A Second Chance

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Welcome to a new season of Big Break—our 14th—set in the beautiful Dominican Republic at the Casa de Campo Resort! While we’ve had many championship golf courses to host this series (Carnoustie, Kingsmill, Turtle Bay, Disney – Palm/Magnolia), Pete Dye’s gems in the Caribbean—Teeth of the Dog and Dye Fore—were the best I’ve seen on Big Break. The course conditions, the greens and the layout and design of the course were pure perfection. Honestly, that’s not just a pop to our host for gratuitous marketing. I speak the truth; the courses were in tremendous condition, so long as you could correctly read the grain!

While we are very excited to get this series going and showcase all that it has to offer, we’re especially eager to welcome back 12 very entertaining Big Break alumni. No one on this show tasted success in their respective season, and this is their second chance. All of them knew that an opportunity like this doesn’t come along often.

This is my ninth season working on the series, and I can say, without a doubt, this will be the most entertaining season ever. Every season, we have no problem finding talented golfers to cast this show, however you never know what you’re going to get as far as ‘watch-ability.’ Our biggest fear is casting a player whose personality and character don’t transfer well to television. The most recurring question we ask ourselves when casting players for the show is, “Will they be memorable?” Not just memorable in the sense, “are they crazy, certifiable nut jobs?” Our “memorable” is a little deeper than the classic American Idol-loony dressed up for Simon. We want memorable in the sense of, “can they golf their ball; are they a good story; can they carry the series with their presence on camera?” This is the first season where I can say all 12 of our contestants can do that. If you don’t believe me, check out our cast here: http://www.thegolfchannel.com/big-break-dominican-republic/players/

As I said before, casting is the most important aspect of Big Break, and in BIG BREAK DOMINICAN REPUBLIC we delivered the goods. Most of these memorable players, compiled from the last seven seasons, arrived to the Dominican with a host of skeletons in their closet from their experience on Big Break

  • Christina Lecuyer and Lori Atsedes, who legitimately despised each other, arrived at Santo Domingo Airport together and didn’t speak to each other for the entire one-hour bus ride to Casa de Campo. In fact, that was the first time they saw each other since the show’s production. The producers on the bus said the indifference was palatable and quite awkward. All I want to say is Christina and Lori aren’t any closer to being friends even now.
  • Blake Moore and Andrew Giuliani who were two guys profoundly affected by their previous Big Break experience, one positively, one very negatively. Andrew learned a lot about himself as a player and competitor, and weeks after Big Break Disney Golf wrapped production, Mr. Giuliani (son of former NYC mayor-Rudy Giuliani) won the MET OPEN (a tournament won by Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson). While Andrew has seen success, Blake Moore’s post-Big Break story goes another direction that all stemmed from his behavior on the show. He was “asked” to leave his golf club in California. He subsequently moved to Colorado to get away from the stress of his surrounding golf community. He also lost sponsorships and had poor results in golf.
  • Anthony “A-Rod” Rodriguez missed a 2-foot putt and was eliminated from Big Break Mesquite after dominating the first few episodes. Since his show, A-Rod stopped playing, and by his admission, he couldn’t get over the missed putt for more than a year.
  • Blair O’Neal has continued her modeling career with great success and has been playing extremely well (three wins on the Cactus Tour) all as a result of Big Break re-igniting her golf competitive fire and her runner-up finish.
  • Others like David Mobley, “self-titled” and voted on by our viewers as the Most Hated Big Breaker ever, has enjoyed success and notoriety on the golf entertainment circuit, while Brian Skatell’s story hasn’t been one of success, more of frustration. Although he’s back on Big Break, Brian said his experience on Prince Edward Island “ruined his life.”  
  • Elena Robles experienced only one show and was gone. We brought her back because of all the first-show eliminated players we’ve had, her quality of golf was the best. She honestly didn’t hit a bad shot! And from the same show, Sara Brown was a player that proved she could not only hit good shots, but captivate us with her smile, giggles and laughter. I’ll say this now; her ride in the Dominican Republic will not be an easy one.
  • Same goes for the rest of the players filling out the cast. William “Football” Thompson, eliminated second on Prince Edward Island will have to overcome his stage fright and inability to get over the pressure of Big Break. And finally can Brenda McLarnon, everyone’s favorite Irish woman, overcome the fact that she’s traded her tour golf career for the daily grind on a lesson tee? 

I can’t wait for the series to begin, and I can’t wait for all of you to see what we have in store.  Enjoy!