PGA Championship – Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield NJ
Sunday saw the close of the 2016 Majors Season for professional golf. I was there at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield NJ. working for the international broadcast arm of NBC/Golf Channel. It was my first time working with the international broadcast team. By international I mean Japan and China. We had a small, lean tight team this week and I feel like everyone pulled their weight and it came off without a hitch.
For anyone watching the domestic broadcast at home there is no way to convey the absolute cruddy conditions the course was in for the last two days of play. I should rephrase that because actually the grounds crew did an amazing job keeping the course playable under the conditions. But the “outside” of the ropes areas were a complete disaster. It was a cross between Golf and a Monster Truck event! Saturday it rained very hard and after a 3-4-hour rain delay play was cancelled. They ended up playing 36 holes of golf on Sunday. I couldn’t believe the tournament actually wrapped up on Sunday vs. Monday, but it did. Our golf carts were slipping and sliding all over the place and in some parts of the course they even got stuck. The spectators were covered in mud as they sprinted to see Jordan Spieth or Jason Day teeing off. I saw many a patron slip into a muddy ditch. Always good for a laugh.
Working with the international team was pretty cool. I don’t speak Japanese or Chinese so shooting interviews or stand-ups was a new experience. When the talent would finish talking they would just look into the camera and I would assume that was the end of the bit. I also enjoyed watching the way the Japanese interact with each other. The showing of respect with bowing was very cool. At the beginning of the week we got to interview Japanese actor Ken Watanabe who I have seen in many movies. That was super cool!
I have to admit that going into the week I was dreading it thinking it was going to be one of those grueling weeks where I just have to grind it out, but it ended up being very pleasant. Thanks to my crew, Trino Madriz, Joe Shape, Tom Gregorich, Rex Kuramoto, Kuan Kuo, and Mitsuki Katahira.