That time one of Golf Channel’s most popular analysts almost quit on Day 1

Sharon Wong


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A lot of the time, a natural way for retired golfers to keep abreast of the game is to become a golf analyst for a major sports news channel. So we imagine that it would be kind of a nightmare to discover that you just aren’t cut out for your professional afterlife in the booth. This nightmarish situation nearly claimed a victim in Johnny Miller, second only to Nick Faldo as one of Golf Digest’s favorite TV analysts. The first time he worked as an analyst for Golf Channel at the Bob Hope Desert Classic in 1990, he could barely take the heat in that particular kitchen.

“I didn’t know what a teleprompter was, let alone how to use it. I did my homework. I studied the courses and the players. But I didn’t know what I was doing. After the first day, I said, ‘I think I’m going to take a hike.’ I told my manager, ‘Tell those guys this is not for me. I’m not an announcer, I’m a player.’ It was a shock not to be teeing it up. It was sort of hard to make that transition.”

But miraculously, he showed up on the second day of work and nailed it, teleprompter know-how notwithstanding. This was just the beginning of a long love affair with the small screen and his faithful viewers, none of which would raise any objections if he showed up to work without shoes. And they all lived happily ever after.