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Golf on Fox
FOX USGA 2015.jpg
Created byFox Sports
StarringJoe Buck
Paul Azinger
Opening theme"USGA" by Brian Tyler
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes3
Running time6 hours or until tournament ends
Production company(s)Fox Sports
Original networkFox
Fox Sports 1
Picture format480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Original release2011, 2014 –
2019 (2019)
External links

Golf on Fox, formerly Fox USGA, is the branding for Fox Sports' television broadcasts of golf, primarily the professional (open) and amateur championships of the United States Golf Association,[1][2] for which Fox held the broadcast rights from 2015 through to June 2020, when the remainder of the 12-year deal were sold to NBCUniversal.


Early Fox Sports golf involvement

Fox Sports partnered with Greg Norman in the early 1990s to create a world golf tour, which would have consisted of six events televised on Fox. However, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem threatened to suspend any player participating in the events, and as a result created the World Golf Championships events, which were televised by CBS and ABC.

Fox Sports bid for a portion of the PGA Tour's television rights starting in 1999. Although it did not gain the broadcast package (which was divided among the Big Three networks), Fox's regional sports networks group Fox Sports Networks reached an agreement with cable rightsholder Golf Channel to simulcast its early-round coverage, as the network was not widely-carried at the time. These simulcasts ended after 2001 under a deal which split the PGA Tour's cable rights between ESPN and USA Network.[3][4][5]

Recent involvement and USGA rights

In 2011, Fox Sports gained the rights to the CVS Caremark Charity Classic, which is an unofficial money event on the PGA Tour, and had been previously televised by Golf Channel. The coverage aired on Fox Sports Net, with Kraig Kann hosting. Fox did not renew its rights for 2012.

On August 6, 2013, Fox Sports announced a 12-year deal[6] to broadcast the three open championships of the USGA: the U.S. Open, Women's Open, and Senior Open,[7] beginning in 2015.[1][8] Fox succeeded the USGA's long-term relationships with NBC Sports and ESPN. Fox, which has televised just one PGA Tour sanctioned event in its history (the unofficial CVS Charity Classic in 2011), paid $1 billion for full rights to all USGA championships.

The Fox network airs the final two days of the U.S. Open, Women's Open, Senior Open, and Amateur, as well as late coverage of the first two days of the U.S. Open. The rest of the coverage airs on Fox Sports 1. Also, the final two days of the U.S. Open air on Spanish-language channel Fox Deportes.[9]

NBC's lead analyst Johnny Miller expressed disappointment at the loss, saying that he "had a feeling" NBC would not retain rights, and that Fox would not be able to "fall out of a tree and do the U.S. Open."[10] NBC held the USGA rights for the previous two decades, from 1995[11] through 2014.

Lead-up to Fox's first U.S. Open

Fox used several telecasts to prepare for airing its first U.S. Open in 2015. These broadcasts familiarized Fox's talent and production staff with broadcasting golf.

First, Fox was given credentials for studio wraparound programming live from the 2014 U.S. Open. This was allowed to compete with ESPN and NBC's studio programming. Newly named Fox golf hosts Joe Buck and Greg Norman hosted the programming.

Fox worked an unofficial PGA Tour event in the fall of 2014 at the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Florida,[12][13] with Buck and Norman hosting. This was the first time that the full Fox golf team did a telecast together.

The final preparation for the Fox team came in May 2015 at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Buck and Norman again hosted alongside the full Fox golf team.

U.S. Open coverage

In June 2015, the Fox family covered the U.S. Open for the first time, from Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, southwest of Tacoma. Fox Sports 1 aired preview programming hosted by Holly Sonders on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the championship.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

The 2015 edition of the U.S. Open had a total of 38.5 hours of coverage[21][22][23] in the United States, with 22 hours being on Thursday and Friday, and 16.5 hours being on Saturday and Sunday;[24] the Fox Sports 1 cable network had a total of 16 hours of coverage on Thursday and Friday. The Fox broadcast network had a total of 22.5 hours of coverage Thursday through Sunday, with six hours Thursday and Friday, and 16.5 hours Saturday and Sunday. Fox utilized a number of new technologies[25] during its production, including drone flyovers, a camera-equipped RC car for ground perspectives, and new graphics—including a live shot[26] tracer, an augmented reality display of green contours, and a persistent top-5 leaderboard displayed in the bottom-right of the screen.[27][28]

