Tim Rosaforte, who made his name as the golf insider for NBC Sports and the Golf Channel, passed away on Tuesday aged 66 due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.
The New York native started his career as a sportswriter at regional newspapers in Florida, first at the Tampa Times in 1977, before moving into magazines, including Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest.
He made numerous appearances on the Golf Channel during the 1990s and then officially joined the network in 2007, growing into the role of ‘golf’s insider’ offering behind-the-scenes access of the sport and its biggest stars.
Rosaforte covered 147 Major Championships and 17 Ryder Cups.
He was a past president of the Golf Writers Association of America and was also the recipient of all four of the organisation’s non-daily awards, also receiving the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism in 2014.
In 2020, Rosaforte also became the first golf journalist to be awarded a lifetime PGA membership – and was just the 12th person to receive the designation of PGA Honorary Member. He retired after his diagnosis in 2019.
Leading the tributes was European Tour group Chief Executive Keith Pelley who said: “Tim Rosaforte was a gentleman and also a gentle man, thoughtful and incisive in his journalistic and broadcast work over many years and, in many ways, he epitomised what journalistic integrity was all about. Our golfing family is, without question, poorer at the news of his untimely passing and the thoughts of everyone at the European Tour group are with his family at this sad time.”
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 on 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 to be part of the greater golf community.”
Rosaforte is survived by his wife Genevieve, daughters Genna and Molly and three grandchildren.
Tim Rosaforte was a great man who loved the sport of golf. He will be dearly missed. https://t.co/8YaQu1gWDM— Graeme McDowell (@Graeme_McDowell) January 11, 2022
Saddened to hear of Tim Rosaforte’s passing today. A brilliant journalist, a great friend and shared many life discussions …I will never forget you Tim.— Ernie Els (@TheBig_Easy) January 12, 2022
Many hearts, including Barbara's & mine, hurt today after the passing of our friend Tim Rosaforte. Tim had a wonderful ability to develop trust from so many, and because of that—plus his work ethic—if there was an important story to be told in golf, Tim usually reported it first. pic.twitter.com/VbTSbaj5az— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) January 11, 2022
Really sad,— Thomas Bjørn (@thomasbjorngolf) January 12, 2022
Tim was a wonderful journalist but more importantly a lovely man.
The conversations you could have with Tim about our game were brilliant.
He will be dearly missed by everyone.
A very sad day in the golfing world. Always had time for Tim and thoroughly enjoyed our chats over the years. Gone way too soon. You will be greatly missed 🙏🏼 https://t.co/N5CvSpHKNy— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) January 12, 2022
As golf reveals a person’s true nature, Tim Rosaforte returned the favor, fairly and warmly illuminating the game's many facets while his own incredible character came to light. Everyone at Bay Hill will miss him greatly, and our hearts go out to his entire family. pic.twitter.com/vHh7bMdqO1— Arnold Palmer (@ArnoldPalmer) January 12, 2022
We are so sorry to hear about the passing of Tim Rosaforte. I had known him for many years and always respected the way he went about his business. He was trusted by everyone. His word was gold. He worked hard, but had a soft side. He will be greatly missed. RIP Rosie— Annika Sorenstam (@ANNIKA59) January 12, 2022
Sad to hear the passing of Tim Rosaforte. He was such a good dude to me in both of my jobs, as a player and pundit. Loved this picture he took with my dad at the 2013 PGA. pic.twitter.com/AVQgihm3QN— Rich Beem (@beemerpga) January 11, 2022
Just got off the course & crestfallen to hear the news of Tim Rosaforte’s passing. Our stage manager, Alex Andrews, tells a story abt Rosy, that anytime someone new was on set, he would quietly ask her for their name, so he could address them properly. He was all class. Sad day.— Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) January 11, 2022