Golf Channel's Big Break Series Selects PGA National as Backdrop for 23rd Season

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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.

“We are grateful to PGA National Resort & Spa for leading this effort and Golf Channel for selecting The Palm Beaches,” said Glenn Jergensen, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council.  “Furthermore, the collaborative effort between Discover The Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County’s Sports, Film and Television commissions is an example of our community working together to share our incredible golfing assets with the world.”

“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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