A new golf TV show will be launching soon and I have to admit, I’m pretty intrigued by the concept being presented. 59Watch is currently in pre-production and a full grass roots fundraising campaign is underway to try and get the show launched.
What I like most about 59Watch is the effort to grow the game of golf within different outlets that are becoming more popular in the game. 59Watch is going to appeal to the hard-core golf fans like myself, but also attract the attention of younger golfers and ones that also might be new to the game. This is what the game needs.
59Watch will feature amateur and pro golfers in competition to shoot the elusive “59” in golf. The amateurs will be grouped in a foursome and the pros will play as a twosome. Both teams will play a scramble format event with 59 in mind.
The amateur golfers will have the help of a caddie, while the pros will be left to plotting the golf course on their own. The Player/Caddie relationship will be on full display during the competition and get inside the minds of both people to show what really goes on in those “huddles” before the ball is in the air on the next shot.
59Watch promises to bring new and innovative technologies to the golf course and provide the viewer with interactive ways to get involved before, during and after the show. To me, it feels like you might be able to react real-time to what you are seeing on the screen and maybe somehow communicate live with the players and caddies. For creative and proprietary reasons, I could not get more information on the new technologies being used by 59Watch, but I was told we’ve never seen them in golf course applications before.
John Klisz is the shows creator and managing partner. I reached out to John to ask a few follow up questions, and here’s what he had to say:
Front9Back9: Where are you going to find these Pro and Amateur golfers?
59Watch: We think of the world of professional golf as a small one, just the players seen on TV getting most of the attention. But there are thousands of men and women who play golf for money every year across several tours. 59Watch will need about 30.
Finding amateurs will be the fun part. Just as there is a deep well of pros in the US, not to mention the rest of the world, there are several times more who already play in Pro-Ams or would if they could. The difference here is that, instead of playing with the pros, they will be playing against them. Online video applications will go live in November.
Front9Back9: Do the Amateur golfers have to have an established verified handicap? Do they need to be “scratch” players?
59Watch: Some will and some won’t, but no one wants to watch bad golf. Under our formats the scoring ability of amateur teams will be much greater than their parts. And how we select the teams depends on the format of the episode and the season’s theme. For instance, in a match between up and coming college players and pros from their rival school, everyone will be good. For a match that involves beating the course as much as the opponent, we’ll be looking for compelling personalities or a more local flavor from both teams. Golf is a big tent and we have no set profile in mind for the teams.
Front9Back9: Will the caddies for the Amateur teams be “professional” caddies and will they each have their own caddie? Or will the Amateur foursome have just one caddie
59Watch: The Caddie is what truly sets 59Watch apart in terms of connecting audiences to the on-screen competition. S/he is either a professional caddie or coach and guides the amateur teams through the competition…because they are going to need it! They only get the one, whereas the pros get none and have to figure out their own course strategy.
Front9Back9: Will 59Watch be hosted on one golf course or will you be hosting the competition on different golf courses?
59Watch: Again, this depends on the episode and the season’s theme. If we are shooting a Carolina Series, we will explore courses from Myrtle Beach to the Blue Ridge. If it’s Pacific Northwest, we will move around the region. When we are focusing on juniors or men and women on golf buddy trips, a single venue will likely be used.
You’ll be hearing more about 59Watch in the near future and I’ll be sharing the progress of the show as it gets closer to launch. They’re getting close to locking down venues to host their golf show and they’re also working with professional mini-tours to build partnerships with as well. In the meantime, go follow 59Watch on Twitter @59WatchTV and visit the website, 59WatchTV.com. You can also find a donation link on the website to help them out if this is something that you feel you want to help grow.
I’ve included the full press release below to get your golf juices flowing!
59WATCH Matches Amateurs Versus Pros In New Golf TV Show
Richmond, Virginia, USA
October 12, 2015
Scramble Productions announces pre-production has started for its new golf competition program, “59Watch.” Teams of amateur and pro golfers, pitted against each other and the course, will compete under various formats to reach golf’s magic number of 59. Styled as a one hour golf telecast with bonus and live interactive online content, its team of booth and on-course Hosts will engage players and fans during an 18 hole competition.
While the pros are left to their own routines, amateur teams will benefit from the assistance of a Caddie who will chart the course with his or her team during a practice round and hold a strategy session to help them develop a winning plan. The Caddie-Player relationship will be on full display, and elements of design and game management will be explored in short in-show segments and as extended digital features. At its heart, though, is the competition, which will be played under the Rules of Golf with only local variations to suit the episode’s format. The title refers to a team’s status upon reaching crucial scoring milestones during the match. A team is “on 59Watch” when they reach a certain number of strokes under par with enough holes left to be within reach of scoring 59. A typical match features an amateur foursome versus a pro twosome, and while creative course setups and diverse team combinations add interest, a fair fight is guaranteed. Stress on the teams will increase as every birdie and eagle heightens the pressure of attaining 59.
Lead partner in Scramble Productions and show creator John Klisz explains the concept: “The goal of 59Watch is to entertain and inspire by presenting compelling golf competitions to both the casual and core fan and anyone looking to take up the game. By offering a second screen experience and introducing some fresh technologies never before used on a golf course, we aim to contribute to the overall enjoyment and growth of the sport.”
He adds, “For those simply looking for one hour of entertaining golf, we deliver a well paced, first person view inside the competition and a winner at the end each round. Anyone wanting a more interactive experience can engage through our package of app based and social media activities that will be tied to each show.”
For the competitors, the stakes in 59Watch will be real. Pros compete for money, entry fees, and tour sponsors while the amateur teams will be representing favored charities, seeking scholarships, or playing for home course pride. All competitors will be eligible for prize packages offered by show sponsors. Episodes of 59Watch are structured as self-contained, but each season will carry a unique theme such as Collegiate Rivals Challenge or Desert Shootout Series for which there will be a Super Scramble at season’s end for show winners. Some episodes will feature golfers “taken” by the Hosts while on their way to a golf trip and whisked away to be on 59Watch.
A grass roots funding campaign to assist producers in receiving investor and university matching funds will launch October 15th and a Donate button is now available on 59WatchTV.com. Show updates and contact information for interested amateur and pro teams can be found on the site and by following @59WatchTV on Twitter. Prospective show partners and sponsors are encouraged to contact Mr. Klisz.
Scramble Partners, dba Scramble Productions is a newly formed corporation operating in Richmond, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. For general inquiries or to reach the managing partner contact
attn: John Klisz
115 North 1st Street Suite 311
Richmond, VA 23219