Greg Norman is reportedly done as Fox Sports’ lead golf analyst after a little more than a year in the 18th hole tower.
Links Magazine tweeted Sunday night that the Shark will not return alongside Joe Buck in Fox’s booth for its golf coverage in 2016.
— LINKS Magazine (@LINKSMagazine) January 18, 2016
In 2015, Fox began a 12-year deal as the USGA’s television partner with heavily criticized coverage. However, before the deal officially kicked in, Norman served as an analyst at the 2014 U.S. Open for Fox Sports 1’s coverage of the championship. In December of that year, Norman’s Franklin Templeton Shoothout — known colloquially by its former name, the Shark Shootout — moved to Fox Sports and provided a trial run for the network’s golf coverage.
Once the calendar kicked into 2015, Fox began its USGA coverage with several of the governing body’s amateur championships. At those events, Fox was lambasted from a lack of technical expertise in showing golf on TV to an absence of preparation.
During the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in June, viewers peppered Fox on social media for most everything related to the telecasts. Fans didn’t find Buck’s delivery congruent to golf. They were confused when Norman extemporaneously going from the analyst role to sideline reporter and doctor when fellow Aussie Jason Day first dealt with vertigo symptoms. Holly Sonders, signed away from NBC Universal and Golf Channel, was roasted for how she handled post-round interviews, and she was ultimately transitioned to an anchor role for future USGA telecasts.
In general, there seemed to be a lack of polish and rapport to the coverage, something to be expected in Year 1.
However, Fox did advance golf coverage with its use of Protracer technology on many more shots than its fellow network broadcasters and improved sound in places, capturing more player-caddie conversations at critical moments.
What was unclear after 2015 was how Fox would move forward into Year 2, not only in terms of visual presentation but also figuring out which talent would remain. The Links report pegs Fox as looking for a new voice in the 18th tower.