The PGA Tour on CBS returns subsequent week after a five-month hiatus, the Farmers Insurance coverage Open kicking off the 2023 season for the community. Much like final 12 months the Farmers will end on a Saturday to not coincide with the NFL’s convention championship video games, which means Jim Nantz will likely be calling the Torrey Pines occasion remotely. “We’re actually excited to be again at San Diego and to be the one community that has a primetime Saturday end in all of golf,” stated Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports activities. “I feel it provides a completely new and fascinating component to the protection.” The community will even be presenting the tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs for the primary time, whereas 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman will assume lead analyst duties following the retirement of Nick Faldo.
Golf Digest caught up with Nantz, Immelman, McManus and lead producer Sellers Shy to debate the upcoming marketing campaign, modifications to the printed and the way the community will cowl LIV Golf.
There’s been a requirement over the previous for years for extra innovation from the printed. However to a big contingent of viewers, it’s a product they already love and are comfy with. How do you juggle that want to enhance whereas concurrently not altering what followers get pleasure from?
Shy: I feel we’re at all times seeking to create alternatives to enhance. The initiative that we began with, that fixed leaderboard has actually given us a chance to make the most of that area. We have now some artistic minds round us. We have now some golf fanatics round us. With out compromising any of our conventional values that the expertise brings or frankly our manufacturing staff brings we’re nonetheless capable of set up technological advances or simply general manufacturing advances. We’re utilizing that fixed leaderboard for increasingly more knowledge annually. We have recognized sure areas, whether or not it is sixteenth at Scottsdale or seventeenth at Byron Nelson, or Vacationers at that Fifteenth-18th space to boost them. Whether or not it is with a fly cam or a ship cam or extra drones, we have listened to the fan and we are able to see with our personal eyes that it has enhanced our protection with out compromising something that we have been taught.
I at all times get pleasure from saying that to the proper of me is Steve Milton, the director not solely directs SEC soccer, however he is been a CBS lifer. He was within the mail room in 1982. And we’ve Jim Rikhoff to the left of me, who additionally began within the ‘80s, and he’s our lead NFL man, however a passionate golf producer as properly. In every single place you flip in our compound, they’ve a bit little bit of CBS Golf in ’em. So we we’re absolutely grounded, however our egos don’t get in the way in which. We all know that there are unbelievable alternatives for the fan on the market and we outline them.
Jim between soccer and school basketball and golf you’ve had plenty of companions. With Trevor coming on this 12 months, what have you ever discovered to be the keys to constructing a rapport with somebody comparatively shortly, particularly because it appears there are facets of a partnership that want time and reps to construct on that may’t be rushed?
Nantz: The excellent news is that that rapport already exists. I haven’t got to search around for it. Trevor’s been part of CBS on and off since what, 2017? He is been within the 18th tower earlier than. I imply, for me, this does not really feel like we’ve to enter this and work towards establishing a chemistry. It already exists. And by the way in which, he’s a very simple man to be round and to speak with anyway, on the air, off the air. So this one is a straightforward transition in that regard. He is come from inside, it is a part of the household.
And also you say I’ve labored with numerous analysts so far as sitting subsequent to me on main sports activities. It is actually, actually not that many. I have been the beneficiary of actually lengthy lasting on-air relationships. Eighteen years with Billy Packer, 5 years with Clark Kellogg. Now eight years with Grant Hill and Invoice Raftery. That is it. Over the span of over 30 years in soccer, I had Phil Simms and I had a long term with Hank Stram, and I started working with Pat Hayden on school soccer and Tim Brant. However since CBS bought the NFL again and I went out to do the video games I’ve had two companions, Phil Sims and Tony Romo. Golf, Ken Venturi for 18 years, Lanny Wadkins for 5. Nick for possibly 15 years.
I feel that is a very good factor, too. I am actually pleased with the truth that it hasn’t been a revolving door. They have been essential relationships that aren’t simply enterprise colleagues. These are friendships; I imply Nick and I’ve texted backwards and forwards earlier immediately. Billy Packer, I am conscious of issues which might be happening proper now in his life over in Charlotte and checking up on him. Lanny, I nonetheless hear from on a regular basis. Ken’s handed on, I nonetheless hear from his two boys, one among whom despatched me some seasoning of his yesterday. So these enterprise colleagues, that is how most individuals assume they actually exist in your life. They’re far more essential to me than that. They’re friendships, they’re actual life-long friendships, and Trevor and I, our chemistry on the air won’t ever be a problem. It is already there. And that is a tribute to Trevor. I make 2017 sound prefer it was moons in the past, however in a brief timeframe, he is are available in and picked up on the right way to broadcast at warp pace. A part of it’s that he brings a skillset with him that you may’t actually educate folks. He has a way of expression, a method about him that is not regular. And by that, I simply imply he has an upgraded phrasing, his use of phrases is at a excessive degree. He’s clearly very educated. I hear that from his brother Mark too. Their mother and father, they made certain that these boys did much more than simply play golf.
