Tim Rosaforte former Golf Digest writer and noted TV analyst, dies at 66
Tim Rosaforte, a senior writer at Golf Digest for more than 20 years and a former Golf Channel broadcaster, died Tuesday of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., according to longtime family friend Craig Dolch. He was 66 years old.
Born Oct. 25, 1955, in Mount Kisco, N.Y., Rosaforte began his career in journalism in 1977 at the Tampa Times after graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island, where he played linebacker on the football team. He wrote for three other Florida newspapers before joining Sports Illustrated in 1994. Two years later, he was hired as a senior writer for sister publications Golf World and Golf Digest, and he remained on the staff of Golf Digest until 2018.
He won more than 40 writing awards and was the author of three books.
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Rosaforte’s television career began in 2003 as co-host of USA Network’s “PGA Tour Sunday” program, and in 2007 he joined Golf Channel as a contributor while also appearing on NBC Sports during coverage of its major golf events, including the U.S. Open and Ryder Cup. He retired in 2020 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
In a statement Tuesday, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said, “The PGA Tour family lost a friend today in Tim Rosaforte, one of the great golf journalists of his generation. Tim was an amazing storyteller and spent much of his energy showcasing what sets golf apart from other sports—the people and the personalities.
“A true professional, Tim always treated our organization and our athletes fairly, writing and speaking with an opinion, but without an agenda. He never stopped working the phones, ensuring that he not only got the story first, he got the story right, Those phone calls—and Tim’s gentle spirit—will be missed tremendously by all of us lucky enough be a part of the greater golf community.”
Last year, after Rosaforte received the Memorial Golf Journalism Award at Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament, Jack Nicklaus said, “Tim developed relationships and trust from so many people in the game, and you always know that if there was an important storey in golf, Tim was going to be the first call you received and usually the first one to report it.”
A past president of the Golf Writers Association of America, Rosaforte covered more than 150 major championships. He received the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism in 2014, and in 2020 he was awarded an honorary membership in the PGA of America, making him the first journalist and just the 12th person ever to earn such a distinction. In 2021, The Honda Classic, the PGA Tour stop in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., created the Tim Rosaforte Distinguished Service Award and dedicated its media room in his name.
Rosaforte is survived by his wife Genevieve and two daughters, Genna and Molly, and three grandchildren.
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Tim Rosaforte, the gentleman journalist who made his name as the consummate golf insider for NBC Sports and the Golf Channel, died Tuesday of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He was 66.
A family friend confirmed the news.
“Tim Rosaforte was a great man who loved the sport of golf,” Graeme McDowell tweeted as the news broke. “He will be dearly missed.” Zach Johnson and Kevin Na were among the players who also gave tribute on social media.
“The PGA TOUR family lost a friend today in Tim Rosaforte, one of the great golf journalists of his generation,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “Tim was an amazing storyteller and spent much of his energy on showcasing what sets golf apart from other sports – the people and the personalities.”
Rosaforte went out of his way to take an interest in younger, less known colleagues, praising an article or insight that caught his attention. A past president of the Golf Writers Association of America, he often emceed the GWAA writing awards dinner and won all four non-daily GWAA awards himself. He retired after being diagnosed in 2019.
It was, by any measure, quite a career. He won the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, and also was awarded a rare lifetime PGA membership – a first for a golf journalist. He also won the Memorial Tournament’s lifetime achievement award, and The Honda Classic named its media center after him after his retirement. He also wrote three books.
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After growing up in Mount Kisco, New York, Rosaforte went to the University of Rhode Island, where he got his journalism degree and played linebacker for the football team. He got his professional start in newspapers, first at the Tampa Times in 1977, then the Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. He later moved into magazines, including Sports Illustrated, Golf World, and Golf Digest, but it was in television that he found his niche, providing insights in real time at golf’s biggest events.
If a player had strained something warming up, forgotten his putter back in the hotel room, or suffered a bout of food poisoning the night before, Rosaforte often knew about it first and relayed the info to viewers at home. Somehow, he did this without being nosey. “Rosey” to friends, he was well-respected amongst players and fellow journalists, alike.
“A true professional, Tim always treated our organization and our athletes fairly,” Monahan said. “Writing and speaking with an opinion but without an agenda. He never stopped working the phones, ensuring that he not only got the story first, he got the story right. Those phone calls – and Tim’s gentle spirit – will be missed tremendously by all of us lucky enough to be part of the greater golf community.
My heart aches at the passing of @Rosafortegolf. A true gentleman and ambassador of the game of golf. He will be missed. Condolences to his wife and girls. pic.twitter.com/vpP6oi9B7Z
— Zach Johnson (@ZachJohnsonPGA) January 11, 2022
“Our condolences to Tim’s wife, Genevieve, daughters Genna and Molly and their families.”
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