Chock Full of Great Stories

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Twelve years ago, when I first started working in television, I realized that the most important elements to any TV show are great stories, and Big Break Dominican Republic is chock full of them.

Even though this is my first season working on Big Break, I realized the potential for dozens of entertaining and interesting stories from this reunion cast, and I think the backdrop of Pete Dye’s course “Teeth of the Dog” at Casa De Campo in the Dominican Republic is a perfect place to see them unfold in episode 2.

After a compelling episode 1 in which the BBDR competitors realized that not only will they be playing against previous Big Breakers, but also seeking out redemption in the Republic, I got to witness first-hand how these golfers dealt with the pressure on and off the golf course.

Let’s be honest; there is a lot at stake for these players: $100,000 with half of that going to the MVP of the winning team, a PGA or LPGA exemption, $30,000 in the Waste Management Challenge, $10,000 to spend at Dick’s Sporting Goods and tons of other prizes. All of those can change a golfer’s career and life for ever. And let’s remember: all of America is watching on national television.

Not to mention, we introduce the STRIKE ERASER (yes, I like to write that in capital letters) giving Brenda hope while she’s on the bench. If anyone holes out off the green then BAM, a strike can be erased from a player who has one in that show. When I interviewed Brenda, Blake and Football the night after we shot show 2, they were all pumped about this. It’s just one more twist to an already surprising series.

Right off the bat at breakfast, the men were riding high and feeling good about their win in show 1, until they realized Brian was on the fence about competing, and even though David was chosen by the men as their team captain, it seemed that Anthony also helped coach the guys. He brings genuine PGA experience to Big Break and comes off as a natural leader with high expectations. It was obvious he wasn’t going to let anything stand in the way of winning—especially since this is a huge second chance.

He and the rest of the men’s team truly want Brian to be a part of the team on all fronts, but Brian’s attitude sometimes interferes with his ability to perform at what he considers to be his full potential. I think that dichotomy made for some tense and interesting conversations and moments in episode 2.

Now the women—even after a loss that ended with Brenda on the bench for show 2—were still gung-ho about taking control of the day, but if you listen to their “Glossy Posse” cheer at the end of breakfast, you can tell the wind was definitely sucked out of their sails.

Tensions really rose when Andrew found out that Lori wanted to take the men out three in a row in the first team challenge, and when I found that moment in post production in which Andrew pulls the men aside and tells them Lori’s intention, it’s like finding gold. I got really excited, not just because it’s a one of those reality nuggets I’m always looking for to showcase the nature of the players’ personalities, but because it also shows you a striking moment off the course at Safe City—something rarely seen outside of the Big Break series.

You have to remember that not only do these athletes have to compete against each other, but they have to play through the heat, the scorching sun and the unpredictable wind blowing in from the Caribbean. It’s a combination that takes will, determination, skill and focus. And tensions flare.

I think in episode 2, we also see how nothing can be predicted on BBDR. Football beats Elena after Elena beat him in episode 1; Blake hits his ball in practically the same spot as Brian did; Anthony chunks his ball; and Sara 3 putts. Blair said it best with, “this is how things can change so quickly on Big Break.”  Show 2 is a roller coaster. I hope you enjoyed the ride. I know I did producing it.