Why The Golf Channel Died

I am still going through my historical postings with a mind to re-posting the more relevant topics and here is one about the reason I believe the Golf Channel died.

It may not actually be, as I just checked and there’s a programming schedule that includes pre-event shows, live events, endless re-playing of live events and very little original content other than “School of Golf.”

I myself stopped watching the channel close to ten years ago when the programming seriously deteriorated, but I can remember back in 1997 probably until 2006, a good ten year run where you could watch the old Classic era events replayed and shows with lots of great instructional guests in addition to the Bobby Jones instructional shows.

It’s my personal opinion that someone at TGC realized at some point that the Classic golf instruction and vintage tour events did not mirror the Modern Golf Swing nonsense now being pushed and so were removed from viewing.

Much of what disappeared was its own programming so one can’t say the content disappeared because someone took back the rights to it, other than perhaps the Bobby Jones series.

In the below example from a December 2017 post which I’ve edited (the video was posted to YouTube in January 2012), I can provide examples of how Golf Channel content has for years offered zero value for the learning golfer.

First, let’s talk about impact position.

For an optimal impact position you want, in no special order:

  • Head over trailing side, a right-biased position and spine angle,
  • Weight transferred fully to the leading foot and side,
  • Left shoulder higher than the right, instead of level or near-level
  • Trailing arm going into extension and not jammed against the hip,
  • Low trailing heel at impact

Aside from the very last point, which is the only thing I’ve seen espoused as proper on television and in magazines, every other single point of my observations has either been lost in Modern Golf Swing philosophy, as in ignored or not taught, or has been contradicted by modern convention.

If you’ve watched the golf instruction and the close-to-useless swing analysis during tournaments, you’ve no doubt heard a good deal about standing with a vertical spine position (“centered,” they’d call it) or even leaning left (Stack & Tilt & other models of the same ilk),

If you’ve watched the same, you’ll have heard that you want level or near-level shoulders both at address and at impact as you “turn through the ball,” which is exactly the way to get the low-skilled player to swing left and over-the-top, and yet look at the above diagram and the two legends of the Classic Era below:


Want a psychedelic trip??

Watch Nick Faldo try to describe the shoulders at impact below, talking about keeping a “high right shoulder” which would mean level or near-level shoulders:

Do yourself a favor and watch the entire clip if you want to see how crazy it all is.

Sir Nick sure talks a good game about level shoulders and turning through the shot, and Michael Breed is there of course to agree that a low right shoulder is bad, yet look at Faldo’s impact position in ’94, when he’d already won 5 of his eventual 6 total majors, and in his prime:

Pretty much exactly what the doctor ordered, isn’t it?  Right-biased head and spine angle, much higher left than right shoulder, low trailing heel, weight firmly into the left side and foot…

Even worse, here’s a still shot of his impact position in the actual clip where he talks about a high right shoulder:

So, learning golfers, I absolutely recommend television instruction.

Keep on listening to that Modern Golf Swing rubbish if you want to struggle with your swing, that is – and it’s provably rubbish – you can see that the guys pushing it don’t even do what they tell others to do!

Time and time again, I’ve seen people on TV telling others how to swing in a way that they themselves never have swung… and never will.

That makes it rubbish.

6 thoughts on “Why The Golf Channel Died

  1. Mr. McJohn

    I figure most people watching that stuff have no idea it’s even bad. The PGA makes it a point to misinform so often that people think there’s no other way. It’s really disappointing.

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      I see the quality and science behind performance training in other sports and then I look at golf, with an industry that pushes incorrect, mechanically-unsound and absolute bunk analysis and I can’t argue with your assertion.

      It’s either they’re 1. Clueless or 2. Deliberately misinforming – take a pick, because there’s no other credible possibility.

  2. Mark

    I used to like GC too in the early days. But it, and pretty much all sports TV have become unwatchable for me during the past 20 years or so. I remember when ESPN actually showed up with their cameras and televised various sports games or showed sports games replays. But apparently a bunch of blowhards pontificating or yelling at each other all day is what modern fans desire.
    Not me 😫

    We live in the age of the “expert” class. Golf Channel is no different than other “news” networks. Some guy or gal with the right credentials tells us why a thing is, regardless whether what they say contradicts what we can see with our own eyes or what said expert told us in the past. Personally, for golf analysis, I read your blog and watch the genius youtubes of CPG and Golf Sidekick. 😉

    1. DJ Watts Post author

      Thank you for the high compliment, Mark – haven’t heard of those YT personalities, are they any good or were you winking at the tongue-in-cheek mention of them?

      I actually don’t watch much punditry at all regarding sports either. A bunch of talking heads are OK pre-game, at half-time or just following the action in question but the thought of watching a pundit show that is there every day or night just to blather their opinions on what you can see with your own eyes… like you, a hard pass for me.

      Golf is the absolute worst of them all though – so much incorrect and outright false information on swing technique, I find any punditry on golf to be simply unwatchable unless I’m looking for easy targets to blast out of the sky. 😉


  3. Mark

    CPG and Sidekick are golf comedy sites… hence the winky face. For actual independent, thoughtful full-swing theory, I just come here. 😎

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