This week, the World Golf Hall of Fame is recognizing six people in the world of golf that have made substantial contributions to the game. We will be profiling all six, giving you relevant information about them and why they're a part of the new Hall of Fame class.
No one has had a bigger impact on televised golf than Frank Chirkinian. Known as the "father of televised golf," Chirkinian was a visionary who added high-angle camera shots to trees, cameras to blimps, microphones around the course, and forced the talking heads in the booth to think before they spoke. And if you did say something live on air that Frank didn't appreciate, he was never afraid to rip you and make sure you never made that mistake again.
The longtime producer of CBS's golf coverage, his fingerprints are everywhere when you watch golf on television, and if it weren't for the risks he took during his nearly 40 years with the network, we wouldn't have anywhere close to the coverage that goes on each week.
Chirkinian doesn't have Ernie Els's golf swing or George H.W. Bush's incredible history of bettering the game, but he helped golf in a different way, bringing it to life for us on a television screen every week, and painting a pictures that usually left most of us speechless when the last putt dropped.
Many have and will continue to come after Chirkinian, but none of them will ever have as big an impact on televised coverage as golf's "Ayatollah." It's just a shame Chirkinian wasn't around to accept the award after passing away earlier this year at the age of 84.
- Frank Chirkinian