‘Change is coming’: Max Homa has big plans for the future of golf TV

max homa press conference torry

In an interview with "No Laying Up," Homa said he's been working with the PGA Tour to improve its broadcasts.

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It’s easy to understand why so many younger members of golf media are infatuated with Max Homa: he’s just like them.

Self-effacing, hyper-online and sarcasm-forward, Homa blurs the line between golf’s playing class and its media class more often than any of his peers. I should know this: as a twenty-something golf writer, I’ve interacted with Homa as much as any pro golfer over the first few years of my career.

Some of this is due to Homa’s last 24 months — during which time he has been one of the PGA Tour’s winningest players — but some is undoubtedly owed to his personality. Homa is a heavy Twitter user. He’s a fluent memer. For a period of time, he had his own podcast. And given this information, it should come as no surprise that he also has strong opinions about the state of golf television.

There are few discussion topics the online golf community enjoys more than the sport’s broadcasts (and the myriad ways to fix them). But here is where Homa differentiates from his peers in the media space. While the most change media types can hope to enact by way of public opinion, Homa has the benefit of direct (and influential) access to both PGA Tour membership and its most important decision-makers.

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Now, it seems, he’s using that access to step into a new role — that of PGA Tour broadcast consultant. Before this weekend’s victory at the Farmers Insurance Open, Homa sat down for an interview with our friends at No Laying Up, where he revealed that he’s been working with the Tour to envision new ways to liven up its TV product.

“The outside noise of ‘you guys should be thanking LIV because you make more money every day’ — I was good with what we made, it’s cool that we make more money — but what I’m excited about is the Tour now feels the urgency to adjust how the product is being displayed,” Homa said. “I don’t think I can tell you what it’s going to be, but I’ve been working with [PGA Tour chief tournaments and competitions officer Andy Pazder] — who’s one of the main Tour officials on the entertainment side of professionals and the broadcasters — to make it more interesting.”

It seems those changes haven’t taken long to enact. Last week, Homa was the first player to test out a new on-course interview setup with the CBS Golf team, utilizing a microphone and AirPods to communicate during his walk from the 13th tee box to the fairway.

“We tried something new today! Hope u guys enjoyed it,” he tweeted later. “Just looking to add something to the viewer experience going forward.”

Homa’s influence on the Tour should come as no surprise. In addition to his steadily growing on-course profile, he joined the Tour’s Player Advisory Council (or PAC) for 2023, granting him a seat at the table with the board responsible for governing most Tour decisions. Surely, those interactions have boosted his access to people like Pazder who can help him work with the Tour’s broadcast partners to enact changes.

“I’m glad about those advancements,” he told NLU. “I’m glad people are voicing their opinion about ‘hey, if you want to make more money, this is how you make more money’ and ‘if you want people to watch you play golf more this is how you’re going to have to bend here and there.'”

And, as Homa points out, it cuts both ways. Just as he can offer ideas to the networks about what might work, he can also offer feedback about what won’t.

“They’re just ideas,” Homa told NLU. “I’m not saying it’s the best idea in the world but we’re trying. It’s cool that they let me help with this in a way, as an added voice in the idea because I can give the added perspective of, ‘here’s why players won’t want to do this, let’s try this,’ and then they come back with what we can do.”

Ultimately, Homa says, the hope is that the changes will improve the experience of the people who play golf just as much as they will those who watch it.

“We’re gonna try some stuff and it may be better, but that’s been the cool part about this craziness of the last six to eight months, is yeah, money, whatever, but I want golf to be great for the fans because I am a fan of the game,” he said. “I want people to keep watching golf, both selfishly and as another one of them. We’re seeing it with the scheduling. We’re seeing it with these nine designated events. Change is coming, and I think it’s all great for the consumer of the game.”


While we were away

-Trevor Immelman made his debut as lead analyst of Golf on CBS, calling a thrilling final round from Torrey Pines. His debut was impressive — particularly his insight on the nerves felt by potential first-time winner Sam Ryder down the stretch — showcasing the charisma, experience and preparation that made him an easy choice for CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus. Immelman earned a strong assist from the CBS stats team, which queued him with an awesome stat after Ryder’s tournament-deciding double on the 15th. (Editor’s note: I’ve looked everywhere for the stat in question but can’t find it in its full context, I believe it had something to do with Ryder making one of only 8 double bogeys on the 15th all week.)

-Immelman’s performance was doubly impressive performance when you consider that his broadcast partner Jim Nantz called the action from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, the site of the AFC Championship, some 1,500 miles away.

-It was a strong opening weekend for the whole of the CBS Golf team, which delivered its best season-opening performance in some time at Torrey. CBS just seems to be moving at a different speed in ’23. The introduction of a few new technical elements, including a dramatic expansion of “Atlas Cam” ultra-high def shots and the on-course microphone mentioned above, were notable bright spots.

-CBS producer Sellers Shy earned a shoutout from Netflix producer Chad Mumm over the weekend for his helpfulness in shooting the forthcoming Full Swing docuseries. Mumm described him as “curious and creative” — I would argue the direction of the CBS team over his first two-plus years in the lead chair proves his point.

-I’m not sure if CBS implemented its new efforts to reduce the commercial load during Saturday’s final round, but it sure didn’t feel like it.

-Kudos to the PGA Tour for keeping Saturday’s broadcast on Golf Channel for an extra seven minutes while the Cincinnati-Houston college basketball game wrapped on CBS. Good to see common sense win out in a fast-moving situation.

-I like the Saturday finish. It separates the Tour from the NFL and gives the Farmers a unique identity. I’m not sure the people responsible for the Tour’s broadcasts feel the same. Losing an extra day of weekend primetime ratings is hard to swallow, even when that weekend day runs up against the NFL’s conference championship games.

-How about Brandel Chamblee’s forensic investigation of the Patrick Reed rules snafu in Dubai? Wonderful work by the Golf Channel team. I wonder if the Pulitzer committee is accepting any late submissions. (I kid. I think.)

-Dispiriting news for Full Swing in Tuesday’s ratings report from Netflix. Break Point, the tennis docuseries from the same production company, failed to crack the “global top-10” on Netflix in its first week. Not a stretch to say the show’s producers are hoping Full Swing performs more like Drive to Survive, the ultra-popular F1 iteration, which spent two weeks in the global top-10 upon the release of its most recent season. The show will be available worldwide on February 15.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is a news and features editor at GOLF, writing stories for the website and magazine. He manages the Hot Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and utilizes his on-camera experience across the brand’s platforms. Prior to joining GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse University, during which time he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.