Paul Azinger (NBC)
Shane Bacon (Golf Channel)
Co-host of Golf Today, Bacon, who also does play-by-play tournament coverage, is arguably the best young announcer in the business. A former mini-tour player, Bacon knows the game and he has an easy going, entertaining style. Best of all, he doesn’t take himself too seriously as you can see with his podcast (Get a Grip) and his social media posts. It’s a bold prediction on my part, but I believe he could be the next Jim Nantz.
Amanda Balionis (CBS)
Brandel Chamblee (Golf Channel)
David Duval (ESPN)
Extremely knowledgable about what it takes to compete on the highest levels of the PGA Tour, Duval is superb at breaking down what it takes to deliver consistently in the big moments, especially majors. Unfortunately, his voice has very little inflection and excitement and I find myself rapidly traveling to sleepyville when he drones on too much.
Ian Baker-Finch (CBS)
Nick Faldo (CBS)
Terry Gannon (Golf Channel)
Damon Hack (Golf Channel)
Nobody seems to love the game more than Hack, who has been with the Golf Channel since 2012. The co-host of Golf Today with Shane Bacon, Hack’s enthusiasm is infectious when you listen to him and his golf knowledge is impressive. He’s got one of those affable personalities that’s not contrived and his authenticity comes through.
Dan Hicks (NBC)
Gary Koch (NBC)
Trevor Immelman (CBS)
Christina Kim (PGA Tour Live)
Kim has lots of potential as an analyst and commentator, but, at present, her presentation is a bit spotty. She tends to talk too much and her overuse of superlatives like “amazing”, “fabulous” and “incredible” are annoying but make for a good drinking game when you count them up.
Justin Leonard (Golf Channel)
Always looking like he just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren Polo advertisement, Leonard is insightful, informative, professional and brings lots of credibility with his successful career on the PGA Tour. Don’t expect a lot of funny one-liners, Leonard’s on-air game is all about letting you know what the players think inside the ropes.
Rich Lerner (Golf Channel)
Davis Love III (Formerly with CBS)
He’s better than Melatonin or Sominex. If I need a good snooze on the couch while watching golf, the soft, melodic tones of Love III’s voice sends me quickly to snoozeville. I have always admired Love as a player and Ryder Cup Captain, but he doesn’t bring much dynamism to the broadcast. Like most Pro golfers turned analysts, he noticeably tiptoes around any criticism of his brethren. (DLIII didn’t last long at CBS and announced he was returning to competitive golf). A good move on his part.
While the 80-year old Lundquist has lost a little off his fastball, I still enjoy his commentary and calls on the par 3 No. 16 at the Masters. His “Yes, sir” call at the 1986 Masters and “In your life have you seen anything like that?” in 2005 when Tiger made his miracle chip shot are part of Masters lore. He’ll be difficult to replace when he eventually steps down from the tower.
Jim “Bones” Mackay (NBC)
The former caddie to Phil Mickelson sounds exactly like, well, a caddie. I like his act and really enjoy his information about reading greens and how to approach certain putts. He seems to improve with each tournament. By the way, Bones’ old employer, Phil Mickelson, made a great appearance on the Saturday telecast of the PGA Championship (2020). Lefty is quite the BS’er and has a great future in broadcasting if he wants it.
Roger Maltbie (NBC)
Andy North (ESPN)
Knowledgeable, professional and comfortable in front of the camera, North, a two-time U.S. Open Champion, seems like a nice guy you’d go to for golf advice. North doesn’t say anything even close to controversial so most television viewers probably couldn’t pick him out of a line-up of popular analysts. He probably gets more recognition from his spokesperson duties for the Square Strike Wedge infomercials, which ran incessantly on golf programming a couple of years ago.
Dottie Pepper (CBS)
Judy Rankin (Golf Channel)
Tom Rinaldi (Fox)
Charlie Rymer (Formerly Golf Channel)
Steve Sands (Golf Channel)
This gravelly voice broadcast veteran is always reliable with accurate information on the players and tournaments. He’s well connected and respected by the players and PGA Tour officials and presents interesting behind-the-scenes information that enhances the telecast.
Curtis Strange (ESPN)
Remember, this is the guy who sanctimoniously told a young, confident Tiger Woods in 1996 that “You’ll learn” when referring to Woods’ goal to win every tournament. Strange still appears a bit uncomfortable talking about Tiger after all these years. Curtis also seems like the grouchy old guy at the clubhouse grill who might offer up this kick in the balls to Joe Golfer: “Hey, I won two U.S. Opens and you can’t even break 90, get out of my face with your opinion.”
Mike Tirico (NBC)
Scott Van Pelt (ESPN)
Michelle Wie West (Golf Channel)
With her teenage heroics and long-time play on the LPGA Tour, her credibility is unquestioned. Wie West’s pleasant personality is a strong asset, but in these early stages of her broadcasting career she speaks in way too many generalities. Hopefully that will change as she learns how to be a professional broadcaster and not just an ultra-successful athlete that happened to score a role in front of the camera.