Why I Will Never Watch the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Again

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2013

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 08:  Chris Berman of ESPN shows off for fans on the 17th hole during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 8, 2013 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Note to self: never, ever, ever tune into early round coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am again.

That is, of course, unless I feel like spending three precious hours of my day watching B-list celebrities and CEOs turn historic Pebble Beach Golf Links into their own personal hackfest again.

Golf Channel literally followed the entire rounds of Chris Berman, Carson Daly and Kenny G.

CEOs taking divots the size of porterhouse steaks received more air time than co-leaders Brandt Snedeker and Ted Potter Jr. In fact, I don’t even recall seeing Snedeker at all in yesterday afternoon’s coverage.

PGA Tour rookie Patrick Cantlay is just two strokes off the lead, yet he was non-existent during the first two days of coverage while around 15 minutes of coverage went to some Arizona land developer with a swing that would have made Ben Hogan lose his lunch.  

I saw a single pitch shot from Jim Furyk, yet know I know all about why Comcast CEO Brian Roberts enjoys playing golf.

Granted, the first three rounds of the AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am takes place across three separate golf courses, and the majority of the coverage is centered around Pebble Beach. But, the Golf Channel does still possess the ability to show highlights and keep viewers up to speed on what is going on at the other three courses.

And we all understand that these amateurs have shelled out huge sums of money to take part on this tournament, and perhaps there is an understanding or some form of unspoken agreement that they receive airtime during the early rounds.

But my goodness; show a great amateur shot here and there, or occasionally show a celebrity like Berman or Ray Romano hitting a shot that is so bad it will make viewers laugh, but don’t spend three hours subjecting viewers who have most likely upgraded their cable packages to receive Golf Channel programming to three hours worth of amateurs hacking the ball around a golf course.

If we wanted to see that we’d simply grab a drink, a bag of popcorn and a lawn chair and head over to the local municipal golf course.

I sincerely fear that I personally may have become a worse golfer simply by watching Friday’s coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. I feel as if I now need to go to YouTube and watch three hours worth of clips showing the great Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus in order to undo the horror of what I subjected myself to yesterday afternoon.  

CBS picks up the coverage of the tournament this afternoon, but it will likely be more of the same.

So, if you are planning on tuning into this afternoon’s coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to see some of the best players in the world compete at one of golf’s most iconic venues, you will be in for big surprise when you see a wealthy Irish horse breeder receiving more airtime than the tournament leaders.

And if for some reason you do have an interest in spending your Saturday afternoon watching amateurs hack the ball around a golf course, well, grab that bag of popcorn and a lawn chair and head down to your local muni, at least that way you can get some fresh air in the process.

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