Brooks Koepka has some advice for critics of players declining to wear microphones.
“If the announcers would just shut up and listen, you could hear every word that we’re talking about,” the four-time major champion said after signing off on his 4-under-par 67 during the first round of the RBC Heritage on Thursday.
The Golf Channel and CBS Sports approached players before last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge about wearing mics during play to enhance the broadcasts with no fans in attendance. Only Rickie Fowler took them up on the request.
After Fowler failed to make the weekend, CBS’ Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo were critical of players for failing to take advantage of what they see as an opportunity engage casual fans who typically veer toward the team sports that are currently on hiatus.
In Koepka’s opinion, there is ample opportunity for the broadcasts to hear what players are talking about on the course without hooking them up with a mic.
“I don’t understand why they want us to wear a mike when there’s a boom mike that stands 10 feet away from every shot that I hit,” said the outspoken former No. 1 player in the world. “I don’t understand what the thing is. Half the time the lady’s holding a boom mike, and she’s listening to everything we’re saying all the way down.
“If the (announcers) would just shut up, they could hear everything.”
Koepka is not alone in his stance among players.
Justin Thomas was paired with Fowler for the first two rounds last week, but said he’s not open to the idea himself.
“I would not wear a mic, no. That’s not me,” Thomas said last week. “What I talk about with (caddie) Jimmy (Johnson) and what I talk about with the guys in my group is none of anybody else’s business, no offense.
“I mean, as close as those mics are on the tees and the greens and as close as I get to boom mics during competition anyway, I basically feel like I am miked up. I can’t say some stuff that I usually say anyway, and it is not that it’s bad, but no, if I want somebody to know what I say, I’ll say it in a press conference, I’ll say it in an interview or put it out on social media, whatever it is.
“But I personally am not one that would care to get miked out there.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)