The time is coming near: a docuseries going behind-the-scenes into Oklahoma State’s men’s golf program will premiere next week, and Rickie Fowler is excited.
Fowler and NBC Sports Group announced last month that they had teamed up for an Oklahoma State four-part docuseries, entitled “Driven: Oklahoma State Cowboys.” The series will be executive produced by Main Event Productions, where Fowler is CEO and president, and written by 20-time Emmy winner Ollie Stokes.
The first part will premiere on Golf Channel on May 7 at 10 p.m. Eastern. The second episode will premiere on Golf Channel on May 14 at 10 p.m. ET, the third May 21 at 9 p.m. ET and the finale will be on NBC at 5 p.m. ET on June 16.
The series chronicles the 2017-18 Cowboys team, and it should make for good fodder considering Oklahoma State is a blue blood in the sport with 10 national titles. The Cowboys were preseason No. 1 for the 2017-18 campaign and remain comfortably No. 1 by Golfweek after an eight-win season. Oklahoma State will play in NCAA regionals next, and if the team passes through, it will advance to the NCAA Championship – which is hosted this year in Stillwater, Okla., at Karsten Creek Golf Club (the Cowboys’ home course).
Fowler spoke on a conference call Wednesday and iterated that he wished something like this docuseries had existed during his time as a Cowboy.
“It would’ve been really cool to, you know, have I guess kind of have video documentation of our time at Oklahoma State,” said Fowler, who played for the Cowboys from 2007-09. “We could’ve created some pretty cool content while we were in Stillwater or on the road playing as a college team. Right now I think looking at my sophomore year, of guys that played … four of the guys (are) playing here on Tour: Morgan Hoffmann, Peter Uihlein and Kevin Tway (and myself).
“We had a pretty solid golf team. We had some characters, we had a lot of fun, whether it was when we’re home, qualifying, practicing or on the road.”
But the fact it’s happening now is no accident.
College golf coverage on television has increased in recent years, especially with Golf Channel broadcasting the NCAA Championship live.
Mike McCarley, president, golf, NBC Sports, noted that this docuseries idea had been in the works for a few years, but they were looking for the right team, time and opportunity. Discussions with Mike Holder, Oklahoma State’s athletic director and former legendary head golf coach, grew and Holder noted early on that Fowler was someone who loved to give back to Oklahoma State any way he could.
Thus, Fowler got involved. And the four-time PGA Tour winner hopes the series could be a game-changer in how fans get to know players.
“I think it’s going to be great for the golf fans and general public to get to see some guys playing in college golf that are going to be out playing on Tour,” Fowler said. “Then guys that come out as rookies and start playing, they’re not necessarily going to be brand new to the scene. They would’ve seen them kind of coming through the college ranks.”
Fowler noted with excitement it’s limitless what you can do with producing content nowadays and also feels the series will be a great recruiting tool for Oklahoma State, Oklahoma (the defending national champions who are featured in the series as well) and college golf in general.
Overall, he’s enthused about the whole process.
“It’s cool,” Fowler said. “This is the right time to be doing it and obviously great for Golf Channel and NBC to be jumping on top of it.”