LIV Golf finally made it to live television this past weekend and the broadcast product has something in common with the Saudi-backed exhibition/circus — it’s not very good.
LIV Golf needs to change its main catch phrase (Golf Only Louder). This was golf and things were pretty darn quiet down there at Mayakoba on the El Camaleon course. Attendance was nearly non-existent on Saturday and pretty darn sparse on Sunday.
And the broadcast product? Well, it’s fairly un-watchable.
You’ve got a trio in the main broadcast booth — some guy named Arlo White (no relation to Arlo Guthrie) the well-known jokester David Feherty and Jerry (I’m trying too hard) Foltz, who defected from the Golf Channel.
The production creates a real mess on the television screen — graphics everywhere, neon arrows, big scoreboard to the left and you never know what hole everyone’s on — oh those wonderful shotgun starts.
When you see practically no fans on the course and a bunch of guys playing in shorts, the first thing that comes into your mind — college golf tournament.
On Saturday, the Three Stooges in the main booth had a nice beach setting behind them — only problem was you could see three armed guards patrolling the beach sporting automatic weaponry. Nice.
Then came the production itself.
Arlo Guthrie, oops, make that Arlo White — declared the field: “Greatest golfers on the planet!” No doubt that was on a card in front of him, printed out in red Sharpie by The Lamest Commissioner In All The Land (aka Greg Norman). So immediately, any semblance of credibility was shot right there.
Truth be known, if this was a PGA Tour event at El Camaleon, the likes of Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Harold Varner III would have been among about a dozen of these LIV defectors who would have missed the 36-hole cut. But this is Golf With No Pressure. No cut, everyone gets paid. On Sunday it was 43-year-old Charlie Howell III who got the big check. Charlie Three Sticks (his former Tour nickname), who won a whopping three times on the PGA Tour, won easily when Peter Uhilein got tangled up in a forest on the 12th hole, took about a half-hour to extract himself from his dilemma and made triple bogey seven. It took Uihlein so long to play the hole, that Howell III played on, made his par then waited about 15 minutes for Petey-boy to finish. There was no three-minutes for the search and obviously no one’s put on the clock in this league. Slow play? Yeah, it’s slow.
The banter is crazy and sometimes gets a bit flowery. Feherty made some sort of “moist pants” comment and instantly, young Su-Ann Hengh was totally grossed out. “Grosssss!” she exclaimed at Ferherty’s comment.
Heng’s big moments came when she couldn’t spit out Marc Leishman’s last name. But she did a great job of chugging beer out of a worn golf shoe with hot-shot Cam Smith. Nice segment.
Back in the booth Foltz considered following suit but chugging beer on the broadcast would render his credibility even more lame than it already is.
The broadcast loves to run tweets from fans at home who say nice things about LIV. Makes you wonder what’s wrong with those people.
Yes, this first-ever LIV broadcast confirmed what we thought we already knew about this exhibition league. It has the atmosphere of an exhibition and a party thrown by someone who no one likes — hardly anyone showed up.
Yup. It’s a shame so few came out to see The Greatest Golfers On The Planet.