Where to watch THE PLAYERS Championship golf tournament

Golf’s unofficial “fifth major,” THE PLAYERS Championship, tees of today in northern Florida, meaning golfers are in for four days of angst and balls in the drink. The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass boasts three of the most difficult finishing holes on the PGA Tour, including the infamous “Island Green” at 17. At 137 yards, it’s a pitching wedge for the average pro, but with wind and an uneven landing area, it can make for more than a few triple bogeys. (Tiger Woods has withdrawn in the first round, citing injury.) GOLF CHANNEL and NBC have coverage of the tournament May 12-15. Here’s the full press release and schedule from the NBC Sports Group:


Golf Talk Live airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on Golf Channel with Rich Lerner moderating a panel of Johnny Miller, Frank Nobilo & Peter Jacobsen

“The unpredictable course of all courses…Nobody owns this golf course.” – “Golf Channel on NBC” analyst Johnny Miller

“I’m always on the edge of my seat watching this golf tournament for a million reasons.” – Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee

NEW YORK – May 11, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group will present 22 hours of live coverage with limited commercial interruption of THE PLAYERS Championship from the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla., this Thursday-Sunday on both Golf Channel and NBC. Golf Channel will also air 17 hours of Live from THE PLAYERS and 10 hours of golf re-airs to bring the total number of programming hours during the four days of the tournament to 49. This year marks the 30th year that THE PLAYERS has been held at TPC Sawgrass.

Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, Golf Channel airs a special program, Golf Talk Live – a panel-discussion show featuring Johnny Miller, Frank Nobilo, Peter Jacobsen and moderated by Rich Lerner. The program is modeled after State of the Game Live, which aired prior to the NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the WGC-Accenture Championship in February.

This year’s field for THE PLAYERS is deep and features World No. 2 Martin Kaymer, No. 3 Luke Donald, No. 4 Phil Mickelson, No. 8 Tiger Woods, reigning champion Tim Clark, defending FedExCup champion Jim Furyk and current FedExCup points leader Bubba Watson. Some of the featured pairings for the first two rounds include Woods, Kaymer and Matt Kuchar, as well as Donald, Watson and Mark Wilson.

Live from THE PLAYERS 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Golf Channel
First Round Live 1-7 p.m. Golf Channel
Live from THE PLAYERS 7-9 p.m. Golf Channel
First Round Re-Air 9 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Golf Channel
Live from THE PLAYERS 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Golf Channel
Second Round Live 1-7 p.m. Golf Channel
Live from THE PLAYERS 7-9 p.m. Golf Channel
Second Round Re-Air 9 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Golf Channel
Live from THE PLAYERS 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Golf Channel
Third Round Live 2-7 p.m. NBC
Live from THE PLAYERS 7-9 p.m. Golf Channel
Third Round NBC Re-Air 9-11 p.m. Golf Channel
Live from THE PLAYERS 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Golf Channel
Final Round Live 2-7 p.m. NBC
Live from THE PLAYERS 7-9 p.m. Golf Channel
Fourth Round NBC Re-Air 9-11 p.m. Golf Channel

LIVE FROM THE PLAYERS: Beginning Tuesday, Golf Channel’s Live from THE PLAYERS was on site at TPC Sawgrass providing live, up-to-date and comprehensive news coverage of the tournament. The program will immediately precede and follow all live golf coverage from Thursday-Sunday.

GOLF TALK LIVE TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. ET: Modeled after the panel-discussion program State of the Game Live, which aired prior to the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in February, Golf Talk Live features Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner hosting a panel of Johnny Miller, Frank Nobilo and Peter Jacobsen. The group will discuss, among many topics, the famous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, the strength of the European Tour players, and the late Seve Ballesteros. It airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

DIGITAL: Fans can access exclusive behind-the-scenes content of the NBC Sports Group’s golf coverage via Facebook (www.facebook.com/golfchannel) and Twitter (@golfchannel). NBCSports.com’s ProGolfTalk (http://progolftalk.nbcsports.com/) will feature previews, recaps and analysis of all the stories and results of the event.

PERISCOPE CAM RETURNS: NBC Sports Group covers the famous “Island Green” par-3, 17th hole with an event-record 11 HD cameras, including a microscopic lens embedded in the lip of the tiny front bunker and two ‘periscope cams’ which return after making their successful debut last year. The periscope cams sit atop two pipes that are anchored to the bottom of the pond, allowing the camera to rotate 360 degrees and providing a green-high view of hole. The cameras peek just above the surface of the water resembling a submarine’s periscope.

NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of 17 also includes a camera operator lifted by a crane 150 feet into the air above the trees from right of the 16th fairway where his camera has a clear view of 16, 17 and 18. Another camera operator is ferried to the island right of the 17th green where he is marooned for approximately eight hours to get reactions from the 17th tee and operate the super-slow-motion camera.

10th ANNIVERSARY OF “BETTER THAN MOST”: NBC Sports Group golf analyst Gary Koch will cover the iconic ‘Island Green’ 17th hole at THE PLAYERS Championship for the 14th consecutive year this week.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of his famous “Better than Most” call. During the 2001 PLAYERS, Tiger Woods had a long putt ahead of him on 17. As he hit it, Koch said that the line Woods had taken was “better than most.” As the ball approached the hole, Koch repeatedly said “better than most” until the ball dramatically sunk into the cup accompanied by a huge roar from the crowd and numerous fist pumps from Woods. It stands as one of 17’s indelible moments.

1 Blimp
8 Production Trucks
47 Cameras
1,262,000 Feet of fiber cable

GOLF CHANNEL AND NBC SPORTS CO-BRANDING: All golf coverage on NBC has been re-branded as “Golf Channel on NBC.” The coverage incorporates the Golf Channel look throughout every telecast, down to the logo on the NBC Sports commentators’ apparel. Golf Channel’s tournament graphics are showcased throughout all coverage, which now includes a custom-made Golf Channel-NBC peacock combination logo. “Golf Channel powered by NBC Sports” has been incorporated into all of Golf Channel’s coverage.

COMMENTATORS: Dan Patrick, who was nominated for a Sports Emmy for his studio host work on Football Night in America, returns as event host on Saturday and Sunday on NBC. Host Dan Hicks and analyst Johnny Miller anchor “Golf Channel on NBC” coverage from the 18th-hole tower. Hicks and Miller are joined by tower reporters Gary Koch (17th hole) and Peter Jacobsen; on-course reporters Roger Maltbie, Mark Rolfing and Dottie Pepper; interviewer/essayist Jimmy Roberts and Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte.

Hicks and Miller will also participate in Golf Channel’s coverage on Thursday and Friday for the first time. Terry Gannon will host Golf Channel’s coverage with Frank Nobilo on Thursday and Nick Faldo on Friday. Maltbie, Jacobsen and Koch will provide tower coverage for Golf Channel while Rolfing and Pepper will work both the tower and the course over the two days. Philip Parkin will serve as an on-course reporter both days. Rich Lerner will serve as event host for Golf Channel on Thursday and Friday.

About Ryan Berenz 2128 Articles
Member of the Television Critics Association. Charter member of the Ancient and Mystic Society of No Homers. Squire of the Ancient & Benevolent Order of the Lynx, Lodge 49, Long Beach, Calif. Costco Wholesale Gold Star Member since 2011.