‘Big Break Myrtle Beach’: Golf Channel Reality Show

By:Bob Gillespie


“Big Break,” Golf Channel’s popular reality show/skills competition series, brings its own brand of golf drama and angst to the Grand Strand when “Big Break Myrtle Beach” airs its debut episode Oct. 7 at 9 p.m.

GC analyst and LPGA Tour player Paige Mackenzie and the network’s Tom Abbott will co-host the series’ 21st season with six men and six women, all aspiring professional golfers, battling for the top prize: an exemption into a 2015 PGA Tour event (Valspar Championship in Tampa, Fla.) or LPGA Tour event (Portland Classic), plus more than $100,000 in cash and other prizes. Among past competitors who have used exposure from the series to jumpstart their careers are South Carolina’s own Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey of Bishopville and Conway’s Kristy McPherson.

The series was recorded in June at four of Myrtle Beach’s premier courses: the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island and the trio of courses at Myrtle Beach’s Barefoot Resort — the Dye Course, designed by famed architect Pete Dye and named 2013 South Carolina Golf Course of the Year by the SC Golf Course Owners Association; the Fazio Course by architect Tom Fazio; and the Love Course by PGA Tour player Davis Love III. All three Barefoot courses are ranked among the nation’s top 100 courses by Golf Magazine, Golf Digest and Golfweek.

The lineup of competitors includes:

Men – Jimmy Brandt, Auburn, Ala.; Charlie Harrison, Atlanta; Christian Heavens, Orlando, Fla.; Dave Markle, Shelburne, Ontario, Canada; Toph Peterson, Gilbert, Ariz.; Anthony Quezada, Phoenix.

Women – Katie Detlefsen, Eagan, Minn.; Katy Harris, Humble, Texas; Carolin Pinegger, Orlando, Fla./Schladming, Austria; Krista Puisite, Austin, Texas/Riga, Latvia; Tessa Teachman, Baton Rouge, La.; Emily Tubert, Burbank, Calif.

Viewers of past episodes of the series know the competition plays out with different skills competitions and — in true “reality TV” style — insights into the backgrounds and personalities of the competitors. The contestants are chosen both for their golf talents and their “back stories,” making for often-gripping watching.

“Big Break Myrtle Beach” was produced in partnership with Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday and the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. To follow the series on social media, visit Facebook or follow on Twitter @BigBreak.

Think you can hang with the pros? Check out course reviews and insider tips for playing Pawleys Plantation and the Barefoot Dye course (get link when article is uploaded from legacy content).

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