European Tour event to have players mic'd up | Joel Beall for Golfworld.com
“Golf needs to continue to innovate to stay relevant in the modern market. Fans increasingly want more insight into the game, watching a player hit a superb shot is no longer enough. We now want to know the thought process behind that shot,” said Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the Australian circuit. “PGA Open Mic will allow fans an inside the ropes experience, from the comfort of their lounge room that they have never before experienced in golf."
Credit is due to the European Tour for doing what they can to make golf a more interesting sport to watch for the casual fan. I'm not sure this is a particularly great idea though.
That they're trying the idea of on-course interviews and the like during what is otherwise already an experimental tournament format seems appropriate. It isn't like they're asking to put microphones on players during The Open. I can't help but think that many players will not be that excited about the additional invasion to their process of playing a tournament if this idea gains any traction.
I'm admittedly a traditionalist. If this is the sort of thing that it takes to keep golf viable and on the air then it's medicine I'll have to learn to take. So will the players. But, I'm hoping the idea stays as an isolated gimmick. I'm happy being a spectator. I don't need to interrupt a player during a round so he or she can pull out their best clichés and pretend to tell me how they're feeling in the moment. Especially if it changes their focus during a round.
I also can't help but find this announcement a bit ironic just days after Jon Rahm received so much criticism for his colorful language that kept making it to air during last week's Phoenix Open. We already hear plenty from the players. Let's keep looking for good ideas to improve golf coverage. This one doesn't feel right.