Tim Rosaforte, a senior writer at Golf Digest for more than 20 years and a former Golf Channel broadcaster, died on Tuesday [January 11] of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He was 66 years old.
Born in 1955, in Mount Kisco, New York, Rosaforte began his career in journalism in 1977 at the Tampa Times after graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island. 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.
Rosaforte’s television career began in 2003 as co-host of USA Network’s “PGA Tour Sunday” programme, 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 US Open and Ryder Cup. He retired in 2020 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
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.”
“Tim 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,” Jack Nicklaus said last year after Rosaforte received the Memorial Golf Journalism Award at Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.
Ron Sirak, a former colleague at Golf World, paid this tribute: “The part of journalism ‘Rosie’ loved was gathering information, finding out the why and the how of something or somebody. Few were as good at it as Tim. His phone contained everyone’s number and because he never burned anyone by betraying their confidence or by misrepresenting what they said, everyone always called him back. And that’s the bottom line. Rosie was so good at what he did because of the respectful way he treated people. In a time of tremendous change in the news business, Tim Rosaforte was one of the people who gave journalism a good name.“
A past president of the Golf Writers Association of America, and a member of the Association of Golf Writers since 1994, 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, a regular stop on the PGA Tour, created the Tim Rosaforte Distinguished Service Award and dedicated its media room in his name.