Fox again covered the Franklin Templeton Shootout in 2015. Norman's performance continued to come under criticism, and he was fired afterward. Paul Azinger, out of a job after 11 years working with Mike Tirico at ESPN/ABC, replaced Norman in 2016.[29]

End of coverage

On June 29, 2020, it was confirmed that NBCUniversal had taken over the remainder of the contract. It was reported that Fox had been struggling with available broadcast slots[30] and had sought to switch coverage of the 2020 U.S. Open, postponed to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the FS1 cable network, which the USGA were not happy with.[31][32]

Theme music

Fox did not carry over "In Celebration of Man", the Yanni-composed music that had been used by NBC for its U.S. Open coverage, choosing to commission film composer Brian Tyler to compose new music (after acquiring rights to The Open Championship beginning in 2016, NBC instated an updated version of "In Celebration of Man" as its theme music for the tournament).[33][34] Tyler explained that his composition was intended to "capture the epic struggle, the challenge, the history, the heartbreak, and the elation of competitive golf," and acknowledged that "Sports and music have always had an important connection for me. I love the way iconic sports themes evoke the spirit of sporting events and can provide dramatic impact and nostalgic memory."[35]


On April 23, 2014, Fox Sports announced that Greg Norman would join Joe Buck[36][37] as its lead golf commentary team.[38] Buck and Norman worked together for the first time at the 2014 U.S. Open, where Fox produced studio programming that aired against ESPN and NBC's studio shows.

2015 U.S. Open


On November 18, 2014, in advance of its coverage of the Franklin Templeton Shootout, Fox announced the full layout of its golf team.[40]

2016 U.S. Open


In January 2016, Greg Norman was let go by Fox in response to poor reception towards his performance during the U.S. Open, and was replaced by former ESPN analyst Paul Azinger.[42] The network's 2016 U.S. Open team:[43]

2017 U.S. Open


In 2017, Fox made several changes to the commentator team:

2018 U.S. Open


For the 2018 U.S. Open, Fox announced that they would be splitting their lead commentary booths into two teams.[46] This was done in an effort to avoid the occasional logjam caused by a three-man booth, which had been Joe Buck with analysts Paul Azinger and Brad Faxon. Therefore, Azinger would now be paired with Buck, and Faxon would be paired alongside Shane Bacon.


