If you are an avid viewer of the Golf Channel you know that in 2021 big changes came with NBC moving the golf focused channel from Orlando, Florida to Stamford, Connecticut. One big change for avid viewers of Golf Channel was the end of Morning Drive. I loved the golf morning show. The question was, “Would NBC create a new morning show?” The Answer months later is clearly no.
Back when NBC announced the cancellation of Morning Drive they stated a new show “Golf Today” would be launching. My first reaction to the new show, Golf Today, was that it was flat because most of the show is two golf analysts discussing golf. Yes, the new golf show had similar topics as the morning show — recaps of golf tournaments, guest appearances discussing various industry topics, and periodically a golf playing tip. However, I would say that Golf Today is closer to Golf Central in style, format, and programming. This is not a bad thing but I find that I listen to Golf Today versus watching Morning Drive.
For me, NBC dropped the ball canceling Morning Drive. I would argue that Morning Drive was much more like “The Today Show” or “Good Morning America” with it’s lightness and entertainment. And that is what is missing with Golf Today. I enjoyed Morning Drive for the banter of four hosts such as Lauren Thompson, Paige Mackenzie, Robert Damron, and Gary Williams. I found the programming fun to watch – with the mix of serious golf topics, guests (often times, tour pros), tips on playing golf (whether it be showing a swing tip from last weeks’ tournament or Martin Hall from School of Golf or Nick Clearwater of GolfTech Coaches Series), reviews of places to play golf by Matt Ginella, and sometimes silly games. It had a lightness that was perfect for a morning show.
The current programming in the morning for the Golf Channel consists of reruns of Golf Central or a replay of a golf tournament; unless there is a European golf event that they can show live. It really is a shame that the leadership at NBC Sports lacks the skill to take the Golf Channel morning programming beyond basics. Instead of getting rid of Morning Drive they could have taken golf morning entertainment to the next level.
Bottom line, I rarely watch the Golf Channel in the morning now.