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David_Tepper

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2022, 04:10:00 PM »
As the saying goes, "Nostalgia just isn't what it used to be." ;)


Earlier today I received an email from an old tennis friend bemoaning the current state of that sport and all the changes that have taken place over the past 30-50 years. I think tennis has changed far more than golf over this period. While the golf stance, grip and swing are pretty much the same as they were decades ago, all those elements (and more) have changed in tennis.   

To quote legendary basketball coach John Wooden, "There is no progress without change, but not all change is progress."

On the other hand, time spent wishing we could return to "the good old days" is pretty much time wasted.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2022, 04:15:53 PM by David_Tepper »

Kalen Braley

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2022, 05:28:37 PM »
David,

I think its also unrealistic to bemoan the field of play and equipment improvements golf has seen over same time period, because outside of perhaps cross country, I can hardly think of another sport where this isn't the case.

Steve Lang

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2022, 10:14:07 PM »
As the saying goes, "Nostalgia just isn't what it used to be." ;)


Earlier today I received an email from an old tennis friend bemoaning the current state of that sport and all the changes that have taken place over the past 30-50 years. I think tennis has changed far more than golf over this period. While the golf stance, grip and swing are pretty much the same as they were decades ago, all those elements (and more) have changed in tennis.   

To quote legendary basketball coach John Wooden, "There is no progress without change, but not all change is progress."

On the other hand, time spent wishing we could return to "the good old days" is pretty much time wasted.


David, Can you elaborate on the tennis changes? 
Balls are basically the same aren't they? I remember when the only color was white...
Rackets grew in size in the late 60's as wood was replaced by metal and then synthetic fiber constructs .  I played my Jack Kramer wood racket far too long, but did eventually change and experimenting with strings with my first Prince racket (secondhand) when I had some disposable cash in hand...
Stringing has always been like golf clubmaking, balancing power and control over spin... I can remember going down the rabbit hole on my 2nd restringing of the Prince...


The grip, stance, and swing issues have always been personal, not sure why that matters when one has to keep it within the lines by whatever means works..


what's obscene is the price of going to a pro tennis tourney or almost any pro sport event, but I haven't checked in many years, ...


bottom line is that cheap tv entertainment (name the sport) is easy to accept, usually good food and drink available, easy access to bathroom, and with screen in screen function, can multi-task pretty easy! 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2022, 10:22:59 PM by Steve Lang »
Inverness (Toledo, OH) cathedral clock inscription: "God measures men by what they are. Not what they in wealth possess.  That vibrant message chimes afar.
The voice of Inverness"

Mark Pearce

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2022, 03:29:21 AM »
I used to watch televised golf every weekend.  I'd have an eye on the European event during the day and catch the last 9 if there was a decent finish in store and I'd watch the PGA Tour in the evening before bed. 


I haven't watched any golf so far this year and may (and it is a may) decide to change that next weekend for the Masters.  Watching golf on TV is unutterably boring.  Nothing happens, it takes minutes to play simple shots, the players are, generally, unlikeable or, at best, dull (not to mention their appalling sense of entitlement) and the commentary teams inane and unwilling to criticise the slow play and boorishness that characterise the game.


So no, professional golf isn't entertainment.  Not for me, anyway.

David_Tepper

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2022, 01:20:05 PM »
Steve Lang -

I played high school & college tennis in the 1960's and owned a tennis shop for 4 years in the 1970's, so my history with the game goes back 60 years or so. At the risk of hijacking this thread further, here are some thoughts of how the game has changed over this period.

Surfaces - 3 of the 4 major championships (and the tournaments leading up to those championships) were played on grass courts up until 1970 or so. Very little top-class tennis was played on paved or artificial surfaces, other than on the west coast. Now only one major is played on grass. 2 of the majors are played on paved courts. Grass courts produce low, skidding and some times erratic bounces, so it made a lot of sense to serve & volley rather than play from the back court. Paved courts produce higher, more consistent bounces allowing players to make bigger, more aggressive swings from the back court, because they know how high the ball will bounce.


Grips & Strokes - Two-handed backhands were very rare in the 1960's. I think Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert were the first 2 players to win major tournaments hitting two-handed backhands. Now one-handed backhands are pretty much the exception and two-handed backhands are the norm. A few top men still hit one-handers, but I cannot think of a top woman who does. Forehands used to be hit with an Eastern or Continental grip that produced a flowing stroke. Now forehands are hit with Western or extreme Western grips that enable players to hit with far more topspin. The modern forehand stroke is more of a flick at the ball, like a table-tennis shot. However, trying to volley with a two-hand backhand grip or a Western forehand grip is not easy to do, which is one reason why so few modern players come to the net.


