Skip to main content

'Cead Mile Failte'

Big Break Ireland
Getty Images


“Cead Mile Failte” translates from Gaelic as “One-Hundred Thousand Welcomes”. The Irish are inherently a welcoming nation and nothing was truer upon our arrival at the K Club. In the past, we’ve visited many beautiful resorts that have attracted some of the best competitions played by the world’s greatest golfers ... however a Ryder Cup course was a Big Break first.

Series overview:
The concept of Big Break Ireland is to take aspiring and potentially great golfers, both men and women, and from our cast of 12... We get one WINNER.  In the past, our co-ed competitions have featured teams and separate gender competitions, but this time they all play together.  I’ve wanted to do this concept for Big Break for several seasons and we had something similar to this format in Prince Edward Island, but not quite.

Big Break Ireland is about the team and in true Ryder Cup fashion, about the captain.  On the line for the captain of the day is $5,000 if their team wins... however, if their team loses the IMMUNITY Challenge, that player is guaranteed a non-stop, direct ticket to the ELIMINATION Challenge.  The call-out factor is the component of Big Break that allows team issues, personal issues and personal vendettas to be settled on the course, as it should be. For example, Bennett wanting to call out Whitney; while she did display some strong points, Bennett felt compelled to go after the little North Carolina fireball.

The Cast & Conditions:
Overall, it’s a strong cast with big mouths, sharp tongues and solid golf games.  I can honestly say that I saw some of the most impressive golf shots in this series and this was ALL despite the weather and conditions.  Ireland is an elite golfing destination for many players... it’s also one of the most unpredictable climates I’ve ever witnessed.  We visited the K Club in April for our initial scouting trip and we were greeted with 73 degree days with sun as far as the eye could see.  Three weeks later, we were battling 50-mile an hour wind gusts, trees uprooting due to wind and bitterly cold temperatures.  We shot our series in the final weeks of May and what did we see?  In Irish-recorded weather history, we saw the windiest and the coldest May EVER!  That’s 200+ years of recorded weather ... over 200 different May months of weather...and we had the coldest.  Bodes well for anyone wanting to visit next year... you’re guaranteed perfection!

Behind-the-Scenes of Show One:
The winner in every match completed the challenge in less than 25 seconds.
The most shots a player took to break the glass: Nina (7 shots).
Whitney / Julien – were the only players to break on their first shot.
Bennett took 9 seconds (had a 15 second head start) to hit his first shot.
Andy would have lost to either Whitney or Julien had they competed against him.

This challenge took five+ hours to shoot.  We had four playoffs that didn’t make air. Obviously, all the matches resulted in ties.
Nicole didn’t say one word to Bennett until 2 minutes and 34 seconds after he hit his tee-shot into the bunker (I guess she was quite angry).
The chip Mark hit to secure the win for Team Liffey measured 34 yards... he hit the chip about 22 yards (5 yards short of the green).  He landed the ball in the rough and it still bounced onto the green.  

Bennett played the challenge in 2-under par – pretty good under that pressure.
Whitney’s up-and-down out of the bunker was EPIC.  She hit her bunker shot and landed the shot inside a 1-yard area that afforded her a putt inside 20 feet.  If she flies it 1 yard shot=bunker, 1 yard longer=30 foot putt.
The non-competing players were standing on the balcony where the European team celebrated their Ryder Cup victory.

Tune in next week... Tuesday night, 9PM Eastern.

Text BREAK to 55333 to sign up to get mobile text alerts about Big Break Ireland.