Golf Channel and NBC Sports’ Golf Films is rolling out its most robust slate yet, TheWrap can exclusively report, with five new movies scheduled to premiere this year. It all starts with a two-night Ben Hogan documentary, which is narrated by Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) and begins on Monday, June 17 — the day after the 2019 U.S. Open concludes.
Here’s the slate:
- “Hogan”: a two-night documentary on the life and legacy of Ben Hogan.
- “Tiger Woods – Chasing History”: a career retrospective on the 81-time PGA Tour winner, and weighing Woods’ chances at surpassing Sam Snead’s record of 82 wins.
- “Tom at Turnberry”: commemorating the 10-year anniversary of Tom Watson’s unthinkable run (at age 59) at winning a sixth Claret Jug in the 2009 Open at Turnberry.
- “The Road to Royal Portrush”: Sky Sports chronicles the significance of The Open’s return to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years, and for only the second time ever.
- “The Legend of East Lake”: reflecting on Bobby Jones and Tom Cousins’ impact on the East Lake (Atlanta) golf landscape and community, and reflecting on Tiger Woods’ unforgettable Tour Championship victory last September.
- “Payne”: On the eve of the PGA Tour’s 20th annual Payne Stewart Award recognition, the updated version of the Emmy-nominated Payne film will focus on how the late Stewart’s charismatic spirit is being passed down to future generations of professionals.
TheWrap can also exclusively debut the “Hogan” trailer, which readers can find above.
Additionally, Golf Films is launching a dedicated website (www.Golf-Films.com) featuring excerpts from the division’s full library of films, along with archived content and testimonials on the current and future projects, TheWrap has learned.
Golf Films initially launched in 2014 with an Arnold Palmer film and the Emmy-nominated “Payne.” In addition to the slate mentioned above, the group is also working on another Woods project, along with a film detailing the allure and mystique of St. Andrews Links in Scotland, the birthplace of the sport.
“Storytelling is a hallmark of NBC Sports, and Golf Films is a tremendous example of our commitment to tell authentic, engaging and heartfelt stories,” Mike McCarley, president of golf at NBC Sports Group, told TheWrap. “Golf is a sport rich with compelling stories and unforgettable moments that we chronicle through both long-form documentaries and short films. Our 2019 Golf Films slate is our most-robust ever, expanding our library of high-quality, award-winning and critically acclaimed projects.”
Read more about the new Golf Films slate below — descriptions are in Golf Channel’s own words.
Monday-Tuesday, June 17-18, 9 p.m. ET
“Hogan,” a two-part biopic on 64-time PGA Tour winner Ben Hogan chronicles one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history, reflecting on the Texan’s indelible impact on professional golf in spite of a near-fatal automobile accident that put the prime years of his career in serious jeopardy. Coming from humble beginnings, the film examines Hogan’s incredible journey to becoming one of the greatest golfers of all-time, serving as the inspiration for the 1951 motion picture “Follow the Sun.”
Being presented with limited commercial interruption by Charles Schwab, “Hogan’s” two parts — Monday night’s “Perseverance” and Tuesday night’s “Perfection” — will be narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Kyle Chandler, and be produced for Golf Films by 13-time Emmy Award winner Israel DeHerrera.
“Tom at Turnberry”
“Tom at Turnberry” will recount how Tom Watson, who at age 59 and 26 years removed from his most-recent major championship victory, made a remarkable run at his sixth Claret Jug at the 2009 Open at Turnberry, ultimately losing in a playoff to Stewart Cink. Premiering in July ahead of NBC Sports’ comprehensive coverage of The 148th Open, “Tom at Turnberry” will commemorate the 10th anniversary of one of the most-improbable sports moments in recent memory, detailing the circumstances that led to Watson’s magical week that no one could have anticipated.
The project is being produced for Golf Films by DeHerrera.
“The Road to Royal Portrush”
Ahead of The Open’s return to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years, “The Road to Royal Portrush” will document the political and cultural tension that contributed to the long lapse dating back to 1951. The Sky Sports-produced film will explore the significance of golf’s original championship returning to Royal Portrush for just the second time ever.
“The Road to Royal Portrush“ is produced for Golf Films by Sky Sports’ Pete MacLeod.
“Tiger Woods – Chasing History”
Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters last month represented his first major championship in more than a decade, and marked the 15-time major champion’s 81st career PGA Tour win. “Tiger Woods – Chasing History” will offer a retrospective on Woods’ legendary career, and examine his chances at passing Sam Snead’s 82 victories for the most all-time on the PGA Tour.
“Tiger Woods – Chasing History” is produced for Golf Films by DeHerrera/Jay Kossoff.
As the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Playoffs culminate in August for the very first time, Golf Films will present an updated version of its Emmy-nominated “Payne.” In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the PGA Tour’s annual Payne Stewart Award, the updated version of the film not only will focus on the life and legacy of Stewart, but also on how his spirit lives on and is being passed down to future generations through the annual award presented in an emotional ceremony the week of the Tour Championship. The special airing of the film will be broadcast on NBC leading into Final Round coverage of the BMW Championship, as well as across Golf Channel the week of the Tour Championship.
“Payne,” an Emmy-nominated Outstanding Sports Documentary in 2015, was originally produced by 15-time Emmy Award winner Peter Franchella.
“The Legend of East Lake”
Also in conjunction with the Tour Championship, Golf Films will debut “The Legend of East Lake,” detailing how East Lake’s (Atlanta) legend continues to grow, most recently through Tiger Woods’ unforgettable victory at the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour last September. The film also will reflect on the influence of Bobby Jones on East Lake Golf Club, as well as the impact of Tom Cousins on the revitalization of the East Lake community.
“The Legend of East Lake” is produced for Golf Films by DeHerrera.
Augusta National Women’s Amateur Film
Monday, June 24
In addition to the five new Golf Films premiering this summer, Golf Channel also is scheduled to air a special film provided by Augusta National Golf Club on Monday, June 24 (9 p.m. ET), that will reflect on the exciting inaugural edition of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur earlier this year. This follows Golf Films having expanded its storytelling offerings through Golf Films shorts last month, led by “When I Grow Up, I Want To…,” and “Greatness” (narrated by Tom Brady), which kicked off NBC Sports’ coverage of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals respectively in April. Collectively, the two Golf Films shorts drew more than one million views across social media and online.