Golf mutes the mics

The scene is unique in the world of sports: the player is interviewed on television in the middle of the game. It happens on the European golf circuit. The journalist enters the field and asks the golfer after he has taken a shot. The unusual questionnaire is possible following a strict protocol: the interview must be agreed in advance, it can only be carried out after the first hit on a hole and the player must give his consent again at that moment by showing, for example, the thumb towards above (if the blow has been bad it can be denied). “It gives value to the broadcast”, explains José María Zamora, director of tournaments for the European circuit.

The power of television grows. Although sometimes it runs into some limits. The American network CBS, which broadcasts for example the Augusta Masters, has proposed that golfers carry individual microphones during tournaments, so that any spectator can hear everything they say. And there the players and caddies have been planted. “We need a privacy to be able to say what we think. I know how I am on the field, ”says Jon Rahm, world number three. “I have lost count of golfers swearing or cursing. Not good. Surely you hear much worse things in basketball or football than in golf. If it is a conversation between the caddy and the player on the tee or on the fairway preparing a shot, that’s fine with me, but if it’s walking down the fairway or waiting on a green, we should have more margin. I think people are not aware of how vulnerable we are because of the cameras and microphones in the field. It is difficult to be focused on what you say at all times ”, argues the Basque golfer.

Ambient microphones have already caught more than one expletive on the green, more so now that tournaments are played without an audience or with few fans and noise around them is reduced. American Justin Thomas was heard last January at the Sentry Tournament say to himself Fagot, which comes to be translated as “fag”, when a putt short. When the round was over he apologized, but one of his sponsors, Ralph Lauren, broke his contract with him. Thomas did not have the privilege enjoyed by Tiger Woods, whose blows were often delivered with a delay of several seconds to censor some foul word.

“The problem with carrying a microphone is that the player forgets. And, furthermore, you create unnecessary stress for him, ”says Zamora. The posture of the caddy It is summarized by Pello Iguarán, who now carries the bag of clubs belonging to Paraguayan golfer Fabrizio Zanotti: “People would not believe the things that are said. It would not be understood because it is very difficult to put oneself in the player’s shoes, to understand that sometimes he is out of his mind. Golf would become a reality show in which only the spicy would be heard, true nonsense. There are moments in which the player is not measured ”.

You can follow SPORTS in Facebook and Twitter, or sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.

Leave a Reply