2013 PGA Merchandise Show – Morning Drive and LPGA News

The ability to follow the PGA Merchandise show from the comfort of your own home is amazing!  I am here in the cold Northeast (seven degrees this morning) and seeing updates on Twitter, Facebook, Ustream and more.

The Golf Channel Morning Drive show and the LPGA both started tweeting early in the morning that big announcements were coming.  Given I am a fan of both, I was curious to see what was “big” to each organization.

Morning Drive Announcement

The Morning Drive show is expanding to seven days a week.  Great!  They are adding to the cast.  Most of co-anchor additions make sense because they have been on the show or are members of the golf channel.  The one odd addition is Ahmad Rashad. He is an NBC broadcast “star” so I get that but what does he know about golf?  I guess we will find out soon.

The other big reveal was the new set of the show.  Below is a photo of the old set.

Morning Drive Set

TV Screen Shot of Holly Sonders on Morning Drive Set. Click image to Enlarge.

Now one thing I always liked about the current set is that it seemed “cozy” and had lots of golf memorabilia and “chotskies” on the set.  I also think the intimate feel of the set added to the relaxed style of the co-anchors.  It never felt like a “formal” news show like the evening recap show, Golf Central.

The Golf Channel provided a photo gallery of the new set.  If you click on the photo below it will take you to a cool time-lapse video of the construction of the new set.

Click on Photo to see a time-lapse video of the construction of the new set.

Click on Photo to see a time-lapse video of the construction of the new set.

The new set and staff is a clear indication of the success of the show.  I will keep an open mind but I hope what I loved most about the show does not get lost in the new high-gloss set.

LPGA Announcement

In a previous post, The LPGA’s Marketing Challenge, I noted some concerns about the tour’s perception in the American market.  Basically, the LPGA is a global tour but the American market needs a new star which I felt was Stacy Lewis.  I am happy to see that the tour is now promoting Stacy Lewis.  Stacy certainly made it easier for them by winning Player of the Year.  I am happy to see the management at the LPGA finally embracing Stacy Lewis as a tour star.

The LPGA also deserves credit for figuring out a way to capitalize on the statement they have been emphasizing all year that they are a “global tour.”  I was thrilled with the announcement of the “International Crown” by the LPGA.  It is a new match play tournament that will debut in 2014.  The tournament will be 8 countries vying for the crown. I also like the promotional video.

And to my point earlier about promoting Stacy Lewis, there is a nice video of Stacy talking about the new tournament.

I like the International Crown for two reasons.  First, the LPGA did not just follow the PGA tour and create a “Presidents Cup” for the ladies.  The Presidents Cup is the USA against the rest of the world (minus Europe).  Second, it ties nicely to the fact that golf will be part of the Olympics in 2016 and what do we all love to do during the Olympics? Cheer for our country.  The fact fans love to cheer for their country should make the International Crown a big hit among golf fans; and hopefully, bring new fans to the LPGA.

Advertisements

2013 Golf fun includes the Golf Channel’s Fantasy Golf Challenge

Last year I participated in a fantasy golf league for the very first time.  I chose the Golf Channel Fantasy Golf Challenge because I am a huge fan of the golf channel (especially the Morning Drive show).  Each week, Winn McMurry, would join the morning show to give her picks.  In the early stages I wrote posts each week about my players but found that to be a bit repetitive and I had other topics I wanted to share with my readers.

In all honesty, I had set goals for 2012 for myself and failed miserably.  I was very optimistic and didn’t realize how hard it would be to win just one week (which I thought was an achievable “stretch” goal).  My best week was when I ranked 1,551  (I finished the year ranked in the mid-5,000 range).  On a bright note, I did beat my friend who was playing but not by much (and she missed a few weeks) so this year I really have to be on my toes.

The one thing that I did not like about the league was that the leader-board only showed the ranks for the top 100 and did not show the total number of players.  So you could compare yourself to the top 100, the people in your own league, and the Golf Channel experts but that was it.  Therefore, knowing my final rank was mid-5,000 really did not mean anything since I had no basis for it expect that I clearly was not in the top 100.  But I would have liked to know where I was against all players. I actually wrote the golf channel fantasy team an email at the end of the season and suggested they add the total number of players.  Now, they may have been planning it all along but the new player profile includes your overall rank against everyone.

