On Monday, the 19th season of Big Break premieres on Golf Channel. The network's most popular series heads to Mexico this season with 12 golfers, six men and six women, split into three teams in hopes of getting that one tournament exemption on the LPGA or PGA Tour.
The prospective golfers come from all over the country and from Luxembourg and there's not an unattractive person in the group. If you're not familiar with the series, the Big Break takes 12 golfers who have had experience either in college or on professional satellite tours, bringing them to one location to participate in various challenges to whittle the cast into one winner. The Big Break Champion gets a tournament exemption to the PGA or LPGA Tour. Some have continued their careers on the PGA or LPGA Tours to varying levels of success.
After a brief introduction to the cast at an exclusive New York cigar club, the golfers discover immediately that the band color on their heaters correspond to the three teams on this cycle. Soon after, they are sent on their way to the exclusive Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf and Spa Resort. The golfers quickly get to know one another and then find their way to hosts Tom Abbott and Stephanie Sparks who inform them of the rules and prizes for this season.
Right off the bat, the golfers are sent to the signature Glass Break challenge where they have to shatter a pane of glass adorned with their names. Quickly, the golfers find they're under pressure not only to win for themselves, but for their respective teams.
In the first episode, look for Chad Schulze, who has a lot of idiosyncracies before hitting the ball to the point where he talks to the club, and Rob West, whose daughter has Down's Syndrome. Their personalities and one liners quickly make them stars of this particular installment.
As usual, the series is shot well so the cast and the Pete Dye-designed course at Iberostar look tremendous in HD. Hosts Abbott and Sparks call each challenge as if they're on the 18th at Augusta, but then again, both work regularly on Golf Channel's golf coverage, so it's only natural that they make every shot and missed putt sound extremely dramatic.
Overall, Golf Channel doesn't deviate from the formula of Big Break by creating personalities, rivalries, tension and comedy. It works well on this premiere episode. Hopefully, the energy from the season premiere will continue throughout Big Break Mexico.