Which broadcasters have the best golf games, according to ESPN’s Sean McDonough

Sean McDonough, over a nearly 40-year broadcasting career, has called every major, and he’s ESPN’s voice of the Masters Par-3 Contest. But this would be one of his toughest calls. 

“We got to talk a little bit about your golf game,” co-host Colt Knost said to McDonough on this week’s episode of the Subpar podcast.

“Oh, do we?” McDonough said.

He can talk a good golf game. And McDonough eventually said he can walk a good one, too, though he told Knost and co-host Drew Stoltz that his “snarky little hooks” have “a little less altitude sometimes than you’d like.” Still, he said, his game holds up well when compared to his contemporaries. 

Mike Tirico? “I’m better than Tirico, for sure,” McDonough said. 

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Al Michaels? “Oh way better than Al Michaels,” he said. 

Jay Bilas? “Bilas is a vanity handicap — he says he’s a 6 or 7,” he said. “I play him even and win money and have.” 

Joe Buck? McDonough said he’s never played with the broadcaster, but “from what I understand, Joe was low, single-digits and pretty good.”

Jim Nantz? Another announcer McDonough has never teed it up with, but “he’s one of those people who’s good at everything. He really is.”

McDonough rattled off a few more ESPN colleagues. John Buccigross is a 4 or 5 handicap. Michael Eaves is a 4 or 5, but “I might be selling him short actually.”

“I tell you who’s not at your place — Chris Berman,” Knost said. “I got paired with him one year at AT&T. Doesn’t have the smoothest game.” 

“No,” McDonough said. 

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“But he is a blast to play with,” Knost said.  

“He is a blast to play with,” McDonough said. “I played in the Deutsche Bank pro-am with him one year, and I think Padraig Harrington was our pro. Talk about a fun guy to play with in a pro-am. And the one thing I remember about that day is I’ve never seen anyone sweat like Berman.” 

“I was literally about to bring that up,” Stoltz said. “He’s the only guy that brings a sweat rag around Pebble Beach when it’s like 50.” 

“Yeah, he had on tan khaki pants, and it looked like he had jumped in a pond,” McDonough said.

To hear the rest of McDonough’s Subpar interview, check out the full video below.

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.