Racket & Strings -  Rackets changed from wood to metal to fiber-composite. Like big-headed drivers, the new frames have bigger sweet spots, which provide a bigger margin for error. The new frames, combined with changes in strings, allow players to produce far more topspin on their shots, which allows groundstrokes to be hit much harder than in the past.


Being able to hit so much more topspin, coupled with the changes mention above, means tennis is now played primarily from the back court. As serve & volley tennis is pretty much extinct, points last far longer than they used to.


I hope that provides some context for my claim. I could go on further, but I would start to sound even more like a grumpy old man.


DT         
« Last Edit: March 31, 2022, 01:26:26 PM by David_Tepper »

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2022, 03:03:35 PM »
Mark,

I get your last point....but I don't think this a golf issue per se.

Our tastes and preferences change on nearly everything as we grow older and evolve...or not.  Whether it be politics, work, religion, relationships, friends, sports, hobbies, or even food. (Hell in my younger years I loved Taco Bell and now you'd have to pay me to eat it.)  One thing is for certain, if my 21 year old self met the current version of me he'd be like "who the hell is that loser"  ;)

So while golf has certainly changed, I'd bet the house I've changed far more than it has.

Pete_Pittock

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2022, 06:51:17 PM »
Sports is unpredictable in the moment, but golf on tv is very predictable when they suddenly switch to a non-contender and we can see a long putt made, a pitch-in or the like.


Direct TV did a study about watching sports on TV and golf is the most watched sport in thirteen (13) states, trailing football but way ahead of everything else.
   https://www.usdirect.com/resources/most-watched-sports-america/

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2022, 07:56:38 PM »
Steve Lang -

I played high school & college tennis in the 1960's and owned a tennis shop for 4 years in the 1970's, so my history with the game goes back 60 years or so. At the risk of hijacking this thread further, here are some thoughts of how the game has changed over this period.

Surfaces - 3 of the 4 major championships (and the tournaments leading up to those championships) were played on grass courts up until 1970 or so. Very little top-class tennis was played on paved or artificial surfaces, other than on the west coast. Now only one major is played on grass. 2 of the majors are played on paved courts. Grass courts produce low, skidding and some times erratic bounces, so it made a lot of sense to serve & volley rather than play from the back court. Paved courts produce higher, more consistent bounces allowing players to make bigger, more aggressive swings from the back court, because they know how high the ball will bounce.


Grips & Strokes - Two-handed backhands were very rare in the 1960's. I think Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert were the first 2 players to win major tournaments hitting two-handed backhands. Now one-handed backhands are pretty much the exception and two-handed backhands are the norm. A few top men still hit one-handers, but I cannot think of a top woman who does. Forehands used to be hit with an Eastern or Continental grip that produced a flowing stroke. Now forehands are hit with Western or extreme Western grips that enable players to hit with far more topspin. The modern forehand stroke is more of a flick at the ball, like a table-tennis shot. However, trying to volley with a two-hand backhand grip or a Western forehand grip is not easy to do, which is one reason why so few modern players come to the net.


Racket & Strings -  Rackets changed from wood to metal to fiber-composite. Like big-headed drivers, the new frames have bigger sweet spots, which provide a bigger margin for error. The new frames, combined with changes in strings, allow players to produce far more topspin on their shots, which allows groundstrokes to be hit much harder than in the past.


Being able to hit so much more topspin, coupled with the changes mention above, means tennis is now played primarily from the back court. As serve & volley tennis is pretty much extinct, points last far longer than they used to.


I hope that provides some context for my claim. I could go on further, but I would start to sound even more like a grumpy old man.


DT         
David,
I, too, played college tennis, in the early 70's in my case, and used wood racquets, primarily either a Dunlop Fort or a Wilson Jack Kramer.  I taught tennis, and coached high school tennis as well, so, like you, I go back almost 60 years in the game.

The nature of the professional game has changed so much that it isn't even the same game.  That is NOT a value judgement; just a statement of fact.  The days of serve and volley, even on grass or hard courts, are almost completely gone, I assume because the heavy topspin ground strokes are diving so hard and are so "heavy", that volleying is a losing proposition.
I don't watch it because I never played it; I know that sounds weird, but the game just is so completely different that I can't identify at all.  Golf still looks like golf; the ball just goes a lot farther.  But a good swing is still a good swing, with common elements to Jones and Hogan and Nicklaus and Woods.  Tennis just isn't.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

David_Tepper

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2022, 10:04:02 PM »
AGC -

Thanks for your comments. It is good to know I am not just a lonely voice out in the wilderness.

I used to have 2 things in common with Rod Laver: we are both left-handed and we both played with Dunlop Fort rackets. :)

The one player I go out of the way to watch these days is Hsieh Su-Wei. She is easily the most creative, unorthodox player in the game today. Now in her mid-30's, she will never win a big singles tournament, but she has beaten a good number of top-10 players and won major doubles titles.

