Joe Tessitore and Rob Riggle—The usa’s new golfing broadcast dream workforce—pontificate at the making of ‘Holey Moley’

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Joe Tessitore and Rob Riggle—America's new golf broadcast dream team—sound off on the making of 'Holey Moley'


Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo. Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks. Joe Tessitore and Rob Riggle. Within the pantheon of contemporary golfing announcers, possibly the ones closing two aren’t what you’d be expecting, however alternatively, nor is Holey Moley—ABC’s new 10-episode mini-golf gauntlet, the place Tessitore and Riggle will probably be plying their thunder n’ lightning business this summer season. However what precisely is it, this rainbow-tastic fact golfing display splattered in all places primetime TV? Smartly, we sat down with the Batman and Very Grown Up Robin of putt-putt for a behind-the-scenes have a look at the season’s most unearthly, wildest, golfiest sport display. Remember that, you’re now not in a position for what’s about to smack you within the face (no severely, you may need to duck.)

So what the heck is Holey Moley?

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A 10-part tribute to The usa’s favourite summer season interest that pits 12 other mini-golf ringers from round The usa in opposition to each and every different (and a path setup that makes the USGA glance merciful) in a high-stakes matchplay meltdown. Each week, 3 finalists advance to the best ultimate hollow in putt-putt, Mt. Holey Moley, with the winner survivor incomes $25,000, a golden putter, and the coveted Holey Moley plaid jacket.

Sound difficult? Don’t fear, it’s now not. Simply pay attention to Tessitore, who calls it “Willy Wonka meets Wipeout meets mini-golf.”

“You’re sitting there and also you’re like wow the river’s manufactured from chocolate and you’ll peel the gum drops off this wall and consume them. However all at once worry is what this sport is all about. You’re increased 20 toes over chilly water with a entice door that’s going to head out from beneath your toes.” Tessitore says. “Let me see you putt then. You’re now not placing via a clown’s mouth or a pirate send or a windmill. You’re placing via a windmill that should you misjudge it and mistime your next step you’re taking, it’s actually going to ship your frame flying.”

In different phrases, simply believe if golfing was once a touch recreation performed in a Roald Dahl fever dream as an alternative of a musty previous nation membership and also you’re neatly to your strategy to getting it.

HOLEY MOLEY
Eric McCandless

Does that make Joe and Rob the brand new Nantz and Faldo?

“Completely now not,” Tessitore, who calls international identify fights and bruising NFL video games via day, says. “Would I like to be at Augusta Nationwide having a pimento cheese sandwich and a lovely American draft beer for most effective $4.25? Sure, however I’m conscious sufficient to needless to say my taste and my voice and the way in which I am going about my trade would now not be a just right are compatible for golfing.”

He’s shut private buddies with Verne Lundquist from their years calling SEC soccer. He stocks a kindred NFL spirit with Nantz and marvels on the Masters grasp’s talent to “grow to be one” with no matter he’s masking, to, as he says, “weave in his voice and his tempo and his tone—his rhythm, his intonation—correctly with the development.”

“However make no mistake,” he warns. “Holey Moley is the exact opposite of that.”

Which is smart when you’ve got Rob Riggle deafening your proper eardrum. “Joe is a professional,” says Riggle of his spouse in crime. “He’s an absolute skilled. His credentials are obviously established within the sports activities international along with his talent for play-by-play and sports activities pronouncing…however we stated let’s simply have amusing. I stated ‘you name the performs and I’ll crack smart—which is kinda what I do—and we’ll simply attempt to experience each and every different, benefit from the festival, and experience our contestants.’”

That sounds completely sane and cheap for a nationally broadcast mini-golf display waged on a path the place the bunkers are the least of your worries and the water hazards are stored great and frosty, however Tessitore has a slight other recollection.

“While you get there and are at the path and also you’re a part of the surroundings and also you’re with those golfers, you form of disregard that you just’re now not doing the NFL playoffs, you disregard that you just’re now not doing a global championship battle. For those competition, that is the entirety, guy. They’re taking part in for large cash and a identify and a plaid jacket and a golden putter and standing of their realm, so it was once simple to do this and be me,” he says, in moderation surroundings the level for a patented Rob bomb.

“What wasn’t simple was once sitting there with Rob as he’s killing it—I imply crushing it, I imply I’m like doubled over crying guffawing time and time once more. There have been a large number of moments the place I used to be completely breaking, completely incapable of staying the path being the live-event host play-by-play man.

