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Former CBS Golf Announcer Ben Wright Has Died


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4 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

Very sad news.

 

My favorite Ben Wright moment - Nicklaus on 15 in '86.  "He's got a chance, he's got a very good chance!"  Followed by the first "Yes sir!" of the afternoon.  Use the first quote all the time when we are playing golf, lol.  He was a good one!

 

 

The fact it was for your favorite golfer during your favorite tournament… Great moment indeed. 
RIP Ben. 

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Gary McCord was telling some great Ben Wright stories today on PGA Tour Radio.  They had Verne Lundquist on, too.

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9 hours ago, dalehead said:

I always thought Ben was treated unfairly by CBS.

CBS was extremely fair.

 

RIP  Mr. Wright

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1 hour ago, Man_O_War said:

CBS was extremely fair.

 

RIP  Mr. Wright

 

He mentioned during the podcast that way back when (late '70s/early '80s I'd guess) he was paid $10,000 per working day, which included rehersal days. I also recall that he signed a new multi-year agreement with CBS shortly before they let him go. I believe they paid out that contract in full.

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In the 80's, the CBS golf satellite backhaul coverage was available to dish owners. No ads.  During ad time, you still saw the golf coverage and the announcers cutting up, usually with open mics.  One scene I remember is Ben Wright sitting there in his immaculate blue blazer and tie,  Then the camera panned down and showed he was in shorts with bright white legs. He was laughing his butt off at the "deception". 

I always enjoyed him and how he would always put McCord in his place.

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Ben always reminded me of the Madmen era of golf where guys like Arnie could do no wrong.  He often spoke with the air of superiority that sometimes gave a listener pause.  He was more unfiltered than most and one of the reasons I think NBC let Johnny Miller  say more or less whatever he wanted.  Looking back it wasn't a question of if but when he would no longer be tolerated.  In some ways he was golf's version of Howard Cosell.

Measured in the context of his time on golf broadcasts he was insightful and helped viewers understand the fear factor that even top players had to deal with when trying to win a tournament.  He is a cautionary tale to those who believe they are above the ebbs and flows of the media culture.  Where else can you make that kind of money commenting on a sport most people don't care about.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Only found out yesterday that Ben Wright died. He often did commentary on the tour in Australia when I was growing up, and I always enjoyed his commentary. He had great insight into the game, knew its history, and he captured the drama and significance of events unfolding on the golf course with an economy and erudition few could match.

 

Here's a link to an interview with him nearly a quarter of a century after his call in the 1986 U.S. Masters. It's a good read.

 

http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201104/true-story-and-hurt-feelings-behind-one-golfs-great-calls

 

Vale, Ben Wright. You will be missed.

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On 8/30/2021 at 11:56 PM, dalehead said:

I always thought Ben was treated unfairly by CBS.

 

He was.  But he was also treated unfairly by the rest of the media who weren't his employers.  Cancel culture predates the internet.

 

 

Many Wright-isms were based on understatement.  One of his most frequent was 'That's not a very good putt [long pause] for HIM.'  It was equal parts criticism and gilding the lily.  We adopted this Wrightism on the course whenever someone hit a wayward shot - 'That's not a very good 9-iron...for HIM.'  It usually broke the tension and staved off any tantrums.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I can still recall some of Ben’s verbiage from golf broadcasts

 

“Just a mild zephyr to contend with here”

 

“Oh my that is a pernicious lie he has drawn”

 

He had an eloquence with his delivery and accent 

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6 hours ago, cardoustie said:

I can still recall some of Ben’s verbiage from golf broadcasts

 

“Just a mild zephyr to contend with here”

 

“Oh my that is a pernicious lie he has drawn”

 

He had an eloquence with his delivery and accent 

 

One of my favorites that he liked to use was when a player hit several bad shots in a row and started dropping strokes: "He's spilling oil...". I always liked the car racing analogy.

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12 hours ago, Body_Visions said:

I missed this news as well. He was one of the best.  

 

I too too think he got a raw deal when he was let go.  

 

Had he said yes, I said that, made an apology, etc., and things played out the same, I would agree with you.  But he said no, I didn't say that, CBS backed him up, and then he later admitted that yes I did say that.  I don't see how you can keep him on after that.  It wasn't so much that he said what he said, it was that he put some serious egg on their face. 

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11 hours ago, golfortennis said:

 

Had he said yes, I said that, made an apology, etc., and things played out the same, I would agree with you.  But he said no, I didn't say that, CBS backed him up, and then he later admitted that yes I did say that.  I don't see how you can keep him on after that.  It wasn't so much that he said what he said, it was that he put some serious egg on their face. 

 

Having lived near him for a lot of years, maybe I have more information than most.

 

He held a pro-am at his home club.  His standing in the game as such was that he could have gotten pretty much anyone he wanted, to show up.

 

Instead, he only brought LPGA players.  That tells me plenty about the man.  

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I absolutely loved golf coverage when Ben Wright was part of it and thought his commentary was terrific.  The CBS golf lineup in the mid/late 80s was simply outstanding.  RIP Ben Wright.

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On 8/30/2021 at 11:56 PM, dalehead said:

I always thought Ben was treated unfairly by CBS.

He made sexist comments and when given a chance to explain himself doubled down. This wasn't CBS' fault .

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On 10/3/2021 at 8:47 PM, Body_Visions said:

 

Having lived near him for a lot of years, maybe I have more information than most.

 

He held a pro-am at his home club.  His standing in the game as such was that he could have gotten pretty much anyone he wanted, to show up.

 

Instead, he only brought LPGA players.  That tells me plenty about the man.  

 

Oh I'm sure the positive outweighs the negative, despite how he has been portrayed.  I'm just saying he put CBS in a position that you really don't want to put your employer in.

 

 

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