The Golf Channel’s Tuesday Primetime Lineup Review

January 12, 2011 in Golf

The Golf Channel premiered two shows last night: The Haney Project with Rush Limbaugh and Pipe Dream. The Haney Project is entering its third season while Pipe Dream made its series debut.

The Haney Project with Rush Limbaugh

Hank Haney has a new project this season with conservative radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh is a self-proclaimed 18-handicap, who really is closer to a 28 if he’s honest. He says he gets out maybe two times a week maximum and his overall goal for the season is to break 80.

Haney is coming off his relatively fresh split with Tiger Woods and as Rush said on his radio show, Hank did so to spend six weeks working with him.

In the first season, Haney teamed up with Charles Barkley to fix his infamous swing. Sir Charles is one of the most likable and funny people on the planet, so naturally his season was a big success and something I set my watch by. Sure, Chuck didn’t get that hitch totally out of his swing, but he worked at it and he and Haney had a good rapport.

Barkley never took himself too seriously. That’s not to say he didn’t care, but Charles knew his limitations and tried to do what he could to fix them. It’s hard to make bad television with Barkley, so the show was a success and my favorite to date.

In season two, Haney teamed up with funnyman Ray Ramano. I had high hopes for the second season. I never really got into Everybody Loves Raymond, but I figured a successful comedian would have to be good on the show.

I was wrong.

The show never really kept my interest. Haney did his thing, but Romano constantly bitched and complained, threw clubs and kept saying how he was 10-times worse off than he started. That rubbed me the wrong way, so I couldn’t stick with it.

I love the concept of the show, so it was kind of disappointing that Romano ruined it.

I have a renewed hope for this season, however. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some right-wing nutjob like Limbaugh, but I can see his appeal. He’s a smart, well-spoken guy who regardless of his political leanings is good for this type of show. Rush was loose and funny and real. He seems like he’s willing to take the coaching from Haney and have some fun with it, too.

Also, it seems like the Golf Channel is going the way of Big Break Sandals Resort again. That way being showing pretty girls. Haney’s wife is a pretty lady who Hank is teaching as well. He even quipped Rush and Suzanne are his only two students.

Overall, it seems like the show will get its flow back, similar to season one. Haney said he and Rush have the best chemistry of any of the students on the show, so that bodes well.

Pipe Dream

I didn’t know what to expect from this show. I got the premise: ex-professional golfer, now homeless, trying to make his journey back to the top.

These kind of shows (a la Survivor) usually make me skeptical. So this guy is homeless, broke and letting cameras following him around? Is he not getting paid at all for this show? Won’t the network be putting this guy up in the Ritz after they get a couple of shots of him sleeping in a pipe?

However, as the show went on, it seemed to be fairly legit to me. Basically, Mark Burk, the show’s protagonist, was thrown out of his girlfriend’s home because he said she would become emotional and conjure wild scenarios that have never happened.

Because he was a struggling golfer, he didn’t have much money and pretty much depended on her. In December 2008, his ex-girlfriend called the cops on Burk and plead domestic violence. Burk had 10 minutes to pack up his stuff and leave. He grabbed a bag and his clubs and was taken out of her home.

Burk proclaimed his innocence and has since been in the legal battle with his ex to clear his name. As Sheldon Cooper would say, “bitches be crazy.”

Clearly, that would be a monetary drain. Burk has made friends and even gotten a lawyer to defend him pro bono.

The way I see it, even if the Golf Channel is paying him for the show, he has outstanding debts to his lawyer among other people and he needs money to enter golf tournaments and pay for his playing.

Golf is not a cheap game.

My overall assessment as far as I can tell is that this show seems legit. It’s pretty compelling as well as a homeless guy with a dream tries to make his way back to the golf world.

Both shows seem worthy of my viewership, so I will have my TV on the Golf Channel every Tuesday.