NBC Sports, McIlroy Tee Up New Digital Golf Program

NBC Sports, looking to expand its golf business, said it has teamed up with pro golfer Rory McIlroy to create a digital subscription program that will give members exclusive benefits including tee time and instructional videos.

For $9.99 a month, or $99 a year, GolfPass will also give members opportunities to improve their games and upgrade their golf lifestyle with shopping and travel opportunities.

Among the program’s first video projects are an instructional series with golf coach Michael Bannon and podcast with Carson Daly.

McIlory broke the news about GolfPass on NBC's Tonight Show Monday night.

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“GolfPass is designed to make golf more accessible and fun using NBC Sports’ portfolio of golf tech and services that help better connect golfers to the sport. Whether it’s video instruction from the best coaches in the world or enhancing the golf experience on and off the course, GolfPass adds tremendous value for golfers,” said Mike McCarley, president for golf at NBC Sports.

“Rory is the perfect partner for GolfPass, not only because he’s an approachable, genuine and global ambassador for golf – much in the same way [Golf Channel co-founder Arnold Palmer] was – he’s also eager to modernize how golfers engage with the sport in their daily lives, whether watching a screen or with a club in their hand,” McCarley said.

GolfPass’s benefits fit into five main categories: play, learn, watch, travel and shop.

Members get a free round of golf each month good at 7,000 partner golf courses in 26 countries.

The program already offers more than 4,000 on-demand instructional videos from top pros’ coaches and tips from players including Paul Azinger, Nick Faldo, Gary Player, and Annika Sorenstam.

GolfPass has a library of more than 1,000 hours of original programming and archives including historic competitions and episodes of Golf Channel’s Feherty. Originals include My Roots: Rory McIlroy, My Daily Routine and Toughest Tracks.

Members get $100 travel credits at top resorts including Sea Island in Georgia, the Biltmore in Miami and Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas.,

Member’s also get a dozen TaylorMade golf balls and get special pricing on clubs, apparel, accessories, digital instructional tools and training aids. TaylorMade is an official GolfPass partner and members get exclusive pricing and access to Rory McIlroy limited-edition products.

“Golf has been a constant in my life, a passion I share with millions of others. Creating Golf Pass with NBC Sports was driven by my desire to enrich the golf experience for fans all around the world,” said McIlroy. “Arnold Palmer showed tremendous vision when founding Golf Channel in 1995 and it now stands as a significant part of his legacy. I have the utmost respect for the impact he made on the game and I will carry that spirit forward by helping to lead our sport into its digital future with GolfPass.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.