If you love to watch golf tournament broadcasts online or on your television, then you may have noticed that golf commentators seem to always know which club a player is using. It almost seems like the commentators have a sixth sense.
Therefore, if this ability held by the commentators has left you scratching your head before, you may wonder: how do golf commentators always know which club a player is using?
In this article, we will tell you exactly how golf commentators always know which club a golfer is using.
How Do Golf Commentators Always Know Which Club A Player Is Using?
Golf commentators always know which club a player is using thanks to hand signs made by caddies to walking broadcast officials. There is one hand sign for each club type. These officials then relay the information to a broadcast tower where commentators can tell the audience which club a player is using.
It is pretty amazing to see golf commentators seem to call out every club players are using. The first time you see it, you wonder if they have bionic eyes and knowledge of every club brand and model in the world and in history.
In reality, golf commentators and TV announcers do not work alone; there is an entire team working with them in the background, outside of the spotlight. This team includes walking broadcast officials, who are people walking on the turf with professional players during play.
Usually, a player’s caddie will turn to the walking broadcast official to make a hand sign communicating the club type their player is using. There is a unique hand sign for every golf club type; this allows quick and silent communication of the club type used to the official.
Upon receiving the hand sign, the walking broadcast official will communicate to the broadcast tower or office to quickly give the broadcast team the information about the club a player is using.
From there, the commentators and TV announcers can easily tell the audience exactly which club a player is using, as if they asked the player themselves. This is the general process behind why it seems like announcers always know which club type a player is using at all times.
Caddies give this information about club type to the broadcast team as courtesy, but they sometimes forget to do a hand sign. In such as case, a caddie can inform the walking official after the shot, which will be communicated to the commentators a bit late.
Sometimes, the commentators will then mention the club type after the actual shot, with a sentence like “that was a beautiful shot by Tiger, with the 5-Iron!”.
If the caddies forget to perform the hand signs, or do not want to, the walking broadcast officials are often close enough to the action to see the clubs and guess their type. The information is not always accurate, but some walking officials have good knowledge of clubs and get it right most of the time.
Furthermore, in the heat of the moment, commentators might guess the type themselves or make it up. Most people will not notice nor bat an eye if the commentators get the club type wrong. Commentators can sometimes guess the club type based on how far a golfer is from the flag.
Commentators have an intuitive sense of the range of clubs a player will use at different distances. For example, commentators know golfers will restrict themselves to shorter game clubs if they are only 100 yards away from the flag.
Another way commentators and TV announcers alike seem to always know which clubs a player uses is by being extremely general. For example, the commentators might say a player is using a wedge rather than mentioning exactly which wedge type.
They might say a player is using an iron instead of specifying if it is a 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, or any other iron. This is similar to how horoscopes seem to almost always be applicable to someone’s day; if you are vague enough, you are never really wrong about anything.
One final interesting point to mention is that when caddies perform their hand signs to the walking officials, they take caution to not let any players other than the one they are serving see the hand signs.
In fact, if any player saw the caddie’s hand sign, it could be perceived as advice to the opposing player on which club to play. It is illegal for a caddie to give advice to a player other than the one he is employed by.
There you go! After reading this article, you have discovered exactly how golf commentators always know which club a player is using! The answer is rather interesting!
Did the answer surprise you? Would you ever become want to become a golf commentator? Let us know in the comments down below!