Premiering Monday, Feb. 2, Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL to Showcase the Newly Renovated PGA National Champion Course and the Famed ‘Bear Trap’
Melanie Collins Returns to Co-Host Alongside Tom Abbott
Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL Cast to be Announced Mid-January
ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2014) – Golf Channel’s popular Big Break competition series will head to South Florida for its 23rd season, featuring an all-male cast of 12 aspiring golf professionals who will encounter one of the most challenging finishing stretches of holes in all of golf: The Bear Trap.
Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL, premiering Monday, Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. ET and produced in partnership with Discover The Palm Beaches and VISIT FLORIDA, will take place at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The newly renovated Champion Course at PGA National, home to the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic and the famed Bear Trap, will headline the roster of courses hosting the series. The ultimate winner will receive an exemption to a 2015 PGA TOUR event, along with cash and other prizes. The cast will be announced in mid-January.
“Big Break is a cornerstone of our original productions franchises, and we are excited to host the series at PGA National Resort & Spa, which has a tremendous amount of history,” said Jay Kossoff, Golf Channel vice president of original productions and Big Break executive producer. “Our goal is to place our competitors in pressure situations while showcasing an elite golf destination. With The Bear Trap as the backdrop, the pressure will be even greater for our competitors trying to advance each week throughout the season.”
HOST GOLF COURSES: Filmed on location in September, the series will unfold on four of PGA National’s award-winning golf courses, headlined by the famed Champion Course, which underwent a course redesign in 1990 by Hall-of-Famer and acclaimed designer Jack Nicklaus, and then went through a renovation in 2014. Part of the renovation was a tweak to the design of No. 14 – the prelude to The Bear Trap (Holes 15-17) – which included bringing the green closer to the water on the right.
“The Champion Course is a thinking person’s golf course,” Nicklaus said. “You’ve got to figure out whether to attack the greens or whether to be conservative. That, to me, is what golf is all about. I’ve always put a premium on accuracy, rather than power. This golf course definitely has those elements, and I look forward to seeing those elements come into play.”
The Champion – Home to The Honda Classic, the Champion Course was first redesigned in 1990 and renovated further in 2014. It features The Bear Trap – a demanding stretch of holes (15-17) that is widely known as one of the toughest in golf.
The Palmer – Named after its designer, Arnold Palmer, the course is a subtle nod to the game’s Scottish roots and is a true risk / reward layout. Its 18th is one of the most scenic and picturesque par 5s on the property.
The Fazio – A complete renovation of the resort’s Haig Course, The Fazio was modernized by Tom Fazio II and is a splendid shot maker’s design.
The Squire – Named after Gene Sarazen and designed by George and Tom Fazio, The Squire is a test of accuracy and precision and is the most exacting of the courses at PGA National.
Tom Abbott returns as co-host for Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL, and will be joined by Melanie Collins, who made her Golf Channel debut as co-host for Big Break Florida in early 2014.
“Home to more than 160 public and private golf courses – from executive to championship level – The Palm Beaches offer the most impressive golf experience in Florida. In fact, historically, this is where Florida’s first 18-hole golf course was built,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches. “Viewers who tune into Big Break this winter will witness what the region has to offer golfers.”
“It’s going to be thrilling to watch the Big Break contestants test their mettle against The Champion and mighty Bear Trap in competition,” says Joel Paige, Vice President and Managing Director of PGA National. “Over the 11 episodes, both the players vying to advance and viewers at home will see why we’re one of the world’s top golf destinations and the only Florida resort with five golf courses.”
“Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL is the continuation of a relationship between VISIT FLORIDA, NBC Sports and Golf Channel that will showcase Florida as a preferred destination for leisure travel,” said Paul Phipps, Chief Marketing Officer for VISIT FLORIDA. “With nearly 1,500 courses to choose from in the Sunshine State, we look forward to this unique opportunity to reach Big Break’s audience of avid golf enthusiasts.”
SERIES FORMAT: Golf Channel’s Big Break show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness. During Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL, competitors will be subject to skills challenges from tee-to-green, including two of the series’ signature challenges, the popular “Glass Break” and “Flop Wall.” One contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded his Big Break, an opportunity to compete on the PGA TOUR.
For the past 22 seasons, Golf Channel’s Big Break competition series has proven to be the launching pad for many aspiring professional golfers looking to take that next step in their golf careers, including PGA TOUR winners Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey and Matt Every, and U.S. Solheim Cup participants Kristy McPherson, Gerina Piller and Ryann O’Toole, all playing full time on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour, respectively. Several other past Big Break competitors will be competing on the world’s top tours in 2015, including Tony Finau (PGA TOUR), Mallory Blackwelder, Katy Harris, Sadena Parks and Jackie Stoelting (LPGA Tour) and Rick Cochran, Hugo Leon, James Nitties, Justin Peters and Mark Silvers (Web.com Tour).
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About Golf Channel
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, headed by GolfChannel.com, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Live Extra and select programming is simulcast via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital services including Golf Channel Mobile; GolfNow, the world’s largest online booking platform; GolfAdvisor.com, a golf course ratings and review portal; the interactive Golf Channel Academy instructional app; and the Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour.
About Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism marketing corporation that promotes the collection of 38 cities and towns and 15 tourism districts, commonly referred to as, The Palm Beaches, Florida. Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries generating an annual economic impact of nearly $7 billion in the local economy, producing $30 million in bed-tax revenue, lodging sales of approximately $623 million and supporting 60,000 jobs.
About the PGA National Resort & Spa
PGA National Resort & Spa offers the complete resort experience. Its recent $100 million revitalization blends a new atmosphere of contemporary luxury with a grand history as one the world’s premier golf destinations. Home to the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic and five award-winning golf courses, it also features nine restaurants and lounges, eight pools, 19 tennis courts, croquet courts, conference facilities, and health and racquet club. The resort’s celebrated Spa at PGA National is a masterpiece of wellness with 32 treatment rooms, “Waters of the World” collection of mineral pools, full-service salon, spa boutique, healthy cuisine and 100 different treatments. Visit PGAResort.com.
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 93.7 million visitors in 2013 who spent $76.1 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing nearly 1.1 million Floridians. For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – generates more than $390 in tourism spending and $23 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with The Hertz Corporation, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Universal Orlando Resort and Disney Destinations. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to www.VISITFLORIDA.org or follow our corporate blog at www.SunshineMatters.org.