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mvmac

Big Breaker Liam Friedman answers your questions!

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mvmac    1,761

Post your questions in this thread for Big Break competitor Liam Friedman

Also if you have any questions for Liam's instructor Mario Bevilacqua, feel free to ask.  Mario might be traveling the next couple days but we'll make sure he answers your questions

Here's some info on Liam in case you haven't seen the show

Liam Friedman

Age: 25
Current Residence: Lackawanna, N.Y.
Hometown: Lackawanna, N.Y.
College: Methodist University
Home Golf Course: Orchard Park Country Club

Career Stats:
-    Assistant Golf Professional – Orchard Park Country Club, Lackawanna, N.Y.
-    Won the 2011 Western New York PGA Championship , and competed in the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship.
-    Competing on the Golfslinger.com Tour.  Four top-10 finishes in 2012.
-    Member of the 2010 NCAA D-III National Championship golf team at Methodist University.

On when Friedman decided he wanted to be a professional golfer:
“I decided I wanted to pursue a professional golf career during my freshman year at Drexel University before transferring to Methodist.  I wasn’t able to walk on the golf team, and I started to perform poorly in class.  As a result of my performance, I would become stressed, and when I get stressed, I play golf.  I realized that while I should have been studying, I was playing golf.  I knew then that engineering was not for me.”

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Beachcomber    204

Liam, I liked the instruction on hybrids and fairway woods with Michael Breed, showcased on the Golf Channel.  I have a few questions for you and about the Big Break experience...

1.) How did you find out you were selected to be on the Big Break?

2.) What kind of last minute preparation did you do - before you went onto the show?  Was it like cramming for a test in college?  Or did you just take the game you had to the show?

3.) How long of a period of time did you have before they informed you that you were selected - until the show actually started taping?

4.) How long are the days of taping?  Like what time did they have you on the course - and what time were you finished for the day?

5.) What did you do during the down time?

6.) When you were eliminated - and the show was still taping... Did you just watch the show from the sidelines - outside the ropes?  Or did you get to go do your thing on the resort - or go play golf elsewhere?

7.) What are your plans for this Winter - and 2013?

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Beachcomber    204

Question for Mario....

1.) How surreal was it to watch a student of yours on a show like this?

2.) Were you nervous for Liam?

3.) Anything you would have or are working with Liam on to take his game to the next level?

4.) I know you are a 5SK instructor today... But what were your core concepts before 5SK?

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Golfingdad    1,850
Originally Posted by Beachcomber

6.) When you were eliminated - and the show was still taping... Did you just watch the show from the sidelines - outside the ropes?  Or did you get to go do your thing on the resort - or go play golf elsewhere?

My original questions about the show have already been asked by Beach, so I'll add one more:

Assuming you didn't stick around to find out the results, I'm curious who, of the remaining contestants, are you pulling for to win it?

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Liam, I liked the instruction on hybrids and fairway woods with Michael Breed, showcased on the Golf Channel.  I have a few questions for you and about the Big Break experience...

1.) How did you find out you were selected to be on the Big Break?

2.) What kind of last minute preparation did you do - before you went onto the show?  Was it like cramming for a test in college?  Or did you just take the game you had to the show?

3.) How long of a period of time did you have before they informed you that you were selected - until the show actually started taping?

4.) How long are the days of taping?  Like what time did they have you on the course - and what time were you finished for the day?

5.) What did you do during the down time?

6.) When you were eliminated - and the show was still taping... Did you just watch the show from the sidelines - outside the ropes?  Or did you get to go do your thing on the resort - or go play golf elsewhere?

7.) What are your plans for this Winter - and 2013?

First, thanks for watching!

I guess I'll just go about this in order, by number.

1) I applied online by filling out a questionnaire.  They emailed me and said to come to an interview, which were hosted at NGA tour and Gateway tour sites over the winter.  After the interview, they called to let me know I was a semi-finalist and they needed a background check.  Finally, they called and told me I was on the show.  You can see the video on golfchannel.com titled receiving the call.

2) Going in to the show I just wanted to make sure I could trust my swing mechanics.  From receiving the call, to the day I left was about 3 weeks.  The show taped in June, so I had from about May 8 to get ready.  That time frame, unfortunately, is busy in the golf business. I had to spend time helping to train staff, receiving inventory, etc.  Therefore, I wasn't able to totally hone my short game as I wished.

