Another thing, said Roy, is that you never know which of the golfers is going to be the story, whereas you know that Peyton Manning is the story when you televise a Denver Broncos game.
And instead of having several cameras focused on 22 football players on one field or 10 basketball players on one court, golf telecasts have dozens of cameras trying to capture the shots of as many as 54 players on 18 holes at the same time.
This week, there are 47 cameras; more than 260 people on the production team; nine tractor trailers, including a graphics truck and a tape and audio truck; 40 generators to power everything; and more than 1.25 million feet of fiber optic cable for all the cameras, audio equipment and announcing booths.
The Golf Channel also has its special Spotlight coverage of holes 15, 16 and 18 during NBC’s telecast Saturday and Sunday. That way, said Golf Channel vice president of live tournament coverage Jack Graham, when NBC goes to commercial, golf fans can switch over to the Golf Channel as well as focus on how players are faring on the Blue Monster’s finishing holes.
With a wall of monitors displaying every camera shot before them, Roy, co-producer Tom Randolph, director Doug Grabert and their crew pull everything together, calling out which golfers and which cameras they want on air, sending people with handheld cameras scurrying to get certain angles of players or golf balls that end up in questionable lies.
The announcers and on-course reporters also are in on the conversation, which is usually fast-paced and intense. Meanwhile, the tape crew records everything and within seconds provides shots requested by Roy.
"We cut 'em, we air 'em," said Frank Anderson, one of six or seven people who each have specific holes that they record. "It's not like any other sport."
After a touchdown or goal, play stops. In golf, while Tiger Woods hitting his approach shot to 3 feet airs live, Phil Mickelson might be holing a 40-foot putt. That's when an announcer will say, "A moment ago on No. 12 …" and Mickelson's putt will appear.