Collin Morikawa: Too many commercials, not enough golf shots on PGA Tour TV broadcasts

Collin Morikawa: Too many commercials, not enough golf shots on PGA Tour TV broadcasts

A photo of golfer Collin Morikawa

The PGA Tour TV experience can be pretty rough for the golf viewer. Some of that has to do with the TV networks airing golf and the decisions they make, including airing shots on tape delay, focusing on certain players at inopportune times and other things that can grate fans on occasion.

However, some of the problems are somewhat unavoidable. CBS Sports, NBC Sports and Golf Channel pay large annual rights fees to the PGA Tour for the rights to air their tournaments, and that means the networks need to recoup their investment with advertising. That means there are times when it feels like there are way too many commercials during a golf telecast.

Two-time major winner Collin Morikawa knows the pain golf fans feel because he's experienced it himself -- and he knows it needs to change.

"Well, I mean, you first need to see more golf shots. Like that's like -- that's like the No. 1 bullet point," Morikawa said Tuesday ahead of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

He said earlier in the interview, "I turn on golf on a Thursday if I play early, I turn it on and I see three golf shots (and then a commercial), and I question why."

Morikawa knows watching golf is a much different experience than watching football or other sports, so he thinks the best way to bring in more fans is to show more of it.

"Look, golf's not going to be as high speed, you know, body contact, people tackling. Like that's just golf, right? But I think most fans understand that, like I'm not going to go dance down the fairway or celebrate differently on a birdie putt on the sixth hole on Friday," he said. "But just seeing birdie putts and seeing more shots, that's going to bring more viewers in because you can actually watch golf, right?

"You can't change what golf is. You can't change the aspect of we've got 18 holes, you've got players to start on Thursday, you're going to have two waves, all this stuff, you can't change that, right? But you can change the fact of seeing more golf shots and that's a big part of actually saying I want to go watch golf, right?"

Morikawa also sees a tie-in between showing more golf shots and connecting with more sports bettors who may not necessarily be golf fans.

"The reason why people pay attention (to other sports) is because people see more, you can probably bet more. People like betting when you can watch it live, not watch it on ShotTracer."

With the announcement of the $3 billion investment in the PGA Tour from Strategic Sports Group through PGA Tour Enterprises, Morikawa hopes a good chunk of the investment will be used to make golf more attractive for people to watch in person and on TV.

"I think at the end of the day if we keep getting more eyeballs on golf, and that's the biggest hurdle that we have to accomplish, how do we get more eyeballs on golf, I would hope to expect that more money's pushed into this," he said.

"But at this point right now where we're at, it's a lot of money that we're playing for and I'm very thankful to be doing that, but I also see that we need more people to be interested in golf. We need to make golf more intriguing to the viewers. How do we make broadcasting more approachable, how do we see more golf shots at the end of the day, right?"

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is a scratch golfer...sometimes.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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