'Johnny Golf Pro' hits national airwaves
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Aaron Boggs stood under a tree Saturday and took in the action at The Greenbrier Classic as his home state took center stage in the PGA Tour golf landscape.
And while he was watching the PGA action, nearly 240 cities in the U.S. and seven different countries were watching his new golf-based sitcom called "Johnny Golf Pro" on Walk TV, which airs in every major city in the United States and can be seen locally on Ch. 58 in the Huntington market.
The show is based on the true story of Riverview Country Club in Madison, W.Va. -- a course that Boggs' family owns.
"There aren't many family-owned golf courses left in the country because most are corporate, and I thought the place, the situation and my family would make for a great show," Boggs said. "It's a heck of a concept and it brings a good light to West Virginia after Buckwild. We hope to grow the game of golf and also show off our course in Madison."
Boggs, a former Marshall University golfer, has collaborated with Raj "Hollywood" Jackson on the directing and production of the show, which aired for the first time Saturday.
The storyline involves Riverview, which is owned by Rick and Diana Boggs -- Aaron's parents. They are also some of the key figures in the show, along with Boggs' brother Alex and his grandfather Linden Meade.
Riverview Country Club is trying to survive in the flailing economy, so the owners decided to bring in a little flair with a Las Vegas golf professional to generate some buzz around town.
Johnny Golf Pro (played by Jackson) comes to town in his flashy suits and high-dollar lifestyle and is completely out of the norm for southern West Virginia, but the differences make for an intriguing partnership as the family looks for ways to save the golf course.
"The economy has gone down and it has hurt golf, so golf needed something to get people back out and ready to try golf again," Boggs said. "The course needed a bit of an image change -- it needed that fun, good time, laid-back feel. That's what we're going for. I want people to come out and start playing the game again."
The timing of the show's initial release couldn't have been better for Boggs, as it comes in the midst of The Greenbrier Classic, West Virginia's only full-week professional sporting event and the pinnacle of golf's impression in the Mountain State.
Boggs used the week to speak to people about the show as well as gathering ideas that may be used in future episodes.
While the show is in its infancy, Boggs thinks it will appeal to all demographics while promoting golf in a positive light.
It has Boggs, who takes on more of the Rickie Fowler-type of golfer role with swag and young charisma, while Meade represents a bit of the older generation of more traditional golf.
Then, there is Jackson, who comes to southern West Virginia to help save the course.
Jackson's role as Johnny Golf Pro is not one with which he lacks familiarity. Originally from Man, W.Va., Jackson became a chiropractor before going to Las Vegas to be an impromptu celebrity hired for several golf events.
"Our goal is to be golf celebrities -- to show up at tour events and put on bits that will have everyone having a good time," Boggs said. "Celebrity events overseas could be an option."
For Boggs, the venture combines two things he's passionate about -- the sport of golf and acting.
"I love it," Boggs said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's a great concept and we've found a niche that no one else has seen yet."
Boggs said he and Jackson have collaborated on several shows which will air over the next few weeks, and they are in the process of finishing the entire first season of Johnny Golf Pro.
In the end, he thinks the public will love the show and get to know the beauty of southern West Virginia while promoting the game of golf.
He also finds it as a blessing that he can aid his parents' efforts to keep Riverview in business by putting the course on a more national -- and even international -- scale.
"I've seen my parents work so hard to try and keep it going," Boggs said. "My dad has killed himself the last 13 years to keep this course on track. They've worked hard to allow me to go to college and have fun. This is my opportunity to give back. That's what the show is all about -- the family concepts and good family fun."
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