Sounds amusing, however can they inform the variation between a 6- and a 9-iron?

Initially, it’s mini-golf. Take off the spikes, sit back, and loosen up Mr. Weekend Warrior. the solution to that query, alternatively, is a powerful sure. Each are avid golfers, and Riggle continuously seems at the superstar match circuit, together with this 12 months’s American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, the place Holey Moley govt manufacturer Steph Curry (amongst different claims to reputation) may also be within the box.

“The primary time I ever went to a pressure vary, I used to be 13 years previous, swinging my mother’s wooden Patty Berg golf equipment. They had been horrible golf equipment for me—they had been previous, from the ’50s or one thing—however they had been those that had been within the storage, so I took them with some pals and went to the using vary,” Riggle remembers. “I used to be horrible, like everyone, however I hit a 3 wooden and it went like 200 yards and I take into account considering ‘Oh my God, that felt so just right, that was once superior, how can I do this once more?’ That’s when the seed was once planted.”

JOE TESSITORE, ROB RIGGLE
Eric McCandless

Nowadays, Riggle travels along with his golf equipment, taking part in native classes when on film shoots in Atlanta and Vancouver, whilst additionally frequenting Sherwood Nation Membership and Rustic Canyon with fellow comedians and Stix Zadinia, the drummer for neo-hair steel band Metal Panther. It is a a long way cry from taking his grandpa’s Kenneth Smiths and the $15 dollars he made mowing lawns to the native muni out of doors Kansas Town for a spherical, a coke, and a scorching canine like he grew up doing, however the spirit is identical.

Tessitore additionally began taking part in at a tender age at Wolfford’s Roost Nation Membership in Albany, New York, and early on in his profession, whilst masking tournaments just like the Byron Nelson Vintage—the place he recollects Tiger Woods making an look as an newbie—and the Better Hartford Open, he stuck the computer virus dangerous. How dangerous? Smartly, at the closing holiday along with his spouse sooner than beginning a circle of relatives, he selected Torrey Pines, waking up at 5:30 a.m. each and every morning to get right into a foursome as a unmarried whilst his spouse slept in. He doubled assessments the main points together with her simply to ensure that’s correct, and he or she says it’s with a virtually audible eye roll.

However even Tessitore’s existence as a reformed golfing addict and Riggle’s revel in taking part in mini-golf each and every summer season within the Lake of the Ozarks (the fellow is actually the king of the Midwest) couldn’t get ready them for what got here subsequent…

And what’s that?

“You could have other people going like 20 toes, shedding into the water. You could have logs operating over other people as they’re looking to putt.” Tessitore says. “The outlet Dutch Braveness has an enormous windmill that’s so large that you just because the golfer, now not simply your ball, has to run via it whilst the blade of the windmill is sending you crashing 10 toes off the path right into a six-foot excessive mattress of tulips.”

HOLEY MOLEY
Eric McCandless

“The overall hollow you’re placing up the facet of a volcano, then it’s a must to zipline throughout water and check out to then land on a floating barge, make your strategy to the golf green whilst the volcano is effervescent up, bursting flame balls into the air. They actually constructed an energetic volcano. It’s outrageous. You’ll’t imagine it.”

And but regardless of all that, the item that shocked Tessitore essentially the most was once the contest. “You can have any person who’s a PGA educating professional, a membership professional, or a traveling professional—any person who competed within the Global Collection of Setting up Las Vegas and money video games in mini-golf circuits—and in this path that won’t topic,” he says. “You will get dissatisfied via any person who’s only a Common Joe. Who performs at Lake George Village or Wildwood New Jersey’s Boardwalk a pair occasions a summer season with their circle of relatives. That’s what would blow my thoughts.”

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Riggle has a concept, even though. “It actually simply depends upon the person and the particular hollow too,” he says. “As a result of some had upper rigidity than others…and as everyone knows, when it’s anxious like that, it might have an effect on your grip force.”

Smartly there you could have it other folks. As you watch The usa vie for putt-putt immortality each and every Thursday this summer season, bring it to mind’s now not in regards to the abilities or the center or the huge fire-belching volcanos. It’s about grip force.

You had me at “grip force.” How can I watch?

Holey Moley premieres on Thursday, June 20th at eight p.m. ET on ABC. Be at liberty to DVR the NBA Draft should you completely will have to.



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