Admit it. When Arnold Palmer announced last month that he planned to help start The Golf Channel, a 24-hour cable TV service devoted to the game, you thought it would be duller than inert gas. You said, "Arnie, how many naps can a guy take?"
And, then, when you found out that the airtime would be filled with instructional shows, golf movies, talk shows and live feeds from Asian, Australian, European and LPGA tournaments, you still thought that watching dental plaque form sounded more interesting.
But that was before we got ahold of this—a complete daylong sample schedule of programming on The Golf Channel. Now try to tell us you find it boring (all listings are for Eastern Standard Time).
(G) Midnight UNPLUGGED
A review of the week's imbedded-ball rulings.
(G) 12:30 a.m. LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LEADBETTER
A full hour of hilarity and instructional high jinks with South African golf guru David Leadbetter. Tonight, David tries to teach Marv Albert the hip coil.
(G) 1:30 a.m. NICK AT NIGHT
Highlights of superstar Nick Faldo recleating his golf shoes in hotel rooms from Cairo to Tasmania.
(G) 2:05 a.m. NIGHT OWL MOVIE
Lethal Weapon, starring Tom Watson and his putter.
(G) 4:15 a.m. TOURNAMENT
Live, first-round coverage of the Sony Sashimi Compact Disc Classic from Osaka, Japan. Joe, Jet and Jumbo Ozaki bring you all the action. First prize is a billion yen; second prize is Wisconsin.
(G) 6:30 a.m. 700 CLUB
Angelo Spagnola, winner of the Worst Avid Golfer in America contest, adds up the scorecard for his most recent round.
(G) 7:00 a.m. TODAY
Katie Couric, Willard Scott and Gene Shalit listen as Bryant Gumbel recounts every round he ever played.
(G) 9:00 a.m. REN AND STIMPY
Cartoon. Ren and Stimpy take turns foreclosing on each other's country clubs in the wake of President Clinton's new tax proposals.
(G) 9:30 a.m. ALL-STAR WRESTLING
Paul Azinger versus Seve Ballesteros. Cage match; loser shaves head, leaves town.
(G) 10:00 a.m. BODY BY JACK
Daily calisthenics with golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Today, Jack takes you through a 30-minute routine you can do without getting out of the cart.
(G) 10:30 a.m. THE GOLF WRITERS
This week the panelists try to remember the last time they paid for a shirt.
(G) 11:30 a.m. WHITE LIKE KITE
Variety. Tom Kite, the world's whitest golfer, shows us how he has stayed completely tanless for more than 40 years. Highlight: Tom explains just how dangerous a 75-watt bulb can be.
(G) Noon TOURNAMENT
Live, practice-round coverage of the Nike Tour's Lubbock Basin Open from Lubbock Golf 'n' Gas in Lubbock, Texas. Jay Randolph and Gerald Ford report on any $5 Nassaus some of the guys might have going.
(G) 2:30 p.m. THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW
Today's topic: Women golfers with ball-retriever fetishes and the men who love them.
(G) 3:30 p.m. SEASON ON THE COUCH
Instruction. The King of Relaxation, Fred Couples, teaches you how to enjoy your afternoon golf-watching to the hilt. Among the tips Fred will share this week: 1) rerouting all your phone calls to your ex-wife's lawyer's house; 2) reducing your pulse to zero in case friends come over; and 3) anaerobic napping.
(G) 4:00 p.m. ARNOLD
An ongoing retrospective of the life and career of the great Arnold Palmer. All this month: The Preschool Years.
(G) 4:30 p.m. GREENSKEEPERS' CORNER
The weekly presentation of the Golf Course Superintendents' Association. Today: "I am Joe's divot."
(G) 5:00 p.m. MOVIE
Bogie Film Festival. Hole-by-hole highlights of Jack Lemmon playing Pebble Beach.
(G) 5:30 p.m. GIMME THE SHAFT
Steve Melnyk hosts this fascinating tour of the world of golf-club shafts. Today's topic: Medium stiff or stiff? Will the controversy ever die?
(G) 6:30 p.m. CROSSFIRE
Political opposites Michael Kinsley and John Sununu decide to end their constant bickering. Instead, they will tee off against each other using Big Berthas from either end of a driving range.
(G) 7:00 p.m. LOVE CONNECTION
Game show. Contestants have 30 minutes to book flights for Davis Love III from Pensacola, Fla., to Kuala Lumpur to Sutton Coldfield, England.
(G) 7:30 p.m. THIRTEEN, SHE WROTE
Weekly drama. Novice golfer Angela Lansbury cuts short her seven-hour round to try to find out why the foursome behind her wants her dead.
(G) 8:30 p.m. THE ONE-UNDER YEARS
Comedy. Kevin (Tiger Woods) explains to his math teacher why he's buying out her contract.
(G) 9:00 p.m. RESCUE 911
Paramedics stage an all-out search for Curtis Strange.
(G) 10:00 p.m. EDDIE ON ETIQUETTE
Call-in show. Tonight, Eddie discusses the age-old question: If you already have your opponent's ball under your foot, should you accuse him of cheating when he finds it in the heather?
(G) 11:05 p.m. GOLF, MY #!%*@ WAY
Craig Stadler details the finer points of the 50-yard club toss.
(G) 11:30 p.m. CABLE WEEK IN REVIEW
Ben Hogan discusses his plan to launch A 24-hour, pay-per-view channel devoted entirely to his garage.