Then there’s the issues you’ll be able to’t educate. That is simply who he’s. The heat, the integrity. These will match actually properly right into a golf broadcast. And by that I simply imply you are sitting within the lead analyst chair and folks flip to you at these moments of fact. You noticed it when he served because the Presidents Cup captain this 12 months. The heat factor, it is form of a sneaky a part of it that nobody actually ever thinks about once they’re attempting to grade or consider expertise. The likability issue is absolutely excessive. And golf is a sport the place I actually consider that almost all of our viewers need folks they wish to be of their dwelling rooms they usually share that have they usually really feel a connection. They really feel like there’s somebody they know, a familiarity Trevor has. So I’ve bought no considerations, nothing however pleasure a few promising future.
Talking of that likability, Trevor, a typical chorus popping out of the Presidents Cup was the common respect you commanded from each groups for the job you probably did, and the Worldwide gamers converse very extremely of you as an individual and chief. You’re additionally ready that, every so often, requires evaluation that some will be construed as criticism. How do you steadiness doing this job proper whereas sustaining these relationships you will have with so many gamers?
Immelman: I do not actually assume it is gonna be all that a lot of a balancing act for me, as a result of on the finish of the day I am simply gonna be who I’m. I am simply gonna be genuine. I actually recognize you mentioning the respect that the gamers had for me on the Presidents Cup. That respect got here from simply being myself, attending to know all of those gamers, sporting my coronary heart on my sleeve, permitting them in and making a relationship with them. As a result of it is a two-way avenue and you are going backwards and forwards, mutual respect begins to construct. And so that is what I’ve with these gamers.
Completely there’s going to be quite a few occasions when Jim turns to me or one among our different teammates poses a query and I’ll need to say precisely what I am seeing. If there is a second the place a kind of gamers hears about it or watches it again and would not prefer it, you recognize, it is simply sadly a part of the job. And I feel these gamers do perceive that increasingly more. I am not gonna run from that in any respect. I’ll make myself accessible always to gamers and caddies and brokers and coaches on the finish of the day. That is in numerous methods how I am gathering my info all through the week anyway, getting ready for our broadcasts. So there’s fixed dialogue going again with all of these backwards and forwards with all of these folks. So I actually do not see it as an excessive amount of of a balancing act. The truth is, I am trying ahead to it.
The schism occurring on the skilled degree has been the dominating story over the previous 12 months. For probably the most half, save for the RBC Canadian Open when Commissioner Monahan was interviewed, this matter didn’t essentially make its method onto the printed. I perceive that the product being offered is PGA Tour protection, however have there been any conversations on the right way to deal with this matter going ahead?
McManus: Our philosophy has been to cowl the golf match that we’re at and, you recognize, we’re centered on the PGA Tour. It’s an unlimited and essential package deal to us, and that is what we will cowl. We’re right here immediately clearly to speak about that. That is our precedence, the occasion that we’re masking.
Jim, at this stage in your profession you could possibly have any task you want. What retains you coming again to golf?
Nantz: It is simply deep in my coronary heart. I by no means can get sufficient. It is as essential to me as oxygen. Hmm. It’s a gigantic a part of my each waking day, so I find it irresistible. The thrill of going to those occasions, it doesn’t go away.
I am stepping away from school basketball. That is been within the works with Sean for a number of years. It is the proper time to do it. Nonetheless going to be working 40-odd weeks a 12 months with the NFL and our golf protection. I hope to be doing each of ’em for a protracted, very long time. However I feel anybody that is aware of me is aware of golf is as a lot part of my life as something, so I can not wait.
You realize, its been 5 months plus since we had our final occasion on the Wyndham. I miss these teammates. I miss ’em all. Not simply those you see on this name. I imply, not simply the announcers. I miss our digicam crew, our technical crew. I miss the entire expertise. You realize, it was part of my youth rising up, working round and attempting to observe the PGA Tour. My mother and father had been gracious sufficient to get within the automotive and drive two days, take me to an occasion in Florida, get again within the automotive and drive again house after three or 4 days. I imply, I am nonetheless that child working across the nation attempting to chase and be across the PGA Tour. It is by no means left me.