Screen shot Fantasty Profile

Click to see a large image of the screen shot of the fantasy profile layout.

This makes it a bit more fun for those of us that may never be in the top 100.  If the number (48,638) in the screen shot is indicative of the number of players last year, then being in the 5,000 range was pretty good for a beginner.  Of course, lots of room for improvement.

The Golf Channel has also added the LPGA majors to the fantasy golf game and that makes me very happy.  I think it promotes the women’s game and hopefully will expand the fan base for the LPGA.

The other new twist is a Mulligan!  You get to drop your lowest score each segment (three segments this year and I’m guessing the segments will be Spring, Summer, Fall).  I’m not sure of the date breaks for the three segments because of the shortened PGA tour schedule.  In 2013 the PGA will play only 40 tournaments between January and September. Then the 2013/2014 season begins in October which is the tour’s new wrap-around season.

Also, in the spirit of social sharing, the Golf Channel has added Twitter, Facebook and other social sharing tools to the site.  I’m not sure it will be meaningful to tweet about my picks but I setup a Pinterest board to follow my fantasy picks.  A Pinterest board will allow me to add images and write recaps. I participated in the CME Titleholders LPGA Pinterest contest last year and I had the winning board.

I have set goals for the 2013 fantasy golf season.  Obviously I want to win because that is the reason we all play games.  I will also be very happy to better my 2012 end of season position and I have set two more goals. First, to win one week (same stretch goal as last year) and second, be in the top 1,000 at the end of the year.

Finally, I never understood the guys at work that did the fantasy football or baseball teams but now I get it.  Fantasy games draw you into the action. I have always loved watching golf but the fantasy game makes watching the tournaments even more fun.  The result of playing the fantasy game that I did not expect is that I discovered new golfers to watch.  Players that may or may not be the next “break out star” but I am now interested in watching them play.

Earl Woods gets my vote for founder of “the youth movement” in golf

The Golf Channel Morning Drive Show has a daily poll question and one question was on a topic I have written about often — young golfers.  The question was posed because a 14-year-old amateur golfer from China, Guan Tianlang, won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and a spot in the 2013 Masters.

Here is the Morning Drive poll question tweeted by Lauren Thompson Twitter coversatin with Lauren Thompson on Morning Drive Poll QuestionI was pleased to get a direct message back from Lauren ThompsonImage of Twitter DM from Lauren Thompson

As you can see from my response to Lauren Thompson I did not select any of the four options.  Yes, I think all (coaching, equipment, global exposure and technology) are important factors but that does not speak to the underlying support system that allows kids to pursue a sport with such intensity at such young ages.

The only way a child can achieve such great success at such a young age is because the parents support it.  There will always be the debate as to whether or not the child truly “wanted” to “live and breathe” golf or if the parents really wanted it for the child.  But either way, the steps the parents must take to create the opportunity is the basis for it all.

Tiger Woods is the most famous child prodigy that ever played the game.  Yes, Tiger has proven his place in history as one of the best golfers ever.  However, I truly believe Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, was the mastermind behind the Tiger brand that exists today.  After all, Earl Woods not only taught his son golf at a young age but also was savvy enough to get his son “exposure” at a very young age.  If you have not seen it, below is the video of 2-year-old Tiger on the Mike Douglas show.

After Tiger, the next young phenom to come along was in women’s golf – Michelle Wie.  At the age of eleven Wei was the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship.  Wie’s career has not been as stellar as predicted; although she has reaped the financial benefit and fame sponsors like Nike deliver.  In recent years Wie’s poor play has been blamed on her focus on college but now that she is out of school she is still struggling to find her game.  Only time will tell if Wie will become a truly great golfer.  If she does not become a champion golfer then Wei’s rise and fall may become a cautionary tale of burnout or peaking too soon.

In 2012, we have seen a flurry of young golfers making news:

  1. Andy Zhang, a 14-year-old amateur golfer (also Chinese but living in Florida) made history as the youngest player in the US Open.
  2. Lydia Ko, a 15-year-old from New Zealand (originally from South Korea) made history winning the Canadian Open.  Ko is the youngest player to win a LPGA event.
  3. Beau Hossler, a 17-year-old Californian, became a sensation at the 2012 US Open when he took the lead (over Tiger) for a short period of time.
  4. Lexi Thompson won the Navistar LPGA Classic in 2011 at age 16 which triggered Mike Whan, LPGA Commissioner, to waive the 18-year-old age requirement for turning pro and gave Thompson (age 17) her PGA tour card for 2012.
  5. Guan Tianlang, 14-year-old amateur golfer from China, made history as the youngest winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and will make history in 2013 as the youngest golfer to ever play in the Masters.

