This weekend, NBC Sports and Golf Channel will air simultaneous coverage of the Honda Classic. While NBC will air its traditional shot-by-shot coverage of the PGA National Resort Championship Course, Golf Channel will focus on holes 15, 16 & 17 with its own production crew and commentators. This trio of holes known as “The Bear Trap” is said to be the most difficult three hole stretch on the PGA Tour. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course is supposed to challenge the world’s best golfers and last year, “The Bear Trap” averaged two shots over par for the three holes.
We have the details from NBC Sports/Golf Channel on what the coverage will entail.
Traditional Coverage of The Honda Classic on NBC and ‘The Bear Trap’ Spotlight on Golf Channel Begin at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday & Sunday
Complementary Coverage Just One of the New Ways NBC Sports Group is Offering More Golf to Fans
NBC Sports Group Airing 22 Hours of Live Coverage of The Honda Classic
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 1, 2012) –The NBC Sports Group introduces a new way to watch the PGA TOUR this weekend when it presents live traditional coverage of the third and final rounds of The Honda Classic on NBC and “Spotlight” coverage of the three signature holes known as “The Bear Trap” on Golf Channel at the same time, both beginning at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. This first-of-its-kind experience for golf represents the NBC Sports Group’s commitment to super-serve golf fans across multiple platforms for many years to come.
While NBC is on the air live from 3-6 p.m. ET this weekend with traditional coverage of The Honda Classic – which will showcase a stellar international field, including Tiger Woods, who will be playing this event for the first time since turning pro – Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage will air live from the same tournament, but offering viewers an exclusive look at the signature holes of the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA National Resort Championship Course and one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA TOUR. In 2011, “The Bear Trap” proved the toughest of any three-hole stretch on the PGA TOUR, with the field averaging nearly two strokes over par for the three holes.
Nicklaus, nicknamed the “Golden Bear,” redesigned the Championship Course in 1990, which led to the origin of “The Bear Trap” name for holes 15, 16 and 17. Nicklaus has said that playing his signature three-hole stretch is all about precision, adding, “That stretch is about guts.”
Designed to complement NBC’s traditional coverage, Golf Channel will provide curious viewers a chance to see how some of the best in the game fare through Nicklaus’ signature three-hole gauntlet, which can make or break a golfer’s quest for victory. At the 1994 Senior PGA Championship, Raymond Floyd entered “The Bear Trap” with a one-shot lead. He then went five-over par on three holes and lost by five shots to Lee Trevino.
Golf Channel will provide its usual Thursday and Friday early round coverage and weekend lead-in/early coverage, but on the weekend the network will undertake an entirely separate production for its telecast of “The Bear Trap,” utilizing its own equipment, crew and commentators. Throughout the week, Golf Channel will be gathering player reaction to “The Bear Trap,” and will roll those interviews into the telecast, as well as video of past, dramatic moments. The coverage also will feature graphics and statistics exclusive to playing “The Bear Trap,” past and present.
On-air commentators will include Gary Williams calling the action at the 15th and 17th holes, Jerry Foltz at 16, Phil Parkin on the course and Todd Lewis conducting player interviews. Frank Nobilo, a 14-time winner on professional tours around the world and a three-time member of the International Presidents Cup team, will serve as the main analyst.
“We are committed to innovation and this unique approach is designed to bring renewed interest to the game of golf,” said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. “The Spotlight coverage of one of the most demanding stretches on the PGA TOUR will not only showcase these signature holes, but also build more interest in the traditional coverage on NBC.”
“I’m delighted to be part of an initiative to give viewers a special look of one of the most devilish stretches of holes in golf, The Bear Trap,” said Nobilo. “The Bear Trap has provided some exciting and compelling golf over the years, and we will have the luxury of showcasing to viewers how it is playing throughout the weekend and how it might impact the outcome.”
Golf Channel’s Spotlight coverage test at The Honda Classic this week – part of NBC’s extended agreement with the PGA TOUR announced in August – will provide the NBC Sports Group with valuable feedback to plan future innovations for golf viewers. The new agreement, which officially commences in 2013, will allow the NBC Sports Group to better serve fans in new and innovative ways, such as complementary coverage and online streaming.
The Honda Classic – Golf Channel and NBC Live Tournament Airtimes
Thursday — 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live traditional coverage)
Friday — 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live traditional coverage)
Saturday — 1-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live traditional coverage)
Saturday — 3-6 p.m. ET (NBC live traditional coverage)
Saturday — 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live complementary coverage)
Sunday — 1-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live traditional coverage)
Sunday — 3-6 p.m. ET (NBC live traditional coverage)
Sunday — 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel live complementary coverage)
That will do it.