3) Answered in #2!

4) We would be up for breakfast at 5:30am.  We would be warming up by 7, shooting by 8.  Lunch was at about 12:30, and the first day of glass breaking (longest day due to delays of fixing glass), ended about 6 or 7.  But, just because golf is finished, doesn't mean the day is done.  We still have to eat, do happy hour, interview, and confessional.  I wasn't in bed til about 2am the first day, only allowing me 3.5 hours of sleep for day 2.  The days get shorter, obviously, with less contestants.

5) There was no real down time, because we always had obligations to be on camera either participating, or watching from safe city.  Once we got back to the house we would eat, have a couple beers, hang out, and go to bed once our interviews were done.

6) Once you're eliminated you move to the hotel and have no contact with the guys still on the show.  We would do all kinds of stuff, go shooting, offroading, bowling, all kinds of stuff! You can see some of that on golfchannel.com too.  Oh, and we'd play golf.  I had a tourney to get ready for still.  We even got to go off campus a couple times for some extracurriculars.

7) This winter I'm going down to Florida and I am just going to play.  I will be playing the PGA tournament series and Winter Championships in Port St. Lucie.  I will always play a few golfslinger.com tour events.  As for 2013, it's still in the works, but I am putting together an investment group to help get me started playing the E-Golf tour and moving up to the PGA Tour.  Hopefully I can secure a 3 year deal to just play.  So if anyone is interested....

I think that's everything.  Thanks for the questions!!

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

My original questions about the show have already been asked by Beach, so I'll add one more:

Assuming you didn't stick around to find out the results, I'm curious who, of the remaining contestants, are you pulling for to win it?

We do stick around all the way to the end.  But, all the info we are privvy to is who is eliminated and in what order, because they join us on castaway island.  They, obviously, fully disclose the challenges and goings on, but I forgot everything pretty much.  Then, on the final day, everyone comes back to watch the final match between.... oh almost got carried away.

As for me, the guy who I was friendliest with was James, the CEO of Kikkor Golf, but since I know who wins, that defeats the point of pulling for anyone. haha

Thanks!

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Beachcomber    204

One other question... Did you guys get to play the Greenbrier course - the full 18 - before or after taping?  The course looks beautiful on TV.  I'd like to play it someday.

Also, your response to #4 is crazy!  I can't imagine having to play under the stress of being eliminated after having a few hours of sleep. Good luck this Winter - and congrats on having a great golf swing!

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

One other question... Did you guys get to play the Greenbrier course - the full 18 - before or after taping?  The course looks beautiful on TV.  I'd like to play it someday.

Also, your response to #4 is crazy!  I can't imagine having to play under the stress of being eliminated after having a few hours of sleep. Good luck this Winter - and congrats on having a great golf swing!

Thanks!! Mario and I are great friends, and have been thru college.  We are friends before Teacher/Student.  He and I worked very hard beginning October 2010.  I actually saw him at school before he graduated while I was headed down to Florida.  I stayed for a week, and we had a boot camp as I like to call it.  We worked 3 straight days, maybe 8 hours a day.  Complete overhaul.

There are 3 resort course at the Greenbrier.  Those courses are Old White TPC, where they play the Greenbrier Classic, The Greenbrier Course, where they have hosted both Ryder and Solheim Cups, and finally the Meadows course, which is great in and of itself.  Finally, there is a members only course called Greenbrier Sporting club, which has all the elevation change and some epic views.  Before the show we played a practice round on the TPC, but once we were eliminated we were able to play pretty much anywhere we wanted (as long as we wouldn't cross paths with the show taping), and we played every course.

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by mvmac

What's it like watching yourself on TV?

How cool was it to break the glass?

Dude it's pretty cool.  It's definitely weird.  I was hoping something would magically change!  And breaking the glass is a complete rush!  Especially when you know your time HAD to be good.