So is this a good thing for the sport or not?  Some will say “yes” because it will bring a younger audience to the game and hopefully grow the game for the future.  Some will say “no” for reasons such as it is not good for the child (i.e. the pressure, the travel, the risk of injuries at a young age).  Whatever your opinion there is one thing that is hard to argue and that is “the cat — or should I say, Tiger — is out of the bag” and there is no turning back now.

 

LPGA (Q-School) Qualifying Tournaments Overview

One of the rights of passage for golfers that want to be “on tour” is Q-school (or as the LPGA likes to call it, LPGA Qualifying Tournaments.)  The LPGA kicks-off the 2012 tournaments today, September 4th with the first of three stages.  The three stages culminate in December with the final event determining which golfers get “LPGA Membership” for the 2013 golf season.

Overview of the LPGA Q-School Tournament process:

If you want to learn all the details you can go to the LPGA website and download the PDF’s.  The information below is a basic overview for those interested in the stages of qualifying.

Stage I – Takes place from September 4 to September 7, 2012 and is 72-holes of stroke play competition. The total field is 240 players.  The players must be 18-years-old by January 1, 2013 (the age requirement to play on the LPGA tour unless the player petitions for a special exemption.)  The players also pay a $1,500 entry fee to compete.  The top 60 plus ties will advance to Stage II.

Stage II – Takes place from October 9 to October 12, 2012 and is 72-holes of stroke play competition.  The total field is 216 players.  This stage includes the players advancing from stage I and players from the Symetra Tour, Class A LPGA members (they are not on tour right now), Rolex-Ranked players, and CN (Canadian Tour) Qualifiers.  The entrance fee is $1,500 for the Stage 1 qualifiers and $3,000 for the other players.  The top 70 plus ties will advance to Stage III.

Stage III – Takes place November 28-December 2, 2012 and is 90-holes of stroke play competition (with a 72-hole cut.)  This stage will include the players from Stage II, Symetra tour (money leaders that did not get their card as part of the Volvik Race for the Card ) and current LPGA tour players that need to improve their status. The goal of all the players from stage three is to get full-status to be eligible for all LPGA events.  The entrance fee for Stage III is $2,500.  The top players will get LPGA “membership” (number of members and status are TBD) and all other players will get Symetra Tour status for 2013.

It is important to note that player status ties to the LPGA Player Priority List which is “used to fill all Standard Eligibility Tournament fields.”  For example, in the 2012 season, the top 80 players on the money list from 2011 have first priority to play in tournaments.  The next group on the “priority list” is the top 20 players in career earnings money list (e.g. in 2012 only one player has this status, Laura Davies).  The priority list has many status categories and the lower the priority status the less likely a player will get into a tournament.  You can access the current 2012 list at the LPGA website, Player drop down menu will provide a link to the Priority List PDF.

Players to watch in Stage 1:

If you are a golf geek, you will recognize the names of the players that I will be following in stage I of Q-school.  They are Cheyenne Woods, Jaye Marie Green, and Brooke Pancake.

(1) Cheyenne Woods is the niece of Tiger and so everyone will be watching to see if she makes the LPGA tour.  Woods turned professional in May 2012 and won her first event on the Suncoast Series where the top prize money was $3,000.  The Suncost series is a mini-tour.  Think of the Suncost mini-tour as equivalent to Double-A minor league baseball — a step below the Triple-A league (e.g. in women’s golf the Symetra Tour).  Of course, the “major league” equivalent in women’s golf is the LPGA.

(2) Jaye Marie Green is an amateur that I followed during the US Women’s Amateur.  Green’s claim to fame is that she came in second behind Lydia Ko.  Green is ranked 5th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).  Considering how “hot” Ko is right now, I was impressed with how Green competed in the final day of match play at the US Women’s Amateur.

