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Reality Check – Driver vs Driver

New Golf Channel series puts drivers to the test

Reality television has been a hit ever since it debuted at the dawn of the new millennium, and golf has been a big part of that with its “Big Break” series. With this fall’s “Driver vs. Driver” on Golf Channel, though, the genre has taken a fascinating new turn into the world of golf club design.

The seven-episode series, which debuts October 4, airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET through November 22 and features 11 individuals or teams vying to have their design selected as Wilson Golf’s newest driver for 2017. The winner will receive a $500,000 prize and will have their driver sold under the Wilson Staff brand at Worldwide Golf Shops stores and online starting on Black Friday.

The brainchild of Doug Thiel, Wilson’s global marketing director for golf, the competition will be judged by Wilson Golf president Tim Clarke, former USGA technical director Frank Thomas, two-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Streelman and former Chicago Bears line- backer Brian Urlacher, an avid golfer.

“As far as the golf industry, this show is the first of its kind,” Thiel said. “Three years ago, Wilson Golf held a brainstorming session in which we came up with the crowdsourcing concept. That idea quickly developed into the reality show that was pitched to Golf Channel almost a year later.”

Al Morris, the president of Worldwide Golf Shops, appears in one of the episodes and consults with the contestants on factors important to retail sales.

“The concept of the show was to give amateur golf and design enthusiasts a pathway to developing the next world-class Wilson Staff driver. This show helps to explain how a driver gets from ideation to being sold in stores,” Thiel said. “Every aspect of the process is shown, and Al plays a very important role to help explain how critical retail input helps to drive final design decisions.”

This article was republished with permission from Worldwide Golf Insider’s October-November 2016 edition.  To read the entire insider, please click HERE.