Producing a proper sportscast is no easy task, but according to longtime announcer Dan Hicks, one guiding principle — no matter the sport — is to be kept top of mind.
“It’s about the game,” Hicks said on this week’s Off Course with Claude Harmon. “There’s a winner, there’s a loser, there’s a way it happened. There are the nuances of it that people want to hear about it and want to watch. As sports broadcasters and as golf broadcasters, you can never forget that it’s all about the game.”
Hicks explained that while the frills of the broadcast — flashy graphics, informed commentary, etc. — are important, ultimately what the viewers wants is simple.
“People don’t want to hear us talk,” Hicks said. “They want to watch the greatest athletes in the world do their thing. And that really is the bottom line of a great sports show.”
However, that can be easier said than done, especially when it comes to broadcasting golf. Hicks explained that the broad scope of action occurring during a golf tournament can make producing a coherent broadcast a challenge.
“Assembling all the information and gathering it and organizing it in a way that is best displayed when the s—is hitting the fan [is the hardest part],” Hicks said. “It gets pretty chaotic in the truck, so you want to be as calm as you possibly can be at a point when the show is crescendoing and when the energy level in your ear and in the truck is at an all-time high as well.”
Sometimes, Hicks said, the best thing to do is take a step back and analyze the big picture.
“I’ve got to constantly remind myself to think, ‘Ok, what are we seeing here,’” Hicks said. “It’s getting back to basics.”
Check out the entire Off Course episode below.