Tim Rosaforte, the veteran journalist who became one of the first television “insiders,” passed away Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after a brief battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 66.
Rosaforte retired in late 2019 after a decorated career that included stops at Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest and Golf Channel. He officially joined Golf Channel in 2007, but he first appeared on the network in the mid-1990s, during the company’s infancy. Over the years he grew into the high-profile role of golf’s “insider,” offering notes and behind-the-scenes tidbits about the sport and its biggest names.
One of the game’s most well-respected voices and well-connected reporters, Rosaforte covered more than 125 majors and 17 Ryder Cups; the 2020 edition was the first Masters he’d missed since 1983.
During his standout career, Rosaforte received both the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism and the Memorial Tournament’s golf journalism award. The PGA also awarded him a lifetime membership, the first journalist to receive the honor. He was further honor last year when the Honda Classic, an event he covered for three decades near his South Florida home, named its media center after him. The tournament also announced the Tim Rosaforte Distinguished Writers' Award, which will be presented annually. Rosaforte was the first recipient.
Born Oct. 25, 1955, in Mount Kisco, New York, Rosaforte began his career with the Tampa Times in 1977, Rosaforte continued on to the Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest/Golf World. In all, he earned more than 40 writing awards, including first place in all four non-daily categories of the Golf Writers Association of America writing contest. Last year, the University of Rhode Island announced the creation of an endowed scholarship in honor of Rosaforte, who graduated from URI in 1977.
Rosaforte was survived by his wife, Genevieve, and daughters, Molly and Genna, and three grandchildren.