The first tee shot of the year will take place at 10:44 a.m. Hawaii Time (3:44 p.m. ET) on Jan. 3 from the #1 tee at Kapaluas picturesque Plantation Course on the island of Maui. GOLF CHANNEL cameras will be there to capture it live, but not before first bringing viewers all the color and pageantry of the Opening Drive ceremonies that will begin with a traditional Hawaiian blessing from an island priest, followed by a presentation of colors by Hawaiian Palace color guard, a performance by internationally acclaimed ukulele player Jack Shimabukuro, a presentation of our national anthem and an Air Force flyover.
Joe Torre, the new manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will serve the roll of Honorary Starter and will introduce PGA TOUR pro Stephen Ames, who will take the first official shot of the year.
Throughout the hour-long special, GOLF CHANNEL analysts and personalities, including Kelly Tilghman, Nick Faldo, Mark Rolfing, Rich Lerner, Jerry Foltz, Dottie Pepper and Billy Andrade, will talk to pros preparing their games for 2008 and show a little golf along the way.
Live golf action begins later in prime time on GOLF CHANNEL with the first round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship at 6 p.m. ET.