HARTFORD, Conn. – I was delighted to hear Tim Rosaforte would receive the 2021 Memorial Golf Journalism Award from Jack Nicklaus, host of the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
The award was created to recognize journalists who served their profession with conspicuous honor and made a major contribution and impact on golf journalism. I’m fully aware Tim meets those criteria as I’ve been fortunate to know the resident of Jupiter, Fla., for 40 years.
“It’s pretty surreal to have Jack call to tell you that you’ve won an award like that,” Rosaforte said. “I’ve known Jack for a long time, and it was an emotional moment. It means a lot to be honored at Jack’s tournament.”
Rosaforte was one of golf’s original “insiders” during his four-decade career that included stops at the Palm Beach Post in Florida, Sports Illustrated, Golf World, Golf Channel and NBC. The 65-year-old retired from the Golf Channel last year because he has early-onset Alzheimer’s.
“Tim has been a great friend for some 40 years,” Nicklaus said. “We first met at Oak Hill (in Rochester, N.Y.) at the 1980 PGA Championship, and our paths have crossed countless times since. Tim is also one of this generation’s great golf journalists. He has developed relationships and trust from so many in the game, and you always know that if there was an important story to be told in golf, Tim was going to be the first call you received and usually the first one to report it.”
The award will be presented to Rosaforte the Wednesday (June 2) of the 2021 Memorial Tournament. This year’s ceremony, which would have honored CBS announcer and former Westport resident Jim Nantz as winner of the award, was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. So Nantz and Rosaforte will both be honored next year, if the pandemic subsides.
“That will be so special,” Nantz said. “I am so happy for Tim and his family.”
Nantz reached out to Rosaforte this fall when he learned of his health issues and invited him to the Nantz National Alzheimer Center in Houston. After Nantz’s father died from the disease, he helped created NNAC in 2011, and it has treated thousands of Alzheimer’s patients every year.
“To share the stage with someone like Jim Nantz is amazing,” Rosaforte said. “Jim truly is one of the great guys in this business.”
In late October, Rosaforte became the first journalist – and 12th person overall – to receive honorary membership in the PGA of America. He also received the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism in 2014.