Goodbye to a Foursome Mate


Fifty-three-some years after drawing his first breath, Dan Moschetti slumped over on his desk and breathed his last.
Energetic until the end, Moschetti had just finished what had to be his millionth radio interview. He was in the Monterey, Calif., studio from which his own radio show, The Golf Guys, has been broadcast on 800 stations to more than 160 countries since 1998. Millions of golf fans never knew Moschettis face, but they knew his voice as a clarion of irreverent and irrepressible golf talk every week.
It took a sudden heart attack to get in the way of this dynamo of enthusiasm. And when the lights went out for Dan, a light went out for golf. For Dan Moschetti and golf, it was all about the fun.
I never saw the man without a smile on his face, or at least a grin that was about to wrinkle into a mischievous smile. Im not sure how tall Dan actually was, but I do know that tall was never the appropriate word, unless were talking about how tall he wasnt. He perfectly fit the description my classmates and I privately applied to the dean of our law school: The Round Mound of Sound.
Lest you think Im being disrespectful, dont worry. Moschetti was a master of the needle, and he got it into everyone he could as often as possible.
Case in point: On a golf travel writers trip to Louisiana, we arrived at our digs in Lake Charles and discovered that the bedrooms fell out this way: One single, one quad with bunks. I made the mistake of saying I couldnt sleep near those who snore. Moschetti, missing not even half a beat, launched into me thusly:
Ooh. Better clear the single for the TV talent. Hey, you guys ' lay off the single. Mr. Barr, are there enough bottled waters in there? The right proportion of blue M&Ms? People! I said enoki mushrooms for Mr. Barr, not portabello!
And like the best needle-wielders, Dan freely admitted his own foibles, chief among which was his golf game. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the guy sucked. Couldnt play a lick.
Still, he was a blast to be around. And he loved the game. Loyal listeners to Dans program know he always had the blue-collar golfer in mind, whether the subject was equipment regulation or golf ball distance. No surprise there ' before his radio life, Dan was in the retail side of the golf business in central California.
On that same Louisiana trip, in our no-phone cottage in Lake Charles, it was Dan who lent me his cell phone so I could cover the latest U.S. Golf Association news. (Hey, how come they always wait until you get on the road to do these things? Dan asked at the time.) Earlier that morning, we had sat on the porch, munching on Frosted Flakes, watching the sun come up, and talking about all the good times and good people we had met in this game.
Dan Moschetti was the kind of guy everybody wanted in his foursome, anemic game notwithstanding. Golf was fun for Dan. Heck, life was fun for Dan.
The game he was best at was spreading it around.