Friday, March 24th, 2017


Golf Channel to Expand Live Coverage to Five Hours,
Showcasing Skill of Junior Golfers from across U.S. and Canada,
Including a Series of Dedicated Feature Stories on Competitors

ORLANDO, Fla (March 24, 2017) – Golf Channel announced expanded production plans for live coverage of the 2017 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals in order to showcase all of the golfers participating. Airing on Sunday, April 2, 80 finalists from across the U.S. and Canada will gather at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2017 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals to officially kick off Masters week. Forty boys and 40 girls make up the exceptional field of junior golfers, having advanced from more than 250 local and 50 sub-regional events, culminating in 10 regional qualifiers.

“Through the partnership of the Masters Tournament Foundation, PGA of America and USGA, the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals is a wonderful gathering of exceptional, charismatic junior golfers fulfilling their dreams from golf’s most cherished stage,” said Molly Solomon, executive producer, Golf Channel. “The event stands as one of the most unique and proudest moments of the year in golf, with the privilege of showcasing the competitors in the field who embody the bright future of the sport.”

Sunday, April 2
Morning Drive Pre-Game                               7-8 a.m. ET
2017 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals    8 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET 

Golf Channel – in its fourth year of televising live coverage of the National Finals – will highlight the skills of all 80 finalists, which will be complemented by a series of high-quality features introducing viewers to competitors across the eight respective age groups (Boys/Girls 7-9; 10-11; 12-13 and 14-15).

Competitors will participate in three respective skills: the Drive, Chip and Putt, with champions in each skill awarded across the eight age groups, along with the recognition of an overall champion from each group. Driving will be contested from Augusta National’s Tournament Practice Area, with players hitting two drives, and the longer of the two (provided it is in bounds) will be counted for score. Chipping, (also conducted from the Tournament Practice Area) will include two chips and be calculated based on cumulative proximity to the hole. And putting, which will be staged on Augusta National’s 18th green, will be measured based on finalists’ cumulative proximity to the hole from two different putting distances.

Rich Lerner will handle play-by-play with Peter Jacobsen serving as lead analyst. Reporting from the Tournament Practice Area and alongside the 18th green will be Michael Breed, Paige Mackenzie and Charlie Rymer, and Steve Sands will conduct interviews. Past Masters champions and Tournament Invitees are expected to arrive at Augusta National during the telecast, interacting with finalists and conducting interviews to discuss the value of the youth initiative in helping to grow the game. In addition to its on-air telecast, Golf Channel also will dedicate pre- and post-event coverage on its daily news shows, Golf Central and Morning Drive, and on Golf Channel Digital.

The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will kick off Golf Channel’s weeklong coverage of the Masters, which will feature nearly 60 live hours of the network’s Golf Central Live From the Masters news coverage, focusing on emerging storylines, analysis, features and guest interviews, beginning Monday, April 3.

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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 73 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. Golf Channel Digital delivers unmatched coverage of the world of golf, and acts as a destination for fans to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content, in addition to the NBC Sports App, powered by Playmaker Media. 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;, 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.

–NBC Sports Group–