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The golden voices of golf — who has your ear?

Readers of The First Call make cases for a wide range of broadcasters, but Jim Nantz, Johnny Miller, Ken Venturi and David Feherty are among the finest

2013 The Tour Championship — Final Round
Johnny Miller is amused as Henrik Stenson puts a headlock on the FedEx Cup trophy during the 2013 trophy ceremony at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.

Question of the Week [May 23-29]: If you could assemble golf's all-time television broadcast team — a play-by-play commentator, analyst and on-course report — who would you choose? 

First team: Pat Summerall, Johnny Miller and Roger Maltbie.
Second team: Dick Enberg, Lee Trevino and Bob Rosburg.
Third team: Jim McKay, Dave Marr and David Feherty.

Ron Estok
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Jim Nantz
Judy Rankin
David Feherty

Peter Boyce
Strathroy, Ontario

I would have to go with former European Tour play-by-play announcer Renton Laidlaw, analyst Ken Venturi and on-course reporter Bob Rosburg. They all used words much more effectively than today's commentators and they were all untainted by the all-Tiger-all-the-time era of golf.

William A. Galinas
Broomall, Pennsylvania

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My all-time broadcast team is:
Jim Nantz — calling play by play. He could make a game of horseshoes interesting. 
Paul Azinger, analyst — knows the game, has personality when he needs it, and doesn’t kiss up and make everything so vanilla and patronizing. 
Roger Maltbie — walks the course with knowledge. Loves the game and has a good time. Both serious and funny when the moment calls for it. 

Barry Duckworth
Knoxville, Tennessee

Johnny Miller, Johnny Miller and Johnny Miller!!!  

Rick Lanari
Murrelks Inlet, South Carolina

Starting with anyone but Joe Buck.  Drop him like a bad habit.  

I would add Lefty (Phil Michelson) and keep Brandel Chamblee and the rest of the existing cast.

John Shattuck
Pawley’s Island, South Carolina 

I would have:
Arnold Palmer as commentator. 
Jack Nicklaus as analyst.
Tiger Woods on the course.

David Johnson
Mt. Sterling, Ohio

My best broadcast team would be the following:
Host, Jim Nantz.
Analyst, Ken Venturi.
On course reporter, David Feherty.

Alan Dunninger
Lake Worth, Florida

Play by play: Vin Scully.
Analyst: Johnny Miller (men’s golf), Judy Rankin (women's golf).
On course: Dave Marr.

Reid Farrill
Toronto, Canada

All-time TV broadcast team:
Play by play: Jim Nantz.
Analyst: Ken Venturi.
On-course reporter: Dottie Pepper.

Dan Casanta
Southbury, Connecticut

US Womans Open Championship 2020
Jim (Bones) Mackay covering the final round at the 2020 U.S. Women's Open.

My ideal crew would be:
Play by play, Jim Nantz.
Analyst, David Feherty.
On course, Dottie Pepper and Bones Mackay.

I feel these are the best in the business!!

Mike Reed
Jenison, Michigan

I would have to go with the CBS team from a while back — across the board. Jim Nantz on play by play, Ken Venturi as the analyst and David Feherty roaming the fairways. Then you add in Verne Lundquist and Gary McCord on key hole commentary and you have quite the team. Each brought something unique to the telecast. I hate to leave Judy Rankin off this list. She is a consummate professional and fit any role.

John Long
Austin, Texas

First and foremost, the lead commentator would be the great Renton Laidlaw. There could be no other choice, case closed.

For the booth analyst, there have been many good ones. I would probably choose Johnny Miller, because he was the first who was not afraid to say whenever a player made a bad shot. Some players took exception, but that did not stop him. I also enjoyed the work of Curtis Strange and David Duval on ESPN [during the PGA Championship].

As far as on course, there are many good ones. I like Dottie Pepper, as well as this young kid Colt Knost. You can add Billie Kratzert and Andy North, they were excellent at Southern Hills.

