Ranking the Greatest Broadcast Calls of Golf History
Fifteen years ago today, Tiger Woods stood on the 17th green at TPC Sawgrass, sizing up a devilish 60-foot putt. It bent one way, then another, and finally another before falling into the cup. The putt was, as Gary Koch repeated, “Better than most.”
It was one of the greatest moments in Tiger Woods’ storied career, but Koch’s call might be the aspect of it remembered most. While it remains one of the most famous in golf history, it has some competition. Here are the best calls in golf history, ranked:
7. “As grand as it gets”
Woods had already become the greatest golfer of his generation by the time he reached the 2001 Masters. It was clear who stood atop the golf world, but winning that Masters promised him the Tiger Slam. His final putt came from 20 feet and Woods nailed it, fist pumping as Jim Nantz nails his end of the moment with "As grand as it gets," playing on the grandness of Woods completing the grand slam.
6. “The bear has come out of hibernation”
It comes as no surprise that Jim Nantz finds himself all over this list. His play on Jack Nicklaus' nickname didn't come on the final putt of the event, nor did is it he best-known call of that day, but it was classic Nantz during one of the most memorable Masters ever.
5. “Is it his time? Yes! At long last…”
Here we go, another Nantz call. This one for Phil Mickelson's first Masters win in 2004. Nantz preemptively begins with "Is it his time?" as Mickelson's putt walked toward the hole. It's the leaping Lefty that made this call more famous than perhaps it deserves to be, but Phil's first Masters will always be one of the more memorable Masters in modern golf, so Nantz's call is too.
4. “A win for the ages”
It's possible there will never be a more important moment in golf history than when 21-year-old Tiger claimed his first major. Nantz made it clear, innocent and simple, as it truly was "a win for the ages."
3. “Better than most”
The aforementioned call by Koch ranks high on the list, but loses a bit of luster having not occurred at a major championship. Beggars can't be choosers here. Koch and Johnny Miller combine on this call, in which the anticipation builds and builds as the ball rolls. They react perfectly in unison with the lot of spectators.
2. “Yes sir!”
Though Nantz is all over this list of greatest calls, his longtime teammate in the booth, Verne Lundquist trumps him in the end. As Jack Nicklaus poured in yet another putt, Lunquist simply exclaims "Yes sir!" while Nicklaus pumps his putter in the air. It's that simple call that is constantly replayed of that improbable comeback at Augusta National.