A Test of Golf To be understood on television, announcers are required to talk the talk

May 31, 1998

So you're interested in becoming a TV golf analyst, are you?
Tough job, you know. Lots of travel, places like Palm Springs,
Hawaii and Miami. Long hours, too, sometimes as many as three a
day. Well, O.K., if you're sure that's what you want to do, slip
into this sport jacket with the network logo and we'll give you
a little test.

Describe a tee shot that travels 275 yards and finishes on the
left side of the fairway.

"Perfect."

Very good. What if it had gone only 260 yards to the right side
of the fairway?

"Perfect."

Excellent. Anything in the fairway is perfect. Suppose the ball
had landed in the rough?

"Well, at least it's sitting up and he'll have a good angle to
come in from."

So true. And where would he be if his drive had wound up in
those pines?

"In jail."

Of course. But look, his approach has gone over the green.

"Must have caught a flyer."

Or....

"The ball came out hot."

Right. At least he avoided that pond.

"Stayed dry. And he took the bunker out of play. But he'd be a
lot happier if he was on the dance floor."

Exactly. Tell me about this next shot.

"Should be able to get up and down. He has a lot of green to
work with."

Nice shot, six feet from the pin.

"He's right on Tiger's line. Should be able to go to school on
him."

How's his putting been lately?

"He's had a little trouble with the flat stick."

Well, he just made this one.

"Center cut."

Or?

"Dead-solid perfect."

Describe his putting stroke.

"Smooth as silk."

What if he had knocked the ball three feet past the hole?

"He still has some work to do. A real knee-knocker."

What does that par do for him?

"Keeps him in the hunt."

No one who's finished has a better score.

"Then he's the leader in the clubhouse."

Clubhouse? He's sitting right next to us in the booth at 18.

"He's still the leader in the clubhouse."

Where would he be if he were actually leading the tournament?

"Atop the leader board."

What kind of leader board?

"Star-studded."

You're very good. Let's try some more. A player has bogeyed
three holes in a row.

"You mean he's leaking oil?"

Right. What's he trying to do now?

"Stop the bleeding. Or hemorrhaging."

Got one more?

"He just wants to get to the barn."

Ah, he's hit his approach 12 feet from the flagstick.

"A birdie opportunity."

What if his approach had been 60 feet away?

"He'll be happy to take two putts and get out of Dodge."

How far away is 60 feet?

"It's in another time zone."

Or?

"A different ZIP code."

He had a lot of backspin on that shot.

"It sucked back."

All the way to the fringe.

"You mean the froghair."

Right you are. By the way, nice day for golf.

"Perfect scoring conditions."

People. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino. Who are
they?

"The King, the Golden Bear and the Merry Mex."

Great players?

"Living legends."

Wow! I think you've got the job. Let's take a break.

"We'll be back after these commercial messages."

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ERIC PALMA How far away is 60 feet? "It's in another time zone." Or? "A different ZIP code." [Drawing of man with golf club instructing student]

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)