Morning Drive Chair Up For Grabs

by Jeff Skinner

The Golf Channel has been busy adding new programming recently and a few of their new shows are certainly worth watching.  Down the Stretch and On the Range offer viewers the behind the scenes access that golf fans rarely get to see.

But there have been some issues with their early morning flagship program, The Morning Drive that may result in some frightening changes.

The past month we’ve seen a revolving door of co-hosts sitting opposite mainstay Gary Williams and rumor has it that these substitute hosts are auditioning for a full time gig in that seat.

It appears that Erik Kuselias has been ‘reassigned’ to NBC Sports Talk for whatever reason.  Click here for Stephanie Wei’s report on the back-story.  Erik won’t be missed by knowledgeable Morning Drive viewers.  He lacked any real golf chops and was at best average with his golf knowledge.  Half of what he said was fed to him by Golf Channel staffers.  He was probably given the chair because of his experience of substitute hosting ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning Show before his contract wasn’t renewed.  Click here for Deadspin’s take on his departure.  Kuselias’ self-important attitude wore down even the most ardent Morning Drive fans.

So now The Golf Channel is left with an empty co-host chair to fill and while most of the potential candidates are interesting there is one in particular that scares me.

Click here and take a look at Geoff Shackelford’s (tongue in cheek) poll to see which hosts you would like to see sitting across from Williams.  Here’s my take on his list of would be Morning Drivers.

Jerry Foltz has been great sitting in and certainly has the golfing chops that Kuselias lacked.  I love John Hawkins and his rebel attitude but you’ll never get him to sit still for two hours.  Tim Rosaforte has more access than anyone in the game but he would be on his phones all morning getting his inside scoops.  “Big Timer” Charlie Rymer brings his down home humor with him wherever he shows up on the Golf Channel and he may be a good fit.  Former ESPN writer, Jason Sobel is very good but he may be better suited to reporting than hosting.  Then there’s Jimmy Roberts, ouch.

This past week we have been subjected to Roberts and his Napoleon Complex as he has been opposite Williams all week and I for one have had enough.  In fact, day one was too much for me.

Roberts may have some skills other than being pretentious but I fail to see them.  During NBC’s golf telecasts I force myself to endure his vignettes and his updates but a steady diet of Roberts would cause me to lose my morning oatmeal.

I am hoping that Roberts would deem a permanent seat on Morning Drive a demotion of sorts and opt to continue his other duties.  After all, how could NBC ever survive without him?

Jerry Foltz gets my vote for filling the empty seat.  He and Williams already have a natural “buddy-like” rapport and that would put two very knowledgeable and personable hosts behind the Morning Drive desk.  Send Jimmy Roberts back to the mother ship, NBC needs him, Morning Drive doesn’t.


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