(3) Brooke Pancake caught my attention when she clinched a final putt to help her college team, Alabama, win the NCAA National title. Pancake also won the 2012 Honda Sports Award in golf, given annually to the nation’s top female collegiate golfer.   I will admit that Pancake’s personal story is very moving. In her senior year in high school her father committed suicide and it is impressive that she has done so well after such a tragic loss. Pancake turned professional in June 2012 and plays on the Symentra tour.

Golf Channel Big Break Atlantis Players at Q-School

If you are a Big Break fan, you will be happy to know that a number of Golf Channel cast members from Big Break Atlantis are playing in Stage I.  The six players to watch in Stage I are: Shannon Fish, Natalia Ghilzon, Meghan Hardin, Allison Micheletti, Christina Stockton, and Kelly Villarreal.

The winner of Big Break Atlantis, Marcela Leon; and the 2nd place finisher (and fan favorite), Selanee Henderson are already listed in the preliminary field for the Stage II tournament. Gloriana Soto and Anya Alvarez are also listed in the Stage II Preliminary field.

Lydia Ko makes history, again. Is Ko an “amateur” in name only?

It was amazing to watch Lydia Ko win the CN Canadian Women’s Open.  However, what was really surprising was that Ko was the lead story on Golf Channel’s wrap-up show, Golf Central.  It is rare that a ladies event overshadows a PGA event, but Lydia Ko’s win overshadowed Nick Watney’s win at the Barclays.

I wrote about Lydia winning the US Women’s Amateur just a few weeks ago.  Ko is an amazing golfer; but what is really surprising is her demeanor on the golf course and during her press conferences.  She has a lovely personality.  She smiles all the time (and said in the press conference she tries to smile even when she makes a bad shot).  She is quick to acknowledge all the people supporting her golf career and seems to recognize that her amateur schedule is like a job.  She stated in various interviews that she has missed many months of school with all the world traveling she is doing for golf.

As I watched Ko play, I noticed she had a Srixon logo on her golf cap and a New Zealand Golf Logo on her shirt.  I did a bit of research and found the New Zealand Golf website.  As an amateur Ko cannot have sponsors but what she does have is the support of the New Zealand Golf Federation.  Lydia Ko is one of the shinning stars of the New Zealand Golf Federation’s National Development Program (or better known to the golf viewing public as the “Srixon Golf Academy.”)

When you read the details of the “National Development Programme” on the New Zealand Golf Website, you realize how much of an advantage players supported by a national federation have over an amateur without such support.  The website states “The National Development Programme is the pathway that assists young emerging talent from throughout New Zealand to succeed on the international stage.”  Here is what the website states a Srixon Golf Academy player can expect:

  • Primary coach
  • Sports psychologist
  • Strength and conditioning coach
  • Golf specific physiotherapist
  • They will also have funding assistance to ensure their attendance at national events throughout their term in the Academy.
  • For the very best of the Academy there will be a contestable ‘International Tournament Campaign Fund’ to help assist them create and manage their own international tournament campaigns.  (Note: the website even lists specific tournaments in Asia, UK/Europe, Canada, and the USA).

Wow, given the “funding” support it is hard to call Lydia Ko an Amateur.  Clearly, the financial support to travel all over the world to compete against the worlds best golfers is a luxury most American amateurs would love.  Actually, I think a lot of “journeymen” players and “rookies” on the professional tours would love that kind of financial support.

The support Lydia Ko receives does not take away from her talent or her win.  She is still a 15-year-old playing an individual sport and it is her talent and mental fortitude that has allowed her to win at the highest level of golf.  However, the support Ko receives “outside the ropes” is not something all amateurs get.  Judy Rankin, Golf Hall of Fame member and commentator for LPGA golf events, often comments during her on-air TV analysis that international amateurs (supported by golf federations) have an advantage over American amateurs.  The lack of international travel and opportunity to play against the best in the world is a big issue for the development of American Amateurs.

Is Lydia Ko like other Amateurs at all?  One way Lydia Ko is a normal amateur is that she does not have the pressure a professional has to win.  Professionals feel pressure because golf is how they make their living.  Maybe a good example is Lexi Thompson.  In 2007, at age 12, Thompson was the youngest golfer to qualify for the US Women’s Open and turned pro at 15 but did not have her LPGA card. Thompson was entering LPGA tournaments on sponsor exemptions. Thompson made history when she won her first LPGA event (the Navistar LPGA Classic) at 16 years, 7 months and 8 days old.  Given her win, the LPGA waived the age minimum/restriction and granted Lexi Thompson her card.  But as a professional, Thompson has struggled this year and missed the cut at the CN Canadian Women’s Open.  The other past “amateur phenom” to miss the cut this week — Michelle Wie.

