Orlando, Fla. -- The Golf Channel, borrowing a page from
the National Football League, has scheduled a seven-month series of "Drive, Chip
& Putt" golf-skills competition for youngsters.
The network said events, designed to encourage
participation from children ages 7 to 12, are a cross between the National Football
League's Punt, Pass & Kick competition and Little League.
The junior golf events will be sponsored by Callaway Golf,
Gateway computers and cable affiliates in 28 markets from March 20 through Oct. 30. Eight
of the competitions will be staged in conjunction with The Golf Channel's PGA, LPGA
and Nike Tour tournament coverage, during which the network will air affiliates'
juniors coverage as interstitial programming.
The Golf Channel will also run footage produced by
affiliates in its nightly news program, Golf Central.
Time Warner Cable will link up with "Drive, Chip &
Putt" in eight markets, followed by Cox Communications Inc. and AT&T Broadband
& Internet Services (formerly Tele-Communications Inc.) in five markets apiece, and
Comcast Cable Communications in three, said David Manougian, the network's senior
vice president of consumer marketing.
The network will air the year-end finale, slated for Nov.
13, Manougian said.
Callaway and Gateway will sponsor the juniors coverage
within Golf Central and be featured in a 32-page guide to be distributed at the
events. Sponsors and affiliates will get signage and sampling opportunities at the 28
junior tourneys and also will be featured in cross-channel spots provided by Golf as well
as on its Web site, Manougian said.
The Golf Channel intends to make this an annual feature, he