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Elkington Launches 'The Rural Golfer' July 4th


The same drive and passion that brought Steve Elkington 20 professional victories worldwide, including the 1995 PGA Championship, are now on display throughout the United States, as his latest project, "The Rural Golfer," debuts on RFD-TV July 4th.

The program's first airing on RFD-TV starts at 9:30 p.m. (ET), with encore shows at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and the following Friday at 6 a.m.

The show was born from Elkington's success with the instruction website, Secret in the Dirt (www.secretinthedirt.com) created by Elkington and five other passionate golfers.

The Secret in the Dirt team includes Elkingtonšs mentor and World Golf Hall-of-Fame member Jackie Burke, Jr., Internet instructor Mike Maves, computer whiz Jimmy Nissen, golfer and videographer Terry Okura and cartoonist Calder Chism.

Friday's show takes place at the storied Champions Golf Club in Houston, the club founded by Burke and the late Jimmy Demaret in 1957 as a haven for the serious golfer. It introduces the six members of the Secret in the Dirt team and unites them in one place - Elkingtonšs house - for the first time in the team's four-year existence.

Viewers will also get to see Elkington's impressive mobile rig, "The Big Show."

Just as their personalities form a diverse group, the Secret in the Dirt team wanted to expand their instruction site and introduce themselves to a wider audience of golf fans who love the game as much as they do. Thus The Rural Golfer was created and the team has traveled all across the country in search of golf's hidden gems.

"My team loves golf so much that we decided to do this show and focus on other people that love it so much, and why do they love it so much? I mean, that's what The Rural Golfer is," Elkington said.

"We just want to go to these everyday places that unveil the love of the game and get right down to the heart of it and what lengths they'll go to in order to achieve it. And the stories that come out of that are amazing."

Viewers can dig deeper into the heart of American golf with Elkington and his team as they visit FarmLinks in Alabama, the Freedom Golf Association outside Chicago, and play with rodeo ropers Rich Skelton and Nick Sartain at Tapatio Springs in the Texas Hill Country. Season 1 of The Rural Golfer aims to bring RFD-TV viewers a real look at golf's inclusiveness and how it crosses every arena.

"The Rural Golfer is about the real golf that people play. We think it is right to celebrate that," Maves said. "It doesn't have to be the most sensational thing about it, people love golf for much simpler things."

Judith Coleman, a longtime TV veteran who has worked numerous golf events for CBS, Golf Channel and PGA Tour Entertainment, brings experience to the project as the executive producer of The Rural Golfer.