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Jim Nantz Says We Need to Accept Instant Replay

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On the latest ShackHouse podcast, Geoff Shackelford and Joe House laid out their predictions for this weekend’s PGA Championship. They also brought on Jim Nantz for the second half of the show, during which the broadcaster talked about the controversy that replay has brought to other sports — and argued that golf can never go back now that the game has adopted it.

For all things golf, check out the ShackHouse feed here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.

Geoff Shackelford: Jim, you [cover] a lot of sports and juggle a lot of different rules. Would you say that replay in golf is probably the one sport where it’s added an element that has not improved the game and has maybe even put players in an awkward position? It feels like replay works pretty well for the most part in every other sport you do, but golf …

Jim Nantz: I don’t know about [that], Geoff. Honestly. … In the NFL they’re still trying to define what is a catch, and you don’t live the NFL life as much as I do, I don’t think you do.

G.S.: No.

J.N.: Because I know, I read you every day, so I know how immersed you are in [the golf] world.

But if you got a group of coaches in the room and try to talk to them about replay in the NFL, then you start to take situations like the Dez Bryant catch/no catch in the divisional playoff game a year ago up in Green Bay that ultimately, you know, knocked the Cowboys out of the playoff chase and chance for a possible run to a championship. Who knows? They were a 12–4 team that year.

There is still tremendous controversy out there about the rules and how replay fits into it and people’s interpretation of what they’re seeing. Now, I get it. It really hits close to home with you, especially after what we just had with Dustin [Johnson] at Oakmont [during the U.S. Open], and then what happened at the Women’s Open, but I don’t know what people want.

The bottom line is it’s not going to go away. We have the technology or the innovation to see things that 20, 30, 40 years ago great broadcasters were not able to see or present. It’s not going to come back. You can’t dial it back. You know, you can’t go away from the high-speed cameras. You can’t go away from all the cameras that are now positioned on the golf course. … There’s just so much out there now.

The volumes of technology, it’s the world we live in, and even though at times it creates a very unhappy, controversial view of it, in the end it’s the world we live in. And we just got to figure out how to — like, you take what happened with the USGA at Oakmont. I think that hopefully some people learned some valuable lessons from that and how to handle that better the next time when you’re on the last nine holes of a major championship.