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Behind The Scenes Of Calling My First Golf Tournament For PGA TOUR LIVE

Before we lock in for March Madness, I was fortunate enough to head down to Florida this past week to call PGA TOUR LIVE's coverage of the 2024 Cognizant Classic in the Palm Beaches (formerly The Honda Classic). It was a very fun and unique broadcasting experience, so I figured I would give the Stoolies a peek behind the curtain on the massive operation that goes down at the PGA TOUR Entertainment Studios each and every week during the Tour season.

The biggest thing I learned: the majority of the PGA TOUR LIVE broadcasts are done remotely. Despite this being the first of four straight tournaments taking place in Florida, the hosts and analysts are actually not on-site for any of them. So last Wednesday, I flew down to Jacksonville and drove about 45 minutes to the PGA TOUR Entertainment HQ in St. Augustine. 

Everyone involved in the production that week for the tournament attended a 4 PM production meeting, where we would go over big picture storylines and guidelines for the event. The only on-air people who are at the course are the "walkers," who were assigned to each group on each stream.

The most impressive thing I learned: there are four concurrent streams that are on the air at the same time, with all of them being produced and broadcasted in the same truck at the same time. The only thing separating the control rooms in the truck is a simple sliding door to separate the chaos that ensues. 

As for the people who are on the air, we are in an adjacent truck that is separated into individual booths with soundproofed walls. It was really cool to see that four streams are done in the same place at the same time. Really impressive.

1 - Main Feed

2 - Marquee Group

3 - Featured Groups (where I was all week)

4 - Featured Holes

The most unique thing I learned: Calling golf is so much different than any sport I have done in my career so far. For football, basketball, hockey, etc., you know what you're looking at the whole time. There's only one focal point to track, and not much else outside of that during the live action matters. Golf is the exact opposite. With 100+ players on the course throughout the course of the day, the communication between host and producer is more important than ever. 

The only way to know if you are jumping from the 7th green to the 16th tee is if the producer tells you in your ear ahead of time. Luckily, I was surrounded by a fantastic, veteran crew that made me feel very comfortable as a rookie. Fortunately, I had a small sample size worth of experience from the Korn Ferry Tour event we did here at Barstool last summer, so I somewhat knew what I was going into before the tournament.

Overall, it was an incredible first experience with PGA TOUR LIVE. Shoutout to my team of Craig Perks, Will MacKenzie, our producer, Colleen Sullivan, and everyone else in the truck. I am already counting down the days until my next tournament: the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Full video recap below: