WWE/JONATHAN COACHMAN: How the voice of pro wrestling is shaking up World Long Drive (Golf.com)

Posted on 4/25/118 by Mike Informer

'We're changing the game': How the voice of pro
wrestling is shaking up World Long Drive

Golf Channel is revamping their presentation of the World
Long Drive Association competitions. In an effort to better
showcase the sport's dynamic personalities, they turned to
broadcaster Jonathan Coachman for help.

Coachman first established himself in the WWE, making a name
for himself with memorable interactions with figures like
The Rock. He later went on to become a focal figure on ESPN,
anchoring SportsCenter and hosting a national radio show.
These days he's back with the WWE, rounding out the
broadcast team for the company's flagship show Monday Night

He now hopes to bring some WWE flair with him to WLDA

On Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. ET Coachman will make his
Golf Channel debut as the play-by-play man for "Clash in the
Canyon," the first of five WLDA televised events this year.

I caught up with Coachman to talk about his new role with
Golf Channel, what changes he would like to see made to the
WLDA's presentation, WWE entrances in golf, The Rock and

Tim Reilly: You're already a busy man with your duties for
WWE. What was it that intrigued you about entering the golf
realm and put you over the edge to add this long drive gig
to your schedule?

Jonathan Coachman: Most people don't realize that I actually
have a broadcasting background in golf. While with ESPN, I
actually called highlights for Masters.com through our joint
partnership. I've always loved golf and wanted the sport to
be a part of my professional life.

When I think of the World Long Drive competition I can't
help but think about the similarities to WWE. This is golf's
version of that world. These competitors are big, strong and
extremely athletic. When it comes to WWE, everyone thinks
they can just walk into that ring and have a match. That's
just not the case, and the same holds true for entering
these long drive contests. I was hooked when I started to
imagine the entertainment value I can help bring to the

What have you already learned by watching these competitors
up close, taking those monster swings and hitting monster
drives that surprised you?

There's much more technique involved than I thought. They
aren't just getting up there and whacking at the ball.
There's a method to the madness.

​What about in terms of the WLDA itself?

I think it might surprise the casual viewer to learn this is
a 10-event competition. These aren't one-off shows. I'll be
calling the action for five events on Golf Channel and hope
to create a season-long vibe that people will follow along
with the same way they do a major sports league.

What has impressed you most about those competing?

The level of dedication they have for the sport and where
they want it to go. They take this as seriously as players
on the PGA and LPGA Tour. At the same time, they have a
great self-awareness about where the product needs to go in
order to grow.

Are there any WWE-like personalities involved in long drive

The one that most people are familiar with is Maurice Allen,
who is known for doing Ric Flair impersonations.
Unfortunately, he's injured right now. Justin Moose is a guy
I would keep an eye. I've spent some time around these
competitors and there are a lot of great personalities in
the field. There's already a high level of performance in
the long drive product; now I want to bring out the high
level of entertainment value I know is there to go along
with it.

What aspect of WWE's presentation should the WLDA look to

I've gone back and looked at past telecasts and the one
thing I kept circling back to is the entrances. That's been
a missed opportunity for years. WWE-like entrances with
music, theatrics and under the lights would go a long way in
giving the presentation more life and help add more of a
connection to the competitors. We need to make them larger
than life figures that the crowd can get behind before they
even start hitting.

Is there a WWE entrance song that you think would be perfect
for a WLDA walk-up song?

I always liked Kid Rock's "American Badass" that the
Undertaker used. That would be a great walk-up song. Triple
H's "Time to play the game" is another one. John Cena's is
great. It's all about the first few seconds. You want
something that will hook people in and draw an instantaneous
familiarity with a competitor from the moment it hits.

The Rock made headlines last spring when he claimed to drive
a ball 490 yards. Is the most electrifying man in all of
sports and entertainment really outhitting long-drive

There is absolutely no chance that The Rock can drive the
ball 490 yards. There are very few things I would say The
Rock couldn't do. If he ran for President in the next
election he'd win. With that being said, there's no way he
can hit a golf ball that far. But as long as The Rock's
talking about golf that's great for the sport.

Can we expect to see any other WWE faces on a WLDA broadcast
this year?

We're hoping to get Mike "The Miz" Mizanin involved. I'd say
he loves golf the most out of everybody in the WWE locker
room. He plays a lot and is a supporter of the World Long
Drive competition. Stay tuned to see if we can make that

Lastly, what are you hoping to bring to Golf Channel and the

My ultimate goal is to become the voice of the World Long
Drive competition for years to come. I'm here to make these
competitors into the household names they deserve to be just
like WWE superstars. The balls are going to fly and the
personalities are going to shine. Get ready because we're
changing the game. You're going to see a whole new
presentation of the World Long Drive Association this year
on Golf Channel's outlets.

Catch Jonathan Coachman calling all the action at "Clash in
the Canyon" on April 24th at 7 p.m. on Golf Channel.

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