Sizing up the TV coverage from the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open ... and away we go.
The great belly putter debate doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon. After watching announcers poke fun at the flat stick for the last couple of years, the putter suddenly took flight during the latter stages of the season, after three players won in consecutive weeks with the most-talked about club on tour.
Following Keegan Bradley's victory at the PGA Championship, some announcers even started to questioning if it was legal. While the heated discussions had died down recently, Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee brought the putter back to the forefront on Thursday afternoon.
"I wish [the belly putter] would just go away," Chamblee said, after he was asked to give his take on the future of the putter.
Chamblee went on to spend the next 18 minutes of the broadcast talking, on and off, about the most controversial club in some time.
"I don't think there's any place for it. There shouldn't be any place for it in professional golf," Chamblee said. "When you consider all of the mistakes it allows you to alleviate; the infinite number of places you can go wrong with the stroke ... for example, the stroke can go out to in or vice versa. Having said that, none of the top-10 players on this tour use the belly putter, and only four in the top-50 use it. But I don't agree it should be used professionally. There should be two sets of rules, one where it can be used recreationally, but not in tour golf."
Peter Oosterhuis didn't have a strong take on the future of the stick, admitting he had been working with it with very little success. He ended up being the only commentator who even considered speaking up during Chamblee's rant.
While it was mostly a one-way conversation, it was great to see Chamblee take a strong stance on the putter -- and then expounding on why he wasn't a fan.
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Fall Series finish
Ever since the PGA Tour started the Fall Series back in 2007, tour brass has been trying its best to push the "Quest for the Card" concept to viewers. While the idea and drama really hasn't caught on in recent years, the Fall Series has given us some great finishes and winners.
Kevin Na probably isn't the most likable guy on tour, but the emotion he showed after Sunday's victory -- his first in 8 years on the PGA Tour -- told the story of a guy who really never believed in himself, or his game.
But he had a lot of people in his corner hoping supporting him along the way. We've seen plenty of guys turn on the waterworks -- I'm talking to you, Steve Stricker -- after a victory, but Na didn't need tears to make you believe his win in Vegas was a life-changing experience.
"All those hours ... it's not just fun and game out of the PGA Tour," Chamblee said. "There's so much heartache; you miss cuts, and only one guys leaves with the trophy and is happy. [Kevin Na's] tasted bitter many times before, so we know how special this is for him. He hit so many great shots today that you not only see how good he is, but you so how much winning means on the PGA Tour."
The Fall Series events may not always have the biggest names in the sport, but seeing a guy like Kevin Na win shows you that there are some great storylines to be in had in these events. It's just a matter of getting viewers to buy into that hook.
We've already spent time discussing Kevin Na's incredible driver whiff on Saturday afternoon, but it's worth going back to look at the coverage the Golf Channel dedicated to the "did he or didn't he moment" that happened during the third round.
"Did that just happen?" Chamblee said after Na completely missed the ball on his tee shot on the par-4 15th. "It looked like he missed the ball to me. He'll say he had no intention of hitting it but my gosh, it looked like he did to me."
The Golf Channel showed the shot numerous times over the next few minutes, letting every announcer have their take on if Na should be assessed a stroke for the miss.
"Oh my god, I've never seen anything like that in my life," Terry Gannon said. "Now I've seen it all."
Chamblee concurred, saying he wasn't surprised to see something as incredible as a whiff come from Na.
"He's got a lot of things going on in his head, a lot of demons; he's a really fidgety guy." Chamblee said. "The only time I've ever seen something close to that was Tiger Woods ay the Masters when he stopped on his downswing. But he didn't go all the way through like that."
Trying to capitalize on the moment, the Golf Channel's Todd Lewis asked Tommy Gainey to discuss what he saw, and give his opinion on if he thought Na tried to hit the ball with his initial swing.
"I think he did," Gainey said. "You could see the force and power in the swing, and he missed it and then pulled up. But that's just my opinion. ... But just looking at it once, it looks like it to me."
Gainey went on to say that if he was playing in Na's group, he would have had a conference with Na and the other player about the swing.
To tie a nice bow on things, the Golf Channel cameras cut to PGA Tour head rules official Slugger White in the television van, assessing the situation on a screen. "No problem," White said, before adding, "but we'll talk to him."
Overall, it was a fantastic job by Golf Channel to get opinions and analysis from every angle.