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Charles Barkley on fan-less events: Mic up players instead


A PGA Tour return without spectators doesn’t have to mean less entertainment.

Charles Barkley, who was part of The Match II broadcast team last week, said that the Tour should consider having players wear microphones when they return next month at Colonial.

Appearing Tuesday on the “Dan Patrick Show”, Barkley brought up the prospect of having players mic’d up when Patrick asked about how Tiger Woods looked Sunday at Medalist. Barkley noted how Woods was “very relaxed,” and that the “key to the whole thing was how relaxed the players were and how much fun they had.” During The Match, Barkley and other members of the broadcast team could talk directly to the players through an earpiece.

“If you’re not going to have fans, you can’t just have guys playing golf and announcers talking,” Barkley said. “If they’re going to be successful and have great ratings – No. 1, they’re going to have great ratings because we need golf, we need sports – I think they should consider mic’ing the players.”

Players on the European and Korn Ferry tours have been mic’d up before, and golf will be one of the first sports to return in the age of the coronavirus.

Other sports leagues and broadcast partners are looking at ways to interject more energy into their fan-less sporting events, including the possibility of piping in noise.

At least one golf broadcaster appears in favor of Barkley’s idea. CBS Sports analyst Nick Faldo believes the mic’d-up concept for golf could be “huge.”