Norm Hollander
Roslyn, New York

For an analyst, it would be Ben Hogan. Nobody could lay it out like he would. Pull no punches and give an honest non-biased analysis.

Ken Venturi as the commentator. Nice smooth voice that knows the game, but has a subtle sense of humor. 

On-course commentators, give David Feherty, Peter Kostis and Roger Maltbie. They know the game and the banter would be fantastic.

Don Moore
Warren, Pennsylvania

For on-course reporters, it's too bad Bones [Mackay] is on Justin Thomas' bag, because I thought he did an excellent job out there as well as John Wood. Feherty was great out there as well, but I prefer him in the booth now. Pat Summerall was great, as is Jim Nantz, I think he learned quite well from Pat. For essays into the game, none better than Jack Whitaker. Peter Aliss was fantastic adding a bit of British flair to the broadcast. Have to add in Peter Jacobson for his humor as well.

Thanks for asking.

Joseph DiDanieli
Toronto, Ontario

Easy ... play-by-play, Pat Summerall; analyst, Ben Wright; on-course, John Derr.

Jim Shepherd
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Anybody as long as Peter Alliss and Judy Rankin were involved!

Patrick Fischoeder
Boston, Massachusetts

For play by play commentary it's no doubt the very smooth Jim Nantz, impeccable and brilliant in syntax. Truly an amazing career (not just in golf ) approaching 40 years at the Masters and PGA (CBS first covered in 1991, John Daly ).

As for analyst, to contrast with Nantz, it would have to be Johnny Miller. All golfers love his candor and analysis, he was the original announcer to use the word “choke” on air, which was unheard of years ago. Miller’s brutally honest assessments are unparalleled.

On course reporter, I have a few. David Feherty is a comedic genius and had his own show on Golf Channel, not to mention his great journey in life. Also add in Gary McCord. He always had a good story to tell and an anecdote or two beyond just the facts of the shot a pro was facing. He could keep the viewer entertained and he played golf well, too.

Honorable mention? Bob Rosburg, the original gloom and doomer, “he’s got not chance to get this up and down.”

Also, add in an occasional cameo appearance by the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, in the booth. He is always a smart commentator given his perspective with the players and his experience playing the game.

That would be my dream broadcast for a PGA Tour event.

Andrew Doll
San Francisco, California

Great question. I find that the commentators can add immensely to the broadcast, or, well, you know.

Play by play, Verne Lindquist and Dan Hicks; analyst: Dotty Pepper and Jim Gallagher; on course, Notah Begay and Bones Mackay.

Also ...
Analyst: Bob Murphy, going way back. 
Analyst: Emilia Migliaccio, a voice unlike any other.

Robert Doughty
Bluffton, South Carolina

Play by play: Jim Nantz.
Best 18th booth actual viewpoint: Ken Venturi teaching to "get it on the
ground" with a 7-iron.
Course: The wit and sharp thinking of David Feherty.

Kirk Knollman
Maineville, Ohio

As much as I enjoyed the refreshing Fred Couples / Pat Perez repartee on the ESPN Manningcast [during the PGA Championship], I don’t think that is the future of broadcast golf. It is hard for me to argue with Jim Nantz in the commentator position with the venerable Vin Scully and Pat Summerall close behind. Batting second in the analyst position would be Johnny Miller.  I would go with David Feherty as the on-course reporter to add a little levity. However, Gary “bikini wax” McCord could fill in or back up Feherty.

Bob Newport
Tarzana, California

Host: Peter Alliss.
Analyst: Johnny Miller.
On Course: Paul Azinger.
Class, tough and analytical. 

James Wenzel
Barrington, Illinois
No commentators. I want great graphics to keep track of scores and holes. Most important are the conversations between player and caddie.

Jeff Breitner
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Jim Nantz, Ken Venturi and Johnny Miller.

Jeff Kluttz 
Hendersonville, North Carolina

My picks are Ken Venturi, David Feherty and Gary McCord.

Mark Kaiser
St. Marys, Georgia 

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