Sizing up the TV coverage from the Wyndham Championship ... and away we go.
Don't look now, but the belly putter has won the last three tournaments on the PGA Tour -- including its first major win at the PGA Championship. Golf pundits used to joke about the long putter as the flat stick of choice on the Champions Tour, but more and more players on the PGA Tour seem to be moving to the dark side in recent months.
It's gotten so bad, in fact, that CBS commentator Peter Kostis felt compelled to take a dig at the hottest club on tour. During Sunday's final round, Ian Baker-Finch asked Kostis for his opinion on the long putter. Of course, Kostis didn't mince words on the new wonder club.
"It is what it is," Kostis said. "I think I'd rather have them using [the long putter] than nothing at all, quite frankly. You're going to see a change, I think, in putting just like Sam Snead went to side saddle and they outlawed it after a while, these guys are going to get used it and then the USGA and RA are going to have to make a decision."
Like a lot of golf purists, Kostis clearly feels the putter is giving players an unfair advantage. I wouldn't be surprised if he's put in a few anonymous calls to the USGA and R&A to see if they'd consider banning the putter in the near future.
More follows ...
Pinpointing Els' mistake
Ernie Els has had a year to forget on the PGA Tour. After wining twice in 2010, Els failed to record a top-10 finish in 2011, and barely snuck under the FedEx Cup cutoff line for the first leg of the playoffs.
His recent struggles led him to start working with Claude Harmon recently, and as Ian Baker-Finch pointed out in a video of Els' swing during Saturday's round, there seems to be a hitch in his swing.
"He's done a little work of late with Claude Harmon, Butch's [Harmon] son, and it looks like he's trying to be a little more connected on the way back," Baker-Finch said. "He's always had that magnificent rhythm, but he's got a little bit of a move at the top of his swing where the club goes one way and then the other; that change of direction still haunts him at the moment, and that's why he's had some inconsistency at the moment."
The move at the top, while impossible to see in realtime, was noticeable in the slo-mo video. Credit to Baker-Finch for noticing the issue and pointing it out to viewers at home.
Relying on the camera
Do golfers rely too much on video analysis of their swing? Frank Nobilo seemed to think so. Following Ian Baker-Finch's analysis of Ernie Els' swing, Nobilo implied that while video can be a good thing, some players seem to put too much stock into what they see on camera.
"I think some players are guilty of relying on the camera too much, myself included," Nobilo said. "You start to overanalyze things and a lot of the fear comes back into the game, so you start to steer the ball."
Another CBS failure
After CBS's PGA Championship debacle, where the network showed almost as many golf shots as commercials during the third and fourth rounds, you figured there wasn't anywhere for them to go but up.
But after watching Saturday's third round of the Wyndham Championship, we found out there is another level below showing an equal ratio of commercials to live coverage, and that's showing infomercials at the most inopportune time.
Following a rain delay towards the end of the third round, the network was forced to show highlights from last year's tournament, before coming back on the air for the final 30-45 minutes of the broadcast window.
Naturally, the rain delay meant golf fans would get the opportunity to see the entire round in its entirety. But what most didn't expect as the tournament went off the air was a 30 minute informercial for Medicus Golf that was sandwiched in between the golf broadcast and the nightly news.
That 30 minute window was the perfect opportunity to continue the golf broadcast up until the nightly news. I find it hard to believe CBS is so hard-pressed for money that they wouldn't consider dropping the informercial for some extended coverage.
Webb's slow southern setup
Kevin Na is the PGA Tour's king of slow play, but if we need a king-in-waiting for the title, you may want to look at Webb Simpson. The North Carolina has been known to take his time before hitting each shot and on Saturday, after backing off the ball for the third time, his pace of play seemed to hit a nerve with Peter Kostis.
"This is pretty much what happens with Webb Simpson," Kostis said. "He backs off the ball a couple of times and then finally commits."