In this episode of Subpar, hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz welcomed Joe Buck, who talked about finding great golf on the road and the harsh criticism his Fox golf debut received — from an unlikely source.
When you’re traveling to all these different places [to call games] is there enough time for you to bring your sticks and go play?
When I’m with [John] Smoltz and we’re someplace for more than one day. Like when the World Series was in L.A. He can set up a golf tour better than anybody walkin’ the planet.
Smoltz can play a little.
Oh, yeah. But back when I was doing the Cardinals on a day-to-day basis, and I’m in Cincinnati for three days and Houston for three days and Atlanta for three days and San Francisco, that’s when you kinda learn how to play. And that’s when I was playing my most golf.
But not as much anymore?
Now I’m at the stage where … I wanna get back home. I wanna see my kids. I wanna see my wife. There’s not a lot of multiple days on the road playing golf.
Golf broadcasting is hard. You were in that arena for a while.
Yeah. We did practice broadcasts from Pinehurst in 2014 [ahead of the 2015 U.S. Open]. It was Greg Norman and me. I got the DVD, and I went home and played it for my daughters.
My youngest, who is my best critic and my most honest, was like, “Yeah, that sucks.” She’s like, “It sounds like you’re doin’ baseball or football.”
That’s a little harsh.
Initially, I was like, “Go to your room. You’re grounded.” And then I was like, “You know what? She’s right.”
What about it was so bad?
Because [golf ] needs a different tone. You cannot be loud. When you’re doin’ an NFL or an MLB game, it’s kinda louder than normal conversation. Golf does not need that, want that. And so, you have to tone it back a little bit. That was hard for me to learn.
Did you enjoy broadcasting golf?
Oh, I loved it. I just love being around golf. I’ll hit balls all day. I just love being around the driving range, watching guys strike the ball and hearing what they’re working on.
You can pick up a lot of info on a Tour range.
Totally. Now, I’ve never played baseball at Yankee Stadium. I’ve never run pass patterns at Gillette Stadium. But I’ve played Oakmont. And I’ve played Pebble Beach. And I’ve played Shinnecock. So I know how difficult it is. And then to be able to sit there, watch them attack these golf courses. It was really fun for me.
Edited and condensed for clarity from the original Subpar podcast.