NBC's Tommy Roy on How the Stadium Course Makes the Players Perfect for TV

James WilliamsAnalyst IIIMay 9, 2012

A true stadium course at the TPC Sawgrass.
A true stadium course at the TPC Sawgrass.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

NBC golf producer Tommy Roy was going over all of the details of The Players Championship on Tuesday when he stopped for a few minutes to talk to the press about the event.

Roy has mastered the coverage of this tournament and each year he see's yet another way to make the coverage even better.

He will use 50 cameras and a blimp in covering The Players Championship from Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, the home of The Players Championship since 1982.

We talked during a teleconference about his plans for what viewers will see on both the Golf Channel and NBC, as it is Roy that will oversee every minute of the four days of LIVE coverage.


JW: Why is the TPC Sawgrass called a stadium course?

Roy: When this course was built back in 1982, they wanted it to be both fan and television-friendly. That is indeed why it is called a stadium course—so everyone can see all of the action.  


JW: How have you made it so TV-friendly?

Roy: From a television standpoint, having the energy of the crowd is crucial for it to translate to the people at home. When you think about watching, say, a nationwide event on television, and there's not a lot of fans out there and someone hits a great shot and you hear some quiet clapping, versus The Ryder Cup where you have four groups on the course and 10,000 people around every hole that they are playing, that's why there's so much energy and a good feeling about the event and it's so fun to watch, and same with the Masters. 

That also happens here on this golf course, where every hole is built almost in the fashion of a stadium; and particularly, 16 and 17 where it literally is, if you took Death Valley at Clemson and put those two holes there, that's kind of what you've got surrounding that area. So it really adds to the telecast.

 JW: You have really done some fun things with the 17th hole, the Island Green.

Roy: We are up to 12 cameras on the 17th, but each year we want everything from the up-close facial expressions and the emotions of the players. We also want to make sure that no matter where a shot goes, we are able to not only find it, but have multiple angles of where the ball landed and how it will be played. 


TV: The Golf Channel live coverage will take place from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. ET both days, with a prime time encore showing of the highlights of the day from 9 p.m. until midnight ET.

Saturday and Sunday the action moves over to the Golf Channel on NBC, where both days they will have coverage from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. ET.

Radio can be found all four days on Sirius-XM PGA from noon til 7 p.m. DT through Sunday and the broadband coverage for the entire tournament can be found at PGATour.com.



James Williams is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.