FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
GOLF CHANNEL SETS PRODUCTION PLANS FOR INAUGURAL DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT CHAMPIONSHIP NATIONAL FINALS FROM THE HOME OF THE MASTERS, SUNDAY, APRIL 6
Inaugural Youth Golf Development Initiative at Augusta National Golf Club Televised Exclusively by Golf Channel with Pre-Game Show, Followed by Four Hours of Live Coverage
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 13, 2014) – Golf Channel today announced final production plans for its exclusive, live coverage of the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals on Sunday, April 6, when 88 junior golfers from across the U.S. and Canada will participate in an experience of a lifetime at the home of the Masters – the historic Augusta National Golf Club.
Golf Channel will dedicate its full suite of production resources to the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals, showcasing the skill and the excitement of these young golfers. The network’s five hours of live coverage will include a pre-game show from the grounds of Augusta National and four hours of live competition. Golf Channel also will dedicate pre- and post-event news coverage on its daily news shows, Golf Central and Morning Drive, and at GolfChannel.com.
“We’re proud to be working alongside three of golf’s most recognized and influential organizations, the Masters Tournament, the USGA and The PGA of America, to celebrate this inaugural event,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “The Drive, Chip and Putt initiative is proving to be an effective way to promote our great game to the youth of the world in a fun and exciting way. And our coverage of the National Finals is going to be special as we witness these children fulfilling their dreams on the storied grounds of Augusta National.”
Live coverage will begin at 8 a.m. ET with a one-hour pre-game show from Golf Channel’s set at Augusta National hosted by Steve Sands, Charlie Rymer and Paige Mackenzie. Event highlights, video profiles of competitors and interviews with Masters Tournament Chairman Billy Payne, United States Golf Association President Tom O’Toole and PGA of America President Ted Bishop – representing the three organizations that have partnered to organize the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship – will be featured.
Coverage of the skills challenges featured in the National Finals will air from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ET. Rich Lerner will handle play-by-play duties, with Peter Jacobsen joining him in the booth as lead analyst. Covering the different age-groups from throughout Augusta National’s Tournament Practice Area, Clubhouse Putting Green and the No. 18 Green will be Charlie Rymer, Curt Byrum, Michael Breed and Kay Cockerill. Steve Sands will handle interviews.
The 88 juniors coming to Augusta National emerged from 121 local and regional qualifying events, and range in age from 7-15. Points for the Drive will be awarded based on the distance and accuracy of each drive. Points for the Chip will be calculated depending on how close a shot lands to the hole. The Putt is measured based on a player’s accuracy from three different distances, with the final putt taking place on Augusta National’s 18th green. For more information, please visit DriveChipandPutt.com.
Golf Channel commissioned original theme music for its coverage of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals, which will kick off the network’s weeklong coverage from the Masters. More than 55 hours of Live From the Masters news coverage is on tap from Augusta National, beginning Monday, April 7.
-NBC Sports Group-