switch to the ball in the air as much. You get to see the true trajectory and ball flight. If I was a player, I would be playing over there. Also, the Nationwide Tour is better to watch than the US PGA tour as well. The "cheesy mustache" contest the players had last year was a riot. Big money ruins the PGA Tour. The announcers are better, the players are looser, the courses are different. Kay Cockrell is the BEST on course reporter. Mr. Pepper is horrid on NBC.

Matter of fact, my TiVo is recording the final round of some 2008 Euro PGA event right now on Golf Channel. In the last few weeks I've watched the Asian swing and the African swing.
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Hands down, the Euro coverage is better. Their camera work is improving (the only weakness). I would love to watch the Masters, but listen to European tour commentators. Can't stand slick Nancy.
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Euro Tour coverage offers a broader look at the entire field, rather than droning on and on about the "headliners" in the field. A much better approach, IMO........... only wish we could get away from the Viagra (et al...) commercials that seem to be The Golf Channels major funding source.
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The American coverage needs a restyle .It has become a bore.

And will someone PLEASE shoot that bloke who shouts "In the hole" at every oppertunity.Is he employed by the TV station ,a sort of tour mascot or is it the sound man replaying old tapes again and again.I am beginning to wonder because you never actually see the "in the hole" bloke,you just hear him.So if you cant find the "in the hole bloke" The sound man is the guy your looking for! Cheers
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...

I'm glad someone else finds the "in the hole" person annoying.

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Yes, yelling get in the hole on the tee box of a par 5 is moronic. I suggest the following.
"Pow...Pa...Pow!!!" Step Brothers and The Hammer
"Who let the dogs out!....who...who...who?"
or just clap like every other civilized person.
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