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The Big Break has become The Big Bore

By Tim McDonald, Contributor

Someone is filming me right now, as I write this. It's the latest reality show on The Golf Network: Golf writers using redundant adjectives.

The Big Break
The Big Break: A guilty pleasure or just guilty?
The Big BreakNatalie Gulbis

A reader wrote to me a few weeks back, asking me what I thought of The Big Break's producers pushing so-and-so on viewers. One of those contestants - note that I didn't say "competitors" - with a name like Brie or Ashley or something. I almost regurgitated.

The question should have been: Why is The Golf Channel pushing this show on us in the first place?

Isn't this the network that is supposed to be televising the PGA Tour next year?

Yes, yes, I know, it's wildly popular. And you should all be ashamed of yourselves. What's wrong with you? Have you no decency, no sense of decorum?

I'll admit to a guilty pleasure. I watched The Big Break's first few episodes. Even worse, I enjoyed it. But I think that's because golf, as a sport, embraces humiliation, and golfers enjoy watching someone else be humiliated for a change.

I still watch it, but only because it's work-related, and I can't take it seriously anymore. The breathy announcers, acting like the next shot is for a win at Augusta; the falsely sympathetic shots of the women crying; the fake buddy-buddy stuff; the over-marketing; the game show teases.

It's basically a soap opera for golf fans. You pick the villains and root for the good guys. What a bitch! Ooooh, he's cute!

It keeps getting worse. More and more they put the contestants in extreme situations, the kind that really don't come up that often on the course. So the winner isn't the most skilled, he or she just got luckier than the other idiots.

And, of course, it hit rock bottom when Donald Trump got involved. What better celebrity to symbolize phoniness and contrivance? The game can change at Mr. Big Hair's whim.

How has this guy gotten to be such an icon in our culture? Another sign of the decline of Western Civilization.

So the TV people get with the golf people, the golf people get with the marketing people, the marketing people have a lunch with Donald Trump, his people say, "Hey, you're a brand name - why not?"

Then they search for contestants, who are only too ecstatic to join the clown club. (One thing about this country that has been proven time and time again: Dangle a little TV time and some prizes in front of people and they'll hop around like monkeys for you.)

Result: hit show.

It isn't like these contestants really deserve a big break. Most don't do anything with the exemptions they win. As far as I know the most successful was Ashley Prange, who won a Futures Tour event but failed to make the cut on the big tour.

They couldn't play their way onto a tour. They have to hope Emperor Trump can get them on one. Whatever happened to earning it the hard way? These aren't golf tournaments; they're staged, contrived events involving has-beens, never-weres and never-will-bes. When I tune in now, I particularly enjoy watching the losers.

Honestly, you could take your video recorder out to the local muni and get as much drama, or more. Only the production values would suffer, but not by much. I'd rather watch YouTube.

Pretty soon the world will be nothing but made-for-TV events. If you aren't on TV, you won't exist.

The Golf Channel, particularly as it will soon be carrying the PGA Tour, should stick to more responsible programming that more accurately reflects the wants and needs of real golfers. Programming like The Natalie Gulbis Show.

Now, there's a show. My wife can tell you how I suddenly get up off the couch and get all energetic when Natalie comes on. True, she doesn't do much on the show, and she is rather bland and doesn't seem particularly intelligent, and the show never really goes anywhere. But man, can she wear short golf skirts.

Memo to The Golf Channel: Less of Trump's hair, more of Natalie's skin. Result: hit show.

Tim McDonaldTim McDonald, Contributor

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Tim you dumb

    Butter wrote on: Jul 12, 2011

    Dude - Shut up! If they take my show off the air I'm gonna have to end up reading more of the garbage you spew onto paper!! No one cares what you think or what you write. Who are you, besides a Gulbis stalker? Write about Tiger and why he sux now or why the wild haired guy wears those crazy pants and shoes...could it be sexual frustration? Look into it brother but leave the Break out of this. For God sake man, I'm a forty-two year old fat guy with a wife that won't sleep with me and my five yr old already thinks I'm a nerd! Let me have my show, it's all I got!!!!!


  • LPGA

    Al Pelton wrote on: Apr 26, 2008

    What have you got against the ladies that you rarely televise them


  • big break V11

    Brian BOYSON wrote on: May 2, 2007

    how come don,was allowed to put out
    with the flag still in the hole,and go on to win by 1 second???
    yours b boyson


  • Thank You

    BV wrote on: Dec 21, 2006

    Hey, the photo of Nancy was appreciated...keep up the good work! Maybe you could make a whole blog of nothing but photos of her? Well, at least we'd be spared the writing....


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