FARGO — The day started for the resurrection of a local television hole-in-show at 7:30 a.m. at Maple River Golf Club of Mapleton, N.D., on Sunday. It ended with a champion at 9:30 p.m. under the lights.
Now comes the waiting game for the WDAY “Hole-in-One Show with Dave Schultz” that will air its first episode next spring. Did somebody sink the shot from 155 yards out to win a new car? Inquiring minds want to know.
“The final episode took on a life of its own,” said Schultz, the genesis behind bringing the show back that former KXJB sportscaster Jim Adelson made popular in the 1970s and ‘80s.
It will consist of nine episodes on Sunday nights on WDAY-TV beginning in April. The first eight shows comprised six contestants from area golf courses vying for a spot in the finals.
The winner from each of those eight episodes met to determine the overall champion, which wrapped up at 9:30 p.m. It was the first major run-through for the five light poles that were installed on the No. 9 hole at Maple River. Ten LED light panels made for good TV coverage, Schultz said.
“It lit up really well,” he said. “You could follow the ball the entire way and see everything. It is just cool playing golf at night. If you could light up three or four more holes, you’ve just expanded your revenue opportunity at golf.”
Schultz said he wasn’t concerned about golfers keeping the results quiet until next spring. He did not require any forms to be signed requiring golfers not to divulge what happened.
“It was a very interactive crowd in the championship show,” he said. “It was very appreciative and encouraging for the contestants. It was a big stage. It’s not easy to hit two shots on that stage under the lights.”
Adding to the glamour of the show was former Moorhead Country Club head professional Larry Murphy, who was Adelson’s sidekick for many of the former shows.
“I got a little choked up opening up the final show,” Schultz said. “It was a great way to connect the old show with the new show. It was just a ball, I could have been out there all night. When the lights go on, it just gets electric and it was really neat to crown the first hole-in-one show champion.”
Schultz said almost $18,000 was raised for local charities. Half of each golfer’s entry fee was earmarked toward that as well as a gift from Bell Bank, the title sponsor.