ORLANDO, Fla. -- Golf Channel’s popular BIG BREAK reality competition series has picked Amelia Island, Fla., as the competition grounds for its 21st season, premiering Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.
BIG BREAK FLORIDA, produced in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA and taking place at Omni Amelia Island Plantation, will feature a cast of 12 women competing to make their lifelong dreams of playing alongside the world’s top golfers come true. The winner of BIG BREAK FLORIDA will receive an exemption to the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic (June 5-8, 2014), exempt status on the 2015 Symetra Tour with all entry fees waived, cash and other prizes.
Filmed on location in October, the series will unfold at Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s three award-winning golf courses -- Oak Marsh, Ocean Links and Long Point Golf Courses. Oak Marsh Golf Course, a classic Pete Dye design, is ranked as one of the top 75 resort courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest and as one of “Florida’s 50 Finest Courses” by Travel & Leisure. Ocean Links Golf Course, a Bobby Weed design, features five oceanfront holes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and winds through six miles of natural sand dunes and seaside terrain that is unique to Amelia Island. Long Point Golf Course is a Tom Fazio design that features rolling fairways winding through three distinctive settings: marshlands, thick oak and pine forest, and scenic oceanfront dunes.
“BIG BREAK is a cornerstone of our original series franchises, and it has proven to be a launching pad for many professional golfers hoping to break through to the LPGA Tour, including Solheim Cup veterans Kristy McPherson, Ryann O’Toole and Gerina Piller,” said Golf Channel Senior Vice President of Programming Tom Knapp. “One of our objectives for BIG BREAK is to place the contestants in tournament golf conditions while showcasing a picturesque destination, and we accomplished both with BIG BREAK FLORIDA. We are excited to partner with VISIT FLORIDA and Omni Amelia Island Plantation for the series’ 21st season.”
“Golf Channel's selection of Omni Amelia Island Plantation as home to BIG BREAK FLORIDA validates our exceptional golf offerings and provides us with an incredibly unique opportunity to showcase the resort as a premier golf destination,” said Paul Eckert, general manager of Omni Amelia Island Plantation. “We are very excited and honored to represent the Omni brand, as well as the great state of Florida.”
“Big Break Florida is the start of a relationship between VISIT FLORIDA, NBC Sports and the Golf Channel that will showcase Florida as a preferred destination for leisure travel,” said Paul Phipps, VISIT FLORIDA’s Chief Marketing Officer. “With nearly 1,500 courses to choose from in the Sunshine State, we look forward to this unique opportunity to reach Big Break’s audience of avid golf enthusiasts.”
Golf Channel’s BIG BREAK show concept pits highly skilled golfers against each other in a variety of challenges that test their physical skills and mental toughness. During BIG BREAK FLORIDA, the competitors – who will be announced in January – will be subject to skills challenges from tee-to-green, including two of the series’ signature challenges, the popular “Glass Break” and “Flop Wall” challenges. One contestant will be eliminated each week, with the last player standing awarded her BIG BREAK, an opportunity to compete on the LPGA Tour.
Past BIG BREAK champions have won tournament exemptions to compete on some of the world’s top professional circuits, including the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, European Tour, LPGA Tour, Web.com Tour and Canadian Tour.
Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, BIG BREAK VII: REUNION champion and PGA TOUR professional, captured his first PGA TOUR victory in 2012 at The McGladrey Classic and is playing full-time on the PGA TOUR. 2013 Solheim Cup team member Gerina Piller (BIG BREAK PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND competitor), 2011 Solheim Cup team member Ryann O’Toole (BIG BREAK SANDALS RESORTS competitor) and 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Kristy McPherson (BIG BREAK VI: TRUMP NATIONAL competitor) are currently playing full-time on the LPGA Tour. Several other past BIG BREAK competitors are currently competing on the LPGA Tour, including Kim Welch, Nicole Smith and Kelly Jacques.
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About Golf Channel
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Customers of participating cable, satellite, telco and other video subscription services, are able to enjoy 24/7 streaming of live Golf Channel content through GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel’s mobile application, Golf Live Extra. Golf Channel’s digital platforms are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that connect the world to golf.
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 91.5 million visitors in 2012 who spent $71.8 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing more than one million Floridians. For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – generates more than $258 in tourism spending and $15 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves nearly 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including 2,700 invested Partners, 8,900 web affiliates and major strategic alliance partnerships with Disney Destinations, Dollar Rent A Car, The Hertz Corporation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to www.VISITFLORIDA.org or follow our corporate blog at www.SunshineMatters.org.
About the Omni Amelia Island Plantation
Nestled at the tip of a barrier island off the Northeast Florida coast, Omni Amelia Island Plantation surrounds itself with sparkling Atlantic waters, lush salt marshlands and the Intracoastal Waterway. Ranked as one of the top 25 islands in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, Amelia Island is home to this award-winning, luxury resort that is in perfect harmony with nature. The 1,350-acre property boasts 404 luxury oceanfront guest rooms and suites, as well as 300 one-, two- and three-bedroom villas. Omni Amelia Island Plantation's three courses – Ocean Links, Oak Marsh and Long Point – offer 54 holes of championship golf designed by Pete Dye, Bobby Weed and Tom Fazio showcasing seven seaside holes, the most in Florida. The resort also offers the largest pool deck in Northeast Florida presenting spectacular Atlantic views, three-and-a-half miles of uninterrupted beach; 23 Har-Tru® tennis courts; a boutique shopping village, a nature-inspired signature spa; two state-of-the-art fitness centers; nine culinary options ranging from casual to gourmet; 80,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space; kids camps; and award-winning recreation for adventurers including kayaking, paddleboarding, horseback riding, Segway™ tours and seven miles of paved trails. Omni Amelia Island Plantation offers authentic, genuine guest experiences with AAA Four-Diamond service and the expectations of the Omni brand.