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Clambake    222

Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • On every reality show, Big Break included, there is a lot of drama pumped up by personality conflicts.    From your experience, how much is somewhat contrived and the work of editing, and how much is really there?
  • Did the pretty much shut down the course while you were there for the challenges, or were the resort guests still playing rounds?   [edit - looks like you kind of answered that while I was typing]

I caught some of the follow up show with you and Michael Breed, and you looked pretty comfortable giving swing advice on camera.   Maybe a new GC show in the offing to replace Breed?  :-)

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JetFan1983    476

Liam,

I love the Big Break and it was it amazing seeing someone -- who more or less believes the same core concepts about the golf swing that I do -- compete on the show. Your experience kind of reminded me of Matt Every's. Tons of talent, but an unfortunate early exit.

What was it like when you first worked with Mario B? Were you already using a centered pivot and a one plane swing? Or was this a big change for you. What were the biggest changes for you with Mario?

How long have you worked with Mario and do you guys still work together?

What are you currently working on in your swing?

Thanks so much for fielding some of our questions BTW.

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Originally Posted by Clambake

Thanks for sharing your experience.

On every reality show, Big Break included, there is a lot of drama pumped up by personality conflicts.    From your experience, how much is somewhat contrived and the work of editing, and how much is really there?

Did the pretty much shut down the course while you were there for the challenges, or were the resort guests still playing rounds?   [edit - looks like you kind of answered that while I was typing]

I caught some of the follow up show with you and Michael Breed, and you looked pretty comfortable giving swing advice on camera.   Maybe a new GC show in the offing to replace Breed?  :-)

There is absolutely not contrived conflicts.  If there are any conflicts, they are real.  But, there is a good deal of editing that can make things said seem negative.  For instance, when I missed the FW in the wall challenge, they cut to Brian saying "thank god" and it seemed as though it was directed at me, as if to say good i'm glad he's done.  But, in actuality it was a "thank god" because he was safe.  They also cut some dialogue from me that seemed out of context, but anyone that knows me knows that I call it like I see it, so I can't deny saying those things.  The editing just puts more weight to the words.

While they were shooting, there was no resort play anywhere within sight of the shoot.  That means, if two courses intersected, or were near, the timing of the shoot dictated the tee time availability, so that noone was around during the shoot.

Thanks!  Don't forget, I am a PGA Class A Professional, so I do teach as well.  I actually help Mario with his swing a bunch!  But, on that Big Break Academy shoot, I did joke with Breed and the producers about taking over for him when its too much for him, or a new show/instructor.  But we'll see how that pans out...

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Hoganwoods    6

Hey Liam,

How much does Golfchannel edit the interviews to create "bad guys" and "good guys"?

Second, how difficult was it to play the elimination challenge?  I don't want to use the word "choke", but how much do you think the pressure got to you.

Thanks

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Beachcomber    204
Originally Posted by Clambake

Maybe a new GC show in the offing to replace Breed?  :-)

You mean a show where golfers can learn the true science and proper mechanics to a golf swing?

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Golfingdad    1,850

"Safe City?"  Is that like the benches you guys sit on and root for the guys playing?

Also, about the taping ... I'm curious about how long it takes while you are playing.  For example, the elimination match between you and Chan.  Is everything set up on all 3 holes such that you just play golf?  Or, after your drives, is there a lot of down time while you have to wait anxiously for them to be ready for you to play again?

And are all of your golf carts equipped with cameras and your directed to talk to them all the time while you're driving to your balls?

How much do you think all of the show production interferes with your golf routine?

Thanks again for coming on here and answering all of these questions!

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JetFan1983    476

Oh yea...

How did you feel about Golf Channel's portrayal of you on the show? Did reality TV capture a lot of things accurately? Or did you notice some disingenuous editing?

EDIT: looks like you answered this already while I was typing. Nevermind!

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Datsyuk    11

1.) If you'd had a caddy, would you have done anything different? Would you still have pulled a lob wedge on the par 5?

2.) The TV show made it seem like you really need to work on the mental side of the game, but they can edit it however they want. I doubt you come off as a hobbit IRL and you did very well to not wrap your putter around Cam's neck on the second hole. How long did he really take on that hole?

3.) What was the real yardage on the par 5? You had ~ 175 from the trees and Cam's approach from the right rough seemed short too. Just basing my doubts (505) on the distances in the draw / fade challenge.

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