Ocean Course presents unique challenges for CBS crew
KIAWAH ISLAND — The Ocean Course will not only challenge the world’s greatest golfers during the PGA Championship, it also will offer challenges to CBS as it broadcasts the event for the 22nd straight year.
“Most golf courses are compact but this one stretches out and is very long. If we have problems, it can take time to fix the problem,” said Lance Barrow, coordinating producer for the CBS golf team.
And the weather, which has hampered practice rounds, also could be a factor for the CBS team, Barrow said. Plans are in place to fill air time in case of weather delays.
CBS will broadcast live coverage from 2-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The CBS crew also will help produce TNT’s coverage of the first two rounds, and a highlights show will be broadcast tonight and Friday from 12:35-1:05 a.m.
Barrow said he has made several visits to the Ocean Course, although he has not played it.
“I’ve got to get a lot better,” he said of his golf game.
He will be stationed along with video tape producer Jim Rikhoff, director Steve Milton and technical director Jonas Einstein inside the massive production truck with monitors displaying every imaginable video, all ready to be called up in a split second.
For the first time, a remote control helicopter has been used to do flyovers of the course just a few feet off the ground and will offer more of a three dimensional feel of the undulation on the golf course. CBS also employed a regular helicopter for flyovers.
“Beauty shots” of downtown Charleston, Kiawah Island and other parts of the Lowcountry are in the can.
CBS will also have on hand nine announcers, headed by anchor Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo, who will work the 18th hole and the studio. And Barrow said he plans to utilize Faldo and on-course reporter David Feherty, who were teammates for Europe during the 1991 Ryder Cup.
Faldo said weather appears to be the major storyline.
“We were talking about sunny, breezy, firm conditions and we have a wet golf course. That’s going to change things,” Faldo said Wednesday.
“I’m really pulling for the event, a great championship. We want it to be a great event for television. If the golf course plays the way we would like, it will be a great challenge and entertaining.”
He said the course is one that requires players to plan their shots and plan their misses in order to be in the best scoring positions.
David Feherty, who along with Peter Kostis is a foot soldier reporting from the marquee groups, said that in 1991 the Ocean Course was the “hardest golf course I had ever seen in my life.”
“The golf course has changed so much I’m not sure it gives me an advantage in terms of how it will play,” Feherty said.