Is Lydia Ko an amateur in name only?  I say yes because she plays like a professional, she travels and competes worldwide like a professional, and she has “financial support” that mirrors the economic benefit to cover travel costs that a sponsor deal might cover (without the official sponsor).

Who knows when Lydia Ko will become a professional.  Until that time, I’m sure Lydia Ko will continue to amaze the golf viewing public with her amazing talent.  The next big question is when she does turn professional, will she continue her phenomenal rise?  Will Ko be the next Annika or Tiger?.  Only time will tell.  One thing is for sure —  the golf world will be watching.

Men of the Golf Channel

A few months ago I wrote about the women of the golf channel and it has been a very popular post.  I’m an equal opportunity writer so today I am focusing on the men of the Golf Channel.  I won’t be highlighting all of them (obviously there are a lot more male announcers, analysts, and TV personalities than women on the golf channel); so visit the golf channel website if you are looking for bios on Nike Faldo, Frank Nobilo, or other big name golfers now working for the Golf Channel.  Here are five of my favorite men of the Golf Channel.

Gary Williams, Morning Drive Host(1) Gary Williams – Anyone that has read my blog knows I am a fan of the Morning Drive show.  Williams has always been my favorite host for two reasons.  First, he has the perfect on-air style for an early morning show.  He has passion for what he does but he delivers it with a laid-back style.  In other words you would never call him a “morning shock jock.”

The second reason I like Williams is because he let’s his guest’s talk.  Yes, he has opinions and shares his views; but he also gives plenty of air time to other people joining him on the show.  As of May, Williams has been hosting without Erik Kuselias and frankly it is a better show.  I hope the Golf Channel executives keep Gary Williams and Holly Saunders as the mainstay personalities; while bringing on interesting co-hosts to “sit across” from Williams to discuss the days events in golf.

Photo of David Feherty (2) David Feherty — Given that I love Gary Williams because he is not a “shock jock,” it might surprise people that I like David Feherty.  His humor can sometimes be a bit overboard but I do love his on-course commentary and his show, Feherty.

I don’t really consider him a “shock jock” (although Ernie Els called him that in a Golf.com article).  He pokes fun at golfers and he gets away with it because he is “one of them” and he is also very self-deprecating.  It seems that most golfers take his humor in-stride and expect some good-natured teasing from Feherty.

On the other hand, Feherty does have a serious side.  On his show, he gave a heart-felt thank you to Tom Watson on the help Tom gave him at a difficult time in his life.  He also does wonderful interviews with other big personalities who love the game of golf (e.g. President Clinton, Donald Trump).

Photo of Tom Abbott

(3) Tom Abbott — Most folks that watch the golf channel these days will recognize Abbott as a co-host of the reality golf show, The Big Break.

Abbot does a great job on The Big Break but I really enjoy listening to Abbot’s commentary during LPGA tournament coverage.  I will admit that I do like his English accent but what I really enjoy is his enthusiasm for what he is witnessing on the course. It really adds to the viewing experience.

Photo of Jerry Foltz

(4) Jerry Foltz – Foltz is another on-course reporter that I enjoy when watching the LPGA on the golf channel.  He also does other golf tours (as does Tom Abbot).

I became an even bigger fan of Foltz when he co-hosted Morning Drive with Gary Williams.  If the golf channel executives feel they must put another permanent co-host on the show, I would encourage them to give the job to Jerry Foltz.

The reason I like Foltz is that he has a good sense of humor and the chemistry between him and the rest of the cast; especially Gary Williams, is great.  Foltz and Williams give each other a bit of a ribbing (e.g. like brothers) and it can be very funny.  Foltz has also hosted the show when Williams is on vacation; and like Williams, his personal style is great for a morning show.

Photo of Jason Sobel

(5) Jason Sobel – Sobel is technically not a “TV personality” on the Golf Channel. He is a Senior writer on GolfChannel.com but often appears on The Grey Goose 19th-hole as a panel expert and on Morning Drive as a guest analyst.

