Yesterday the sports world was dealt a stunner. Fox Sports won the rights to golf's US Open from 2015-2026, snatching the tournament away from NBC. Fox has never been involved in golf, has never televised a major championship, and is as unlikely a home for the US Open as Spike TV or TLC. Golf and Fox are strange bedfellows to say the least.
Why did this happen? A key driving force is certainly Fox Sports 1, which will now take a big live event away from ESPN, who televised the early rounds, and NBC. Additionally, with the US Senior Open and Women's Open and other USGA events, Fox gets some inventory for FS1 and FS2. The great arms race between Fox, ESPN, and NBC is all about stacking their portfolios full of live events. If Fox can grab an event away from their competitors, it's a victory on two counts. Much like their rights to the World Cup, golf will also open up Fox to a new audience they've never had access to before.
But Fox Sports… and golf? One thing you probably won't see is Johnny Miller, who has already said it's very unlikely he makes the move with the US Open from NBC to Fox. It doesn't quite seem like a great fit and I'm sure there are many golf fans out there that are wondering what to expect. With that in mind, here's a few things Fox has in store to make golf tournaments more "fun"…
* The NFL on Fox music, because nothing says golf like this:
It's not exactly The Masters theme, but when you use the same song for every one of your sporting events it limits your options somewhat. I can't wait to hear this blaring in the background when Jason Dufner is walking up the 14th fairway at Pebble Beach. It'll really set the mood well.
* Forget the Glow Puck, we'll now have the Glow Ball. A red streak will appear for drives going over 300 yards, the hole will light up when putts drop, and one unlucky golfer will be given an exploding ball and be disqualified immediately.
* Digger! What better way to reach out to golf fans than by including Fox's lovable NASCAR rodent as an homage to Caddyshack. Also, Fox will employ Jackie Mason as one of their hole announcers as an homage to Caddyshack II.
* Robots! Lots and lots of robots!
* A quick tutorial video from Michael Strahan on the differences between golf and mini-golf.
* Marching band shots.
* All calls for rules violations reported by fans at home will be answered on-air by Mike Pereira. All of them.
* The Fox Sports Golf Girls, which will be entirely made up of Tiger Woods ex-mistresses.
* On-course reporter Tony Siragusa. The fun really starts when he gets his golf cart stuck in a bunker and it becomes an added obstacle for the golfers.
* Rob Riggle comedy bits where he wears at least one outfit of Rickie Fowler's.
* Mid-round highlights from Terry Bradshaw where he hilariously attempts to pronounce names like "Thorbjorn Olesen" and "Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano."
* Golfers will actually be encouraged to shout "Baba Booey" or "Mashed Potatoes" themselves.
* Joe Buck and Tim McCarver in the 18th tower.
(By the way, that last one actually isn't a joke. At least it's not Chris Berman, right?)