ORLANDO, Fla. – The NBC Sports Group will introduce a new way to watch golf this weekend when it presents live traditional coverage of the third and final rounds of the Honda Classic on NBC and spotlight coverage of the three signature holes known as the Bear Trap on Golf Channel at the same time. Both begin at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
While NBC is on the air live from 3-6 p.m. ET this weekend with traditional coverage of the Honda Classic, Golf Channel’s coverage will air live from the same tournament, but offer viewers an exclusive look at the signature holes of the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA National Resort Championship Course and one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour. Nicklaus redesigned the Championship Course in 1990, which led to the origin of the Bear Trap name for holes 15, 16 and 17.
Golf Channel will provide its usual Thursday and Friday early-round coverage and weekend lead-in/early coverage, but on the weekend the network will undertake an entirely separate production for its telecast, utilizing its own equipment, crew and commentators. Throughout the week, Golf Channel will be gathering player reaction to the Bear Trap and will roll those interviews into the telecast, as well as video of past, dramatic moments. The coverage also will feature graphics and statistics exclusive to playing the vaunted stretch.
Gary Williams will call the action at the 15th and 17th holes, Jerry Foltz will be at 16, Phil Parkin will be on the course and Todd Lewis will conduct player interviews. Frank Nobilo will serve as the main analyst.
“We are committed to innovation and this unique approach is designed to bring renewed interest to the game of golf,” said Golf Channel president Mike McCarley. “The spotlight coverage of one of the most demanding stretches on the PGA Tour will not only showcase these signature holes, but also build more interest in the traditional coverage on NBC.”
Golf Channel’s spotlight coverage test at the Honda Classic – part of NBC’s extended agreement with the PGA Tour announced in August – will provide the NBC Sports Group with valuable feedback to plan future innovations for golf viewers. The new agreement, which officially commences in 2013, will allow the NBC Sports Group to better serve fans in new and innovative ways, such as complementary coverage and online streaming.