Sunday marks the end of an era at Golf Channel as the long-running “Morning Drive” program will air for the final time.
The network announced earlier this year that changes were coming, including a complete relocation from its Orlando offices into the NBC Sports studios near New York City.
Golf Channel, which celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this year, airs in more than 70 countries and nine languages.
Some are making the move, but many are not, including some associated with “Morning Drive,” like Gary Williams — who started as a co-host in 2011 — Robert Damron and Lauren Thompson.
The network recently announced the hiring of Shane Bacon, who will serve as a co-host for a new, live daily show, “Golf Today.” Fellow hosts are Damon Hack, Anna Whiteley and Jimmy Roberts. That show debuts on Monday, Jan. 4.
Sunday’s broadcast should be an emotional one. It starts at 10 a.m. ET and should have plenty of highlights spanning the show’s tenure.
Thank you, Mike! What a ride it’s been https://t.co/J4AyZ0R1gY
— Lauren Thompson (@LThompsonGC) December 19, 2020
Our own Eamon Lynch has been a contributor on the show, and he shared some shots from the studio.
Snapshots from Studio AP, which closes soon with Golf Channel’s Orlando HQ. These were good times with good people. pic.twitter.com/5Ny20c4v1c
— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch) December 15, 2020
Paige Mackenzie was a co-host and she said via social media she’ll be heading west to Arizona, but will still be a part of the Golf Channel studio programs and tournaments. She was an analyst during NBC’s U.S. Women’s Open coverage and is expected to see her role on LPGA broadcasts grow in the future.
Morning Drive will tee off for the last time this weekend. When I joined the MD family I was reminded how wonderful it was to be a part of a team. I am thankful and grateful. A lot of us will head in different directions in 2021 and I wish the best to the greatest GC teammates. pic.twitter.com/j1AfNqYCX8
— Paige Mackenzie (@Paige_Mackenzie) December 19, 2020
Williams wished those making the move to Connecticut all the best:
I’ve been a fan of @GolfChannel since Mr. Palmer lit the lamp in 1995.I was,am,and will always be exceedingly grateful to have been a part of the https://t.co/CPwPhh3czW those pointed north,do what you do with pride.I’ll wear my GC letterman jacket proudly. pic.twitter.com/nCsKrWWtWB
— Gary Williams (@Garywilliams1Up) December 18, 2020
Damron said he’ll still be on PGA Tour Live broadcasts, but will also be enjoying life.
PGA Tour Live occasionally……otherwise it’s card games and Manhattans at @APBayHill locker room! (Best locker room in America…..but maybe I’m biased).
— Robert Damron (@RobertDDamron) December 17, 2020
And Damon Hack showed his appreciation for Williams (and all his co-workers) while working the LPGA event in Naples.
Down in Naples w @LPGA but also thinking about Studio AP this am. Final weekend of @GCMorningDrive. What a ride it’s been! @Garywilliams1Up revved up the engine nearly a decade ago and the ride has been awesome. Excited for the new adventure and thankful for the bonds created pic.twitter.com/EaLbMpwIvZ
— Damon Hack (@damonhackGC) December 19, 2020
And other staffers have looked back at a special decade as well.
YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY DONT KNOW HOW TALENTED, DRIVEN, AMAZING/AWESOME, POSITIVE, AND FUN THE ENTIRE @GCMorningDrive TEAM IS. PLEASE WATCH FOR THE FINAL TIME TOMORROW AT 10amET TO CELEBRATE THE SHOW’s INCREDIBLE 10 YEAR RUN https://t.co/1u1FVF0E0W
— Aya Johnson (@ayajohnsongolf) December 19, 2020
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/19/golf-channel-morning-drive-final-episode/