Inside the Ropes at Golf Central
By Stephanie Wei under General

First thing that comes to mind when I look at that picture — wow, there’s a reason it’s called a set, huh? The background looks like it’s a painting, but it’s not! And studio lighting sure is bright.

I met the Golf Channel’s Kraig Kann via Jerry Foltz this week and last night Kraig was kind enough to invite me to watch the live filming of Saturday’s pregame show. Why the hell not, right? Actually, being the huge geek I am, when he extended the invitation, I think my eyes actually lit up as I said, “Really?!? I’d love to!”

I rolled over to “Studio G” (does the “G” stand for “golf”?) by the 18th green and strolled into a quiet makeshift set. Lucky me, I was just in time to watch Kraig and co-host Charlie Rymer get their make-up done.

Kraig quipped that this portion of program was Charlie’s least favorite (as you may be able to discern from the look on his face). Why? “If there’s a 30% chance of storms in Hartford, let’s just say there’s a 110% chance for precipitation on Charlie’s face,” he explained. And I’m not sure whether this was an inside joke or it really happened, but apparently Charlie was seen driving a golf cart in circles on Friday while trying to stay cool.

Not missing a beat, Charlie shot back in his South Carolina drawl, “If you put a redneck in a suit, he’ll sweat every time.”

Fair enough. I laughed amusingly. And here’s another photo of Charlie making a funny face.

Wait, is he crying? (Sorry, too easy!) Never mind — I think I snapped the shot as he was about to sneeze.

Even though Charlie doesn’t look pleased with Kraig, he said to me something like, “Kraig is being especially nice to me today and I don’t know why. With Steve Sands, I’ll try to talk to him and he’ll send me a text back.” And then Kraig started ignoring him. Poor Charlie!

Kraig gave me a copy of the “show rundown,” which is exactly what it sounds like — an outline of who’s talking about what, production notes, etc. — you know, like “Welcome, Rose Stat, Rose ’05 G.H.O, Talk Rose.” I found it interesting and informative because, well, I’d never seen one before and I could follow along when the show started.

About 10 minutes after the camera started rolling, there was a gaffe with the sound system. Out of nowhere, the speaker volume went from minimal to booming. The good news is that it happened during a commercial break (or a segment that didn’t interfere with Kraig or Charlie talking). The bad news is that it disrupted the guy putting on the 18th green and he missed his 2 footer. Kidding!

So, what did I learn? Well, for starters, Charlie Rymer sweats a lot.

But seriously speaking, I’d been told that when you’re on TV, you have to really accentuate and exaggerate your voice to just sound normal because the TV sucks the life out of it. I realized just exactly how much extra gusto you have to pack when I watched/heard Kraig tape the opening for the show — when he started talking, because if you’re in the studio, you’re kinda like, whoa there! (I was caught off-guard.) But obviously on TV it sounds “normal.”

The rest of the show went smoothly…I think. I had to sneak out half-way to say hello and goodbye to a friend who missed the cut. All in all, it was an unexpected treat to kick off the long day. A big thanks to the guys (and gals) at the Golf Channel for their hospitality!