Jack Nicklaus will be among the many inspired and inspirational voices in “Beyond the Green,” a CBS Sports Special that takes a look at how golf has nurtured future leaders and transformed lives. The hour-long show that will air Sunday, May 5, at 2:00 p.m. ET will be presented in a series of documentary-style profiles that highlight the ambitious drive of youths and adults that overcame family struggles, illness and injury, and discovered golf’s healing powers along their path to a happier life.
The hour will also see the national premier of a public-service announcement starring the Golden Bear and promoting the joint initiative by the PGA of America and USGA to “Tee it Forward.” The PSA, filmed earlier this year at the Nicklaus family’s Florida home club of The Bear’s Club, encourages golfers of all skill levels to play up at least one tee to make the game faster and more enjoyable. For a sneak preview of the PSA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoECiPIbdIs
Beyond the Green is narrated by CBS Sports commentator Bill Macatee, and precedes CBS’ coverage of the Wells Fargo Championship. The show is divided into two themes: “Building Future Leaders” and “Transforming Lives Through Golf.” In the first 30 minutes, and in a profile called “Heart of a Lion,” we meet John Paul George of Juno Beach, Fla., the son of Champions Tour coach/caddie Derek George. John Paul was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which results in a heart half the size of a developed one. Today, John Paul will soon celebrate his 19th birthday, and enjoys playing golf daily with his father. Inspired by his infant son’s fight for life, overcoming multiple surgeries and complications, Derek George wrote “Heart of a Lion” in 2010. Jack Nicklaus was introduced to John Paul when he was a student at The Benjamin School in North Palm Beach. He later contributed to Derek George’s book and he opens the profile Sunday on John Paul.
Other stories of “Building Future Leaders” include:
- Houston’s United Team – A showcase of the values of the PGA Junior League takes viewers to Houston, Texas, with profiles of juniors Kenlie Barrett and Nick Pursell; their coach, PGA/LPGA Professional Aurora Kirchner-McClain and the inspiration applied by apprentice professional Zach Winkler, who lost an arm in an automobile accident.
- The Story of Journei – From Flint, Mich., 9-year-old Boys & Girls Club member Journei is the product of a single-parent home, encountering many issues interacting with others. Through the mentoring of PGA Professional Joe Simpson and the golf instruction she has received, Journei has overcome the social and emotional challenges she previously faced.
- A New Member of the Family – Viewers will learn the heartwarming success story of Lester Bell of Dallas, Texas, who attempted to make sense of living in poverty and unsafe conditions at home. At age 13, Bell would discover a love for golf, but more importantly a bond with Ira McGraw Jr., the PGA general manager and director of golf at Cedar Crest Golf Course in Dallas. Now 18, and captain of his high school golf team, Bell has found peace at home. McGraw and his wife, Yesenia, are his legal guardians.
Beyond the Green’s final 30 minutes explore “Transforming Lives Through Golf”:
- A Wave Carried Him Back to Shore – PGA teaching professional Will Robins of Citrus Heights, Calif., and his bride, Amanda, were on their honeymoon Dec. 26, 2004, when they were swept out to sea by a tsunami generated by the Sumatra earthquake. The tsunami resulted in the deaths of 238,000 in Southeast Asia, including more than 3,000 on Ko Phi Phi Don, the island where the Robins were vacationing. Robins outlines how he dedicated his career to those that did not survive the tragedy, and developed a remarkably successful golf instruction program.
- Golf’s Healing Powers – Turner Fordham was stricken with leukemia at age 12, and turned to golf as a therapeutic activity. The non-contact sport served as her escape from the endless treatments and hospital visits. Fordham capped her prep career in Georgia as a member of the girls’ public Class 4A high school state champion golf team. In remission for several years, Turner’s leukemia returned in 2012. She is undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments. Fordham shares how golf, along with Georgia PGA Hall of Famer Lowell Fritz, helped inspire her ongoing recovery.
- From the Battlefield to the Tee – Marine Lance Cpl. Tim Lang of Ann Arbor, Mich., lost a leg as a result of serving in Iraq in 2006. Today, he is an ambassador for the Salute Military Golf Association, co-founded by PGA Professional Jim Estes of Olney, Md. Lang is inspiring countless others through the game that helped him heal. An outstanding prep athlete prior to his military service, Lang endured 48 surgeries, including 28 before losing his leg below the right knee. Lang has become an accomplished golfer, and was honorary captain for the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team. He is completing a degree in criminology at Eastern Michigan University.
- Get Golf Ready Spells Success – PGA Professional Ed Ibarguen, the general manager and director of golf at Duke University Golf Club in Durham, N.C., ignites passion in students through Get Golf Ready, the industry’s nationally-branded program to bring new golfers to the game and attract those who have left the sport. Businessman Bryan Lach, a lapsed golfer, resurrects his love for the game and shares how staying on the course helped close a business deal. Laurie Hyland, an employee of Duke University, shares how not learning the game left her out of family activities, but she now joins her husband—an avid golfer—on the golf course.