ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 26, 2018 – Fourteen finalists will present their innovative driver concepts with the hopes of ultimately becoming Wilson Golf’s next world-class driver on the season premiere of Driver vs. Driver 2 presented by Wilson, Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.
“Golfers are passionate about their golf clubs and Driver vs. Driver 2 takes viewers behind the curtain on the design process and ultimately introduces them to Wilson Golf’s newest driver,” said Keith Allo, Golf Channel vice president of original productions. “The uniqueness of this series allows us to introduce viewers to great personalities and showcase the tension and drama of this winner-take-all-competition, with the winning driver concept hitting stores the day after the finale.”
The seven-episode series will air Tuesdays this fall, concluding Nov. 13, where the winner will be awarded a grand prize of $250,000 in cash and a Wilson staff driver inspired by their concept hitting retail stores worldwide the following day, Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Driver vs. Driver 2 will follow the trials and tribulations of these aspiring golf equipment designers in this elimination style television series where they compete for the opportunity to have their concepts transformed into prototypes, field tested, critiqued and refined.
On Tuesday’s premiere episode, the 14 finalists – selected from hundreds of concepts submitted through an open-call submission process – will present their concepts to a panel of celebrity judges:
- Jeremy Roenick – 9-time National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star and current NHL on NBC hockey analyst. Also an avid golfer with a single-digit handicap and a self-described golf equipment junkie.
- Rick Shiels – PGA Professional, expert golf equipment reviewer and online golf personality who has nearly 400,000 subscribers and more than 120 million views on his YouTube Channel.
- Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf, who has more than 25 years in the golf industry.
Following the presentations, the judges will deliberate about which finalists’ concepts will advance in the competition. Throughout the seven-episode series, the finalists’ concepts will be field tested and critiqued by some of the game’s best players on the PGA TOUR, celebrities from the field of sports and entertainment, golf industry experts, members of the national golf and sports media, bloggers and social media influencers. Eliminations will take place each week until a winning driver design is crowned on the Nov. 13 finale.
DRIVER VS. DRIVER FINALISTS: The finalists, ages 22-81, are a diverse group from throughout the United States that range from inventors, engineers and product designers to college students, professional bowlers and poker players:
Chris Adams (32, Denver, Colo.) – A consulting structural engineer.
Juan Biancardi (41), Walter Lund (41, Miramar, Fla.) – Biancardi is an art director and graphic designer, and Walter Lunch is a golf instructor and Biancardi’s golf coach.
Hank Boomershine (48), Victor Marion (34, Perry, Utah) –Marion is a designer of bowling balls, and Boomershine is a former competitive bowler.
Jeremy Chell (42, Madison, Wis.) – A mechanical engineer for an aerospace company, Chell develops flight hardware for space vehicles traveling to and from the International Space Station.
Peter Dreyfuss (48, Naples, Fla.) –Peter Dreyfuss is an engineer who picked up the golf bug following great success as a competitive sailor with a national championship on his resume.
Scott Haack (48, Chardon, Ohio) – An inventor, entrepreneur, chiropractic physician and medical device and development professional who has more than 20 years in the medical professional field.
J.D. Hefferin (27, Orlando, Fla.) Hefferin is a real estate analyst, an Orlando Magic employee and a professional poker player.
Evan Hoffman (27, San Diego, Calif.) – An industrial designer who has a deep passion for the game.
Jimmy Huynh (28, Long Beach, Calif). – A finalist from the inaugural season of Driver vs. Driver as part of “Team Long Beach,” Huynh is recent graduate from California State University, Long Beach and earned a degree in industrial design.
Bob Lockhart (81, Big Spring, Texas) – The oldest designer presenting to the judges at 81 years of age, Lockhart’s career has included work in industrial engineering, computer systems and for the past 25 years, product design.
Tim Slama (22, Salem, Ore.) – Slama is a senior at Oregon State University studying mechanical engineering.
Samantha Smith – (22, Las Vegas, Nev.) – A recent graduate from the University of Arizona who is currently working towards her Master’s Degree in Public Health and pursuing her PHD.
Tim Swiss – (38, Carlsbad, Calif.) – An industrial designer who has a deep passion for the game.
Allen Zadeh (50, Brooklyn, N.Y.) – A product designer for over 20 years, Zadeh’s work spans a wide range of industries, from household products to physical and digital consumer electronic experiences.
MELANIE COLLINS TO HOST: Sports broadcaster Melanie Collins returns as the host of Driver vs. Driver 2. Currently a sideline reporter for CBS’ college football and basketball coverage, Collins hosted the inaugural season of Driver vs Driver in 2016 and formerly co-hosted Golf Channel’s competition series, Big Break.
SERIES PRODUCTION: Production for Driver vs. Driver 2 began in the Fall of 2017 and concluded in August, 2018. The series is being produced by Golf Channel, whose portfolio of original productions include the Emmy-nominated interview series Feherty hosted by Emmy-nominated sports personality David Feherty, high-qualityinstruction shows School of Golf, Golf Channel Academy and Playing Lessons, and a slate of award-winning Golf Films productions.
ABOUT DRIVER vs. DRIVER PRESENTED BY WILSON
Driver vs. Driver presented by Wilson debuted in 2016. The show, from inception, was designed to utilize the power of crowd-sourcing combined with Wilson LABS’ (the innovation hub at Wilson) deep golf experience and expertise to create a world-class golf driver in a way that had never been done before. Driver vs. Driver also was created to infuse new energy and excitement into the golf equipment conversation, open the game of golf to a broader audience and bring highly innovative products to the marketplace, all while educating golfers on how drivers are designed, developed and manufactured. Eric Sillies, an industrial design graduate from the University of Cincinnati, was crowned the winner of Driver vs. Driver’s first season.
ABOUT WILSON SPORTING GOODS:
Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., a subsidiary of Amer Sports, is one of the world’s leading manufacturer of sports equipment, apparel and accessories. Wilson Golf is a global leader in high performance golf equipment and uses player insights to design products that push golf innovation into new territories. Through its dedication to creating products that enable athletes at every level to perform at their best, Wilson has earned its place as a leader in sporting goods for over a century.
ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Serving the most-affluent audience in all of television, Golf Channel – co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of NBC Sports Group – is available to nearly 500 million viewers in more than 80 countries and nine languages around the world. Golf Channel features more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, including tournament action from the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, The Open, Olympics, and Ryder Cup, as well as high-quality news, instruction and original programming. Delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Channel Digital and the NBC Sports App, powered by Playmaker Media. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital and lifestyle services including Golf Channel Mobile, a comprehensive app covering golf’s latest headlines, scores and analysis; GolfNow, the world’s largest online tee time booking platform and golf course technology partner, which includes the GolfNow Mobile App, featuring on-course GPS tracking, in-round scoring and game tracking; Revolution Golf, the largest direct-to-consumer digital platform in golf ; GolfAdvisor.com, the world’s largest golf course ratings and review resource for golfers, by golfers; a North American network of Golf Channel Academy instructional facilities; and Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour; and as the Official Media Partner of St. Andrews Links, the Home of Golf.
-NBC Sports Group-