Tim Rosaforte, the first journalist to be awarded honorary membership by the PGA of America, has died after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Golf Channel announced Tuesday. He was 66.
Rosaforte retired in December 2019 after a career that spanned more than 40 years in newspapers, magazines, books and television.
“The PGA Tour family lost a friend today in Tim Rosaforte, one of the great golf journalists of his generation,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “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 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 a part of the greater golf community.”
There was an outpouring of condolences on social media from throughout the golf world, with Phil Mickelson and Jack Nicklaus among those to praise Rosaforte for his work.
“Tim was one of the best at what he did,” Mickelson tweeted. “He lifted those up around him and shared insight into the game of golf from an interesting and positive point of view. He will be remembered by so many he came in contact with and we are all better for having known him.”
Added Nicklaus: “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.”
In 2020, Rosaforte became just the 12th person to be appointed a PGA of America honorary member, joining a list that includes former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, and nine-time major champion Gary Player.
Rosaforte was honored with numerous awards over his career, including the PGA of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism. The Honda Classic renamed its media center in his honor.
He wrote for the Tampa Times, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest over his career, while also taking on golf broadcast roles with USA Network and the NBC-Golf Channel reporting team.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
So sad, Alzheimers is an absolute brutal disease and just takes away so many great people. I hope and pray one day, we find something that can eliminate this terrible illness. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Rosaforte family.