Here she is in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij94anjop-U

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fx8r3f4ecLE


She is off having a baby this year. I sure hope she comes back to the game next year.   
« Last Edit: March 31, 2022, 10:20:58 PM by David_Tepper »

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2022, 11:03:10 PM »
I used to watch televised golf every weekend.  I'd have an eye on the European event during the day and catch the last 9 if there was a decent finish in store and I'd watch the PGA Tour in the evening before bed. 


I haven't watched any golf so far this year and may (and it is a may) decide to change that next weekend for the Masters.  Watching golf on TV is unutterably boring.  Nothing happens, it takes minutes to play simple shots, the players are, generally, unlikeable or, at best, dull (not to mention their appalling sense of entitlement) and the commentary teams inane and unwilling to criticise the slow play and boorishness that characterise the game.


So no, professional golf isn't entertainment.  Not for me, anyway.


Yep.


If there was any coverage on terrestrial TV Iíd probably watch it for an hour or so before switching off from boredom.


Peter Allis got a lot of stick in his later years but since his death I realise that he was the best thing about televised golf. I donít care what he said - he just had one of those voices. Is there no-one to carry on the Longhurst/Allis tradition?


I now donít watch any sport on TV at all. Iíd rather be participating in something than sat on my arse watching others do it. That and being far too tight to subscribe to Sky Sports!
« Last Edit: March 31, 2022, 11:08:09 PM by Duncan Cheslett »

Jeff Schley

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2022, 12:16:40 AM »
I used to watch televised golf every weekend.  I'd have an eye on the European event during the day and catch the last 9 if there was a decent finish in store and I'd watch the PGA Tour in the evening before bed. 


I haven't watched any golf so far this year and may (and it is a may) decide to change that next weekend for the Masters.  Watching golf on TV is unutterably boring.  Nothing happens, it takes minutes to play simple shots, the players are, generally, unlikeable or, at best, dull (not to mention their appalling sense of entitlement) and the commentary teams inane and unwilling to criticise the slow play and boorishness that characterise the game.


So no, professional golf isn't entertainment.  Not for me, anyway.


Yep.


If there was any coverage on terrestrial TV Iíd probably watch it for an hour or so before switching off from boredom.


Peter Allis got a lot of stick in his later years but since his death I realise that he was the best thing about televised golf. I donít care what he said - he just had one of those voices. Is there no-one to carry on the Longhurst/Allis tradition?


I now donít watch any sport on TV at all. Iíd rather be participating in something than sat on my arse watching others do it. That and being far too tight to subscribe to Sky Sports!
With Renton Laidlaw also having left us there is a gap. Who it will be, we shall see but needed certainly.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Sean_A

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2022, 02:39:44 AM »
The problem with golf is its golf. We can talk about how to cure it for tv, but it's all peripheral stuff. Somebody has to be willing to devote a significant percentage of time to properly follow a tour on tv. I lost interest when I moved to the UK and had to pay to watch weekly golf. Even then I was particular about which events I watched and who was doing well on the weekend. Once out of the habit of watching golf I lost track of players and once I didn't know the players I lost almost all interest in golf as entertainment. I now can watch weekly golf and still don't bother. Mind you, I am not into the stats, graphics etc side of TV golf and presenting golf has gone more in that direction. Bottom line is golf is niche TV sport. Only a small percentage of tv viewers will ever watch and that's ok.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Askernish, Traigh, Iona, Tobermory, Portpatrick & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2022, 10:01:02 AM »
I used to watch televised golf every weekend.  I'd have an eye on the European event during the day and catch the last 9 if there was a decent finish in store and I'd watch the PGA Tour in the evening before bed. 


I haven't watched any golf so far this year and may (and it is a may) decide to change that next weekend for the Masters.  Watching golf on TV is unutterably boring.  Nothing happens, it takes minutes to play simple shots, the players are, generally, unlikeable or, at best, dull (not to mention their appalling sense of entitlement) and the commentary teams inane and unwilling to criticise the slow play and boorishness that characterise the game.


So no, professional golf isn't entertainment.  Not for me, anyway.


Yep.


If there was any coverage on terrestrial TV Iíd probably watch it for an hour or so before switching off from boredom.


Peter Allis got a lot of stick in his later years but since his death I realise that he was the best thing about televised golf. I donít care what he said - he just had one of those voices. Is there no-one to carry on the Longhurst/Allis tradition?


I now donít watch any sport on TV at all. Iíd rather be participating in something than sat on my arse watching others do it. That and being far too tight to subscribe to Sky Sports!
Agreed, I always enjoyed Peter.  It is kind of like rugby without Bill McLaren.

Carl Johnson

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Re: Pro TV golf as entertainment
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2022, 05:29:34 PM »
All of pro golf is entertainment for the spectators, in person or on TV.  How good it is is another question.  I'd say it varies.  How's that for insights?

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