Jimmy Roberts to receive 2016 MGA Distinguished Service Award
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (November 11, 2016) – The Metropolitan Golf Association is pleased to announce that longtime broadcaster and writer Jimmy Roberts will receive the 2016 MGA Distinguished Service Award. The Westchester native has long been an ambassador for the game of golf, using his talents to support golf in the Met Area and serving the game around the world through his thoughtful commentary.
Related: Previous MGA Distinguished Service Award Recipients
The MGA Distinguished Service Award, created in 1973, is presented annually to a candidate who has contributed “distinguished service to golf and its related activities, consistent with the valued standards and honorable traditions of the game.” Some of its earliest winners include Joe Dey, Harry Cooper, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and P.J. Boatwright, while names such as Dave Anderson, David Fay and Jim Nantz have received the honor in recent years.
Roberts’ career has spanned more than 30 years, beginning as a writer and producer in the 1980s with ABC Sports. After working on shows such as SportsBeat and supervising sports coverage for ABC News, Roberts covered the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, heavyweight championships, and the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics as a SportsCenter correspondent. He joined NBC Sports in 2000 and is the leading essayist, interviewer, feature reporter, and studio host for NBC and Golf Channel’s coverage of the PGA TOUR.
“When we think about somebody who would be a great recipient for the Award,” explains former MGA President and chair of the DSA committee Jeffrey Holzschuh, “it’s somebody who has a strong attachment to the region, has a very clear passion for golf, who is willing to give back to the game and is recognized and respected for what they’ve done for the game.” That, Holzschuh says, is certainly Jimmy Roberts.
Even more evident than Roberts’ passion for golf is his pride of where he comes from. “I’m a 914 guy,” he says. “I learned to play golf at a club in the Met Area, I caddied at clubs in the Met Area, I belong to MGA clubs. I’ve had close friends who have been administrators and professionals here. I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else.”
A 13-time Emmy Award winner, Roberts gathered much of his television education by watching talents like Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, Al Michaels, and Dick Schaap. “My goal is to ask what needs to be asked and hopefully do it in a way that’s respected,” he says. “There’s a lot of noise out there these days, and I think I’ve grown to appreciate something which is a little more measured.”
His well-respected approach and eloquent delivery capture all audiences, including the very names on which he reports. “Jimmy Roberts has always been a wonderful storyteller, touching the hearts and challenging the minds of viewers,” says Jack Nicklaus.
In addition to his television duties, Roberts writes a column for The Met Golfer (since 2003), and always seems to find time to serve Met Area golf in other ways. “His answer has always been ‘yes’ whenever we’ve asked for his help,” says MGA Executive Director Jay Mottola. Roberts is an oft-sought dinner host and emcee for golf events, while he’s also done voice-overs for the MGA’s caddie-training video and assisted with the Met PGA Section’s Educational Forum. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association.
“This is really flattering,” Roberts says. “I’m shocked. I’m still kind of shaking my head when I think about it.”
The award will be presented at the 119th MGA Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, December 7 at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y.