For sports media stars, golf is all about family
The game of golf is about passion, perseverance, and patience, but for many sports media golfers, it is also about family. Playing the game with those you love is one of the truly special qualities of golf. A few Boston and national reporters explain how the game is definitely a family affair.
Golf was passed down to WCVB-TV sports legend Mike Lynch from his father, Dick Lynch. Says Mike, “When I was a kid, my dad bought me a Billy Casper three wood at Raymond’s in Lynn. I used to play at Salem Municipal and Happy Valley (now Gannon), and I was a caddy at Tedesco. I used to follow the railroad tracks behind my house which led right to the 15th hole.”
Before joining WHDH-TV 7 as a reporter/anchor, Alex Corddry cut her sports broadcasting teeth as a reporter in Birmingham and Washington, DC, but her golf game goes back to her Cabin John, Maryland childhood.
“My mom would take me to the driving range with her and let me hit balls,” says Corddry. “I had a plastic learner set as my first set of clubs. I’m a lefty, so I’ve always been a fan of Phil Mickelson and have admired his career.”
Boston TV veteran Mark Ockerbloom of FOX25 also takes his golf roots in family. “I used my dad’s clubs for a while,” says the Winchester, MA native and Providence College grad. “Eventually, I got a set of Spalding Executives.
“When I started doing morning sports radio at WGIR in New Hampshire, I began playing a bunch of Media Day tournaments. After the morning show, I would play a lot at Intervale Country Club in Manchester.”
NBC Sports star Kathryn Tappen has vividly fond memories of golf and family. She relates, “I grew up in Morristown, NJ and my parents were big golfers. It was so amazing to be able to spend hours on the course with my mom and dad.
“They gave me great golf pointers, but what I remember most is stopping for a hot dog at the ninth hole and the great conversations we had.”
Kevin Walsh of Comcast Sports Net New England and WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche both point to a fatherly golf influence – they also shattered some windows along the way. Says Walsh, “My dad was the first golfer in our family and he taught me how to play. I used to break the neighbors’ windows all the time, but they were golfers so they understood. I was seriously competing by age 10, broke 80 for the first time when I was 13 and 70 when I was 14.”
Adds Roche, “My dad introduced me to the game, probably when I was 7 or 8 years old. It was more watching him play, and then just going into my backyard and hacking away. I broke a few windows along the way too.”
Author and 98.5 The Sports Hub host Tony Massarotti’s life heroes are his parents and two sisters, Norma and Elena. Fittingly, his golf life is all about family. “My wife Natalie and I are avid golfers,” he relates. “She got her first hole-in-one at Charter Oak Country Club in Hudson on a short par three. It’s a family-friendly type of place, and the course is challenging but not ridiculous.
“I’m excited about being able to play together as a family with my kids (Alexander and Xavier). It is a really nice thing to share golf with them.”
John Molori is an author and columnist for numerous publications. Like him on Facebook at John Molori, Twitter @MoloriMedia. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.