Jim Nantz thought about turning pro–for about 11 holes

I did a Q/A on the voice of golf for CBS for this week’s official PGA Championship program.

As everyone knows, Jim Nantz roomed with Fred Couples and Blaine McAlister at the University of Houston. He recalled a round where he thought he actually might join them on the PGA Tour. The dream, though, died quickly.


Nantz: I did not have the talent my roommates had. To put it in perspective, I played in only one tournament at Houston: a tournament for freshman. I shot 35 going out. I was 1-under through 11. When I stepped foot at Houston, I knew I wanted to broadcast golf for CBS. Through 11 holes that day, I’m thinking, ‘maybe I got this thing upside down.’

On the 12th hole, I used a 2-iron off the tee and hit right off the hosel. It nearly struck someone in the head. I then went double-double-double. I shot 77 without making a bogey.

Of course, I was too far ahead of myself. I realized during those last seven holes I was going to get there with my microphone instead of my clubs.


As for the caliber of his game these days, well…

Nantz: First off, I was not that good. It haunts me that people think I’m that good. I’m met on the first tee with unrealistic expectations. It’s a curse. I can really hit it sideways at times. People then say, ‘I read somewhere that you were on the University of Houston golf team. Did you really room with Fred Couple and Blaine McAlister?’ Then they look at you like they’re beginning to doubt that.


Fortunately for Nantz, there’s more than one way to get inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame. Nantz will be joining his buddy Couples there one day soon.




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