  1. ^ a b Baysinger, Tim (August 7, 2013). "Fox Sports Reaches Rights Deal for Golf's U.S. Open". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  2. ^ "2016 USGA on FOX schedule: Dates, times, TV info for every event". Fox Sports. April 13, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  3. ^ "Fox Gets Left Out as PGA Signs Four-Year TV Deal". Los Angeles Times. 1997-05-12. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  4. ^ Ferguson, Doug (2000-08-12). "The Golf Channel becomes Tiger TV". The Register Citizen. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  5. ^ Barron, David (2001-07-16). "PGA Tour signs lucrative TV rights deals". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  6. ^ "USGA And Fox Sports Tee Up Landmark Partnership". USGA. August 7, 2013.
  7. ^ Kaufman, Alex (June 30, 2015). "U.S. Senior Open on Fox Improves Upon Last Week's Debut". Awful Announcing.
  8. ^ Lucia, Joe (August 7, 2013). "Fox awarded rights for golf's US Open".
  9. ^ - 4 February 2015
  10. ^ "Timing of USGA-Fox announcement rankles many". Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  11. ^ Bucholtz, Andrew (June 25, 2016). "FOX-FS1 U.S. OPEN COVERAGE PROVIDES LOWEST FOUR-DAY AVERAGE ON RECORD (SINCE '95)". Awful Announcing.
  12. ^ Fang, Ken (15 December 2014). "Fox Sports' golf debut was better than expected". Awful Announcing.
  13. ^ Iaciofano, John (15 December 2014). "Grading Fox Sports' golf debut". GolfWRX.
  14. ^ Yoder, Matt (June 19, 2015). "First impressions from Fox's US Open golf coverage". Awful Announcing.
  15. ^ Strege, John (June 18, 2015). "How's Fox doing with U.S. Open? As Tiger might say, it needs more reps". Golf Digest.
  16. ^ Chase, Chris (June 19, 2015). "Fox's U.S. Open coverage is completely lost in the weeds". For The Win.
  17. ^ Baker, Geoff (June 18, 2015). "Fox Sports' coverage of first golf major draws some criticism". Seattle Times.
  18. ^ Imbert, Fred (June 19, 2015). "Fox Sports brings edge to US Open, upsetting traditional fans". CNBC.
  19. ^ Payne, Marissa (June 18, 2015). "U.S. Open coverage on Fox Sports is not getting rave reviews". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ Erskine, Chris (June 20, 2015). "U.S. Open coverage on Fox is wild, but not too wild". Los Angeles Times.
  21. ^ Fang, Ken (June 22, 2015). "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Fox's U.S. Open coverage". Awful Announcing.
  22. ^ Levy, Dan (June 22, 2015). "There Are 9 Easy Ways Fox Can Fix U.S. Open Golf Coverage for 2016". Awful Announcing.
  23. ^ Chase, Chris (June 22, 2015). "The 19 worst things about Fox's U.S. Open coverage". For The Win.
  24. ^ Hagger, Jeff (June 22, 1985). "Shot chart from Fox Sunday US Open telecast - 2015". Classic TV Sports.
  25. ^ Fang, Ken (June 6, 2017). "Fox Sports plans to tech out at the U.S. Open". Awful Announcing.
  26. ^ Hagger, Jeff (June 18, 2017). "Shot chart from Fox Sunday US Open telecast - 2017". Classic TV Sports.
  27. ^ "The ups and huge graphic down to FOX's US Open coverage". New York Post. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  28. ^ "The U.S. Open on television: Ready for drones, rail cams and robotics?". Golf Digest. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  29. ^ Haggar, Jeff (June 19, 2016). "Shot chart from Fox Sunday US Open telecast - 2016". Classic TV Sports.
  30. ^ Rigdon, Jay (July 3, 2020). "Joe Buck on Fox's golf coverage: "I wouldn't trade our five-year run for anything"". Awful Announcing.
  31. ^ Major, Beth (June 29, 2020). "New Media Rights Partnership With NBCUniversal Takes Effect". USGA. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  32. ^ Beall, Joel (June 29, 2020). "USGA announces U.S. Open will move to NBC, ending relationship with FOX". Golf Digest. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  33. ^ "Names In The News". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 29 June 2016.(subscription required)
  34. ^ Fang, Ken (June 14, 2015). "What to expect on Fox's U.S. Open coverage". Awful Announcing.
  35. ^ "Brian Tyler Composes Theme Music for U.S. Open Championship on FOX". Broadway World. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  36. ^ Fang, Ken (June 14, 2017). "Can Fox ever get some love from golf fans?". Awful Announcing.
  37. ^ Bucholtz, Andrew (June 18, 2017). "Joe Buck misidentified Brooks Koepka's girlfriend Jena Sims as his ex, Becky Edwards". Awful Announcing.
  38. ^ Emery, Debbie (April 23, 2014). "Joe Buck, Greg Norman to Co-Anchor Fox Sports 2015 Golf Coverage: 'We're Coming Right Out of the Gate'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Paul Azinger replaces Greg Norman as lead golf announcer for Fox Sports". Chicago Tribune.
  43. ^ "Veteran Announcers Bolster FOX Sports' 2016 USGA Championship Broadcast Team". April 25, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  44. ^ "Your 2017 US Open Announcers". June 15, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  45. ^
  46. ^ Rigdon, Jay (May 3, 2018). "Fox is moving away from a three-person booth at the U.S. Open". Awful Announcing.

External links

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U.S. Open (golf) network television broadcaster
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 17 September 2020, at 14:24
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