I caught up with Golf Channel host and CBS Sports Network sideline reporter Melanie Collins on a hot and sunny July day in Chicago. She’d endured a chaotic night of air travel, but it didn’t dampen her excitement to tape the season finale of Golf Channel’s Driver vs. Driver. The competition series, in which golf club designers try to score $500,000 and have their concept turned into the new Wilson Staff driver, airs Tuesdays beginning Oct. 4 at 10pm ET on Golf Channel. The winning driver is revealed in the season finale episode Nov. 22 and will be available in stores on Nov. 25. (But you can enter for a chance to win one.)
“The first day I think was my favorite, just seeing the presentations of everybody’s different designs and concepts,” Collins says. “Just stuff that was so out there, and you’re thinking, ‘How is this ever going to be a golf club that works?’ And here we are with more than one that are really great concepts.”
Collins has interviewed hundreds of athletes and celebrities, but now it’s our turn to ask her the famous 5 Questions. (And, yes, she’ll tell you when The Big Break is coming back as soon as she finds out.)
What’s been your strangest or most interesting fan encounter?
So I’ve had a fan who has followed my career since the very early days, and he tweets me nonstop for years and years. I’ve never met him in person, but he somehow knows every time I’m on TV, any time I’m traveling anywhere, he knows exactly where I am and what I’m doing. That’s kind of interesting because I’ve never actually met him in person, but any time I do anything, I know I’m going to get a tweet from him. Not a troll. He’s always very encouraging. I honestly have never really had any bad encounters with fans. Everybody’s really pretty cool.
Can you tell me about a time when you were starstruck?
Oh, yeah. I interviewed Kobe Bryant my first year in the business at the All-Star Game in Phoenix. At that point I was still really new into this business — I think now I’m not nearly as affected by certain people I meet or athletes — but at that point, Kobe was the man. I got the first interview with him on the floor following the game. I got a lot of trouble for it. But that was really cool. I was a little bit starstruck there with Kobe.
What’s your favorite sports team?
I’m a Philly girl. I’m originally from State College, Pa., where Penn State is, but my dad’s from Philadelphia so we grew up huge Philadelphia sports fans. We’re a big hockey family, so the Flyers I would say are my actual favorite sports team. If we’re talking football, then the Eagles. Penn State Nittany Lions are my college team. So yeah, anything Philly.
What’s a movie you can watch over and over again?
Wedding Crashers never gets old to me. I laugh every time at the same one-liners and the same jokes, and I quote it all the time.
What are three things you always have to have in your fridge or pantry?
Nutella, any kind of cheese and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. As you can tell, I’m super healthy.
— Melanie Collins (@Melanie_Collins) August 3, 2016