Saudi International: Golf fans bash 'absolutely horrific' TV coverage

Golf fans were not happy with the coverage of the Saudi International on the Asian Tour despite it's incredible field of players. 

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 7 Feb 2022
Saudi International: Golf fans bash 'absolutely horrific' TV coverage

Even though the Saudi International provided the ultimate final moment with a 92-foot sloping eagle putt by Harold Varner III it still failed to deliver, according to some golf fans. 

The coverage of the event, which attracted the top players in the world, was left wanting. With such a star-studded field, you really would have expected better. 

When you have rumours swirling around of elite players being flown in on private jets and also offered dizzying sums of money to ditch their allegiances to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, you would have expected amazing coverage and an incredible product. 

Sky Sports no longer have coverage of the tournament, which was placed under the umbrella of the Asian Tour after it was ditched by the European Tour (now DP World Tour).

More: Harold Varner III explains bonkers celebration

More: Tiger Woods wannabe attempts impossible shot

The tournament was broadcast on FreeSports TV, a British free-to-air sports channel showing the action - or lack of it - from Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Jeddah. 

First of all, there was the annoyance given the fact it wasn't actually free.

Coverage was first stopped at around 10am on the first day for viewers in the UK and Ireland, asking for a fee of £12.99. 

The final two days were free to view. 

A quick glance of their social feeds from the Asian Tour and Saudi International shows not a great deal of highlights. 

This is in contrast to the content coming out of the DP World Tour and PGA Tour, who routinely show the clips almost immediately if there is something juicy happening. 

Even the PGA Tour recruited the European social team to help them with their end of season performance review video. 

Quality content is king and absolutely crucial to ensuring viewers stay engaged. 

Given the fact that so many incredible golfers were in the field, this was a huge chance blown for the Asian Tour to establish themselves if they really want to get the ball rolling with their Super Golf League or whatever you want to call it. 

Tracking down a decent live leaderboard also seemed a struggle, too. 

Judging by some of the quotes from the field the players did enjoy their time out in Saudi Arabia (they wouldn't say otherwise). 

But as a spectactle, at least in my mind, it failed to deliver. 

The finest players in the world battling it out on a bare track in King Abdullah Economic City?

Or Jordan Spieth going low on a sunny day at Pebble Beach? 

I know what I'm watching. 

More: Famed analyst launches blistering attack on Phil Mickelson

More: Pebble Beach witnesses classic club snap

Next page: Bryson DeChambeau got injured playing ping pong