But the reason I really love Jason Sobel is because of his tweets. I’m not the only one that enjoys his 140-character commentary — Sobel has over 41,000 followers. Some might call him the “king of twitter for the golf channel,” but Feherty might want that crown given he has over 138,000 followers.  I would argue that folks are following Feherty for outrageous comic relief.  If you follow Sobel, you get clever, often funny, informative golf tweets.

It was tough to pick my top 5 because there are other men of the golf channel I really enjoy and provide excellent commentary; including Brandle Chamblee, Tripp Isenhour, and Charlie Rymer.  I have not listed any of the golf instructors on the Golf Channel (that’s a topic for another blog post) but if you want to check out the top shows you should watch School of Golf with Martin Hall and The Golf Fix with Michael Breed.

Don’t see your favorite Golf Channel guy listed?  Leave a comment on who you like and why.

Women of the Golf Channel

SEE UPDATED POST ON WOMEN OF THE GOLF CHANNEL HERE

The other day I was talking to a gentleman that likes golf and he said “I like that woman on the golf channel. You know, she’s attractive and has a deep voice.”  I said, “The one that does the tournament coverage?”  He said “Yes.”  I replied “That’s Kelly Tilghman.”

There is great female on-air talent at the Golf Channel and I thought it would be fun to give my view on the women of the golf channel.

(1) Kelly Tilghman is the “grande dame” of the Golf Channel.  She has been with the golf channel since the very beginning and according to her bio, “in 2007, she became the first full-time female play-by-play commentator in the history of the PGA Tour.”

I have watched Tilghman for years and like her commentary and she does have a great voice.  She also has great golf credentials — she was on the golf team at Duke and played professionally from 1992 to 1996.  She is also very funny.  She recently was on Morning Drive and was great.  I hope they have her guest host again.

Unfortunately, her humor has gotten her into trouble.  Many will remember Tilghman because she made a remark during a PGA tournament broadcast in 2008 that Rev. Al Sharpton claimed was a racial insult to Tiger Woods.  Tilghman did apologize but that was not enough for Rev. Al Sharpton — he wanted her fired.  On the other hand, Tiger said he did not take offense.  In fact Tiger appears to trust Tilghman (which was evident in 2010 when Tiger selected Tilghman to do his first interview after his personal life scandal.)  And, Tilghman has been an announcer on Tiger’s very popular Video games.

Image of Holly Sonders(2) Holly Sonders is on the Morning Drive show. Her role is basically to do news headlines and setup segments for the main two hosts (Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams.)  She played college golf for Michigan State University.  You can tell from the few segments she has done on golf exercises and the swing that she really is a great golfer.  The golf channel executives must have noticed too because it was just announced she will be on The School of Golf every Wednesday.  She is also quite funny. I wish she had more air time on the morning show.

Image of Winn McMurray(3) Winn McMurray — McMurray is the fashion consultant and writes articles for “Fashion Focus” (a golf channel blog.)  She used to also host “The 19th Hole” but that has a new host (see below). Her big claim to fame is that she won the 2011 Fantasy Golf Challenge.  I’m always happy to see a woman win!

Image of Lauren Thompson(4) Lauren Thompson — Thompson hosts Golf Now, a travel show. And, the morning drive cast have given her the nickname of T3 (because she hosts the Top Ten series and her last name is Thompson — get it, Top Ten Thompson).

Image of Stephanie Sparks(5) Stephanie Sparks —  Most will know Sparks from the Big Break which is a reality show on the Golf Channel.  She also does on-course commentary for the LPGA and Nationwide tour.  Like Tilghman, she played golf at Duke University.  I like Stephanie Sparks on Big Break but you don’t see her on any other shows.

Image of Lara Baldesarra

(6) Lara Baldesarra — The newest member of Golf Channel’s elite women broadcasters.  She just started this year as the host of The 19th Hole.  She will also fill in as a co-host on the Golf Central show.  My first impressions of her on-air style is that she is very animated and I can tell she is Canadian by the way she says words like “about.”  I’m not crazy about the tone of her voice — it is a bit grating to me; but I’m willing to see how she does over time.

Overall I think all of the Golf Channel Women are entertaining and do a great job.  My favorites are based on their on-air personality and how they display their knowledge of the game.  Kelly Tilghman is my favorite and Holly Sonders is fast becoming a close second. I think Sonders has a very promising future with the Golf Channel.