FARGO — It’s almost as if WDAY-TV operations manager Stacey Anderson was part of a television game show where he won millions of dollars and couldn’t tell anybody until the show aired. In that case, he only has to wait a few more days for his latest project.
The “Hole in One Show with Dave Schultz” will unveil the first of nine episodes at 10:35 p.m. Sunday, a resurrection of a hole-in-one show that former sportscaster Jim Adelson created in the late 1960s.
“The very first episode has a fantastic story line and we’ll leave it at that,” Anderson said. “It’s pretty cool how the show starts and ends.”
Anything cool and sports related on TV is probably welcomed these days. With the COVID-19 pandemic encompassing the country, it’s essentially the only game in town for area sports television that’s not a rerun. The show will be aired statewide on North Dakota ABC stations like WDAY-TV in Fargo for the next nine Sundays.
“With everything going on in the world right now, we’re thrilled to be able to bring some positivity to the airwaves and give them a 30-minute escape every Sunday,” Schultz said. “We’re proud of the product and definitely excited for people to see it.”
Schultz is the brainchild behind the show, which was recorded in one day last fall. The head professional at Maple River Golf Club in Mapleton, N.D., Schultz retrofitted the No. 9 hole at his course to include lights, which will come into play in the final episode.
“If you’re thinking about watching some type of sporting activity, this might be the only draw,” Anderson said. “We think there’s going to be a big audience for a lot of reasons. The golfers in this town, with the weather right now and people like to see green grass and people golfing.”
The show was put together using a trifecta of resources. Schultz is the pro and the host, going on air in honor of his father, former sportscaster Ed Schultz who passed away in 2018. The Forum Communications Company combination of Anderson and his WDAY crew and FCC’s Click Content Studios provided the technical expertise. That includes multiple cameras, scaffolding to get a better camera angle, a drone and TrackMan radar technology that shows the flight of the ball common on PGA Tour telecasts.
Dustin Arnold, the regional representative for TrackMan, was on hand during the entire taping to make sure the system was used properly.
“It was a lot more in-depth and a lot more work than we initially thought,” Schultz said. “It brings another fun element to the show. And it brings the familiarity of watching the shot tracker like people do on the PGA Tour.”
Each golfer got two shots from 150 yards, with each playing for a charity of their choice.
“It means a lot to them,” Schultz said. “Plus, the entertainment value is really high. You have amateur golfers getting two shots on TV, it doesn’t get much more pressure-packed than that.”
The taping of the show last fall began at 6:30 a.m. and went into the night. With each show, Anderson said, the crew got better at operations. Both Anderson and Jim Heilman of Click Content Studios worked with Adelson on his hole-in-one show.
“Jim Adelson left a great blueprint for it and we improved on that concept,” Anderson said.
That made it even more important to Dave Schultz, who said Anderson and Heilman were “like family to me when I was growing up.”
“When we started, you could tell they were engaged and wanted to make it the best it could be,” Schultz said.