Jim Nantz to receive Old Tom Morris Award from GCSAA

The sports commentator’s insight and analysis have illuminated golf for worldwide audiences for more than three decades.


Jim Nantz golf
A former collegiate golfer, Jim Nantz has called the Masters, the PGA Championship, the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Photo courtesy of Nantz Enterprises

Jim Nantz, three-time Emmy winner and lead anchor of CBS Sports’ golf coverage, will be the recipient of the 2021 Old Tom Morris Award from GCSAA.

Nantz will receive the award Feb. 2 during the Opening Session of the virtual 2021 Golf Industry Show.

GCSAA’s highest honor, the Old Tom Morris Award has been presented annually since 1983 to an individual who, through a lifetime commitment to the game of golf, has helped mold the welfare of the game in the manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris. Morris, a four-time Open champion, was the longtime superintendent at St. Andrews in Scotland until his death in 1908.

Nantz joined the CBS Sports golf team in 1986 and became the lead anchor of the network’s golf coverage in April 1994, partnering with 1998 Old Tom Morris Award winner Ken Venturi until June 2002. He currently partners with six-time major championship winner Sir Nick Faldo. In addition to his golf broadcast responsibilities, Nantz is also the lead play-by-play announcer for the network’s NFL and college basketball coverage.

“For more than three decades, Jim Nantz has been the face and voice to lead viewers through golf’s biggest events,” says Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “Through his insight and analysis, we have all felt a deeper connection to the game. His respect for and recognition of superintendents throughout his career make him an exemplary choice for the Old Tom Morris Award.”

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Nantz began covering sports as a student at the University of Houston, where he was a member of the golf team. After graduating in 1981 with a degree in radio and television broadcasting, he worked at CBS affiliates in Houston and Salt Lake City before joining CBS Sports in 1985.

In 2007, Nantz became the first commentator in history to call the Super Bowl, the NCAA Men’s Final Four and the Masters all in the same year, repeating this feat in 2010, 2013 and 2016. In 2019, Nantz completed an even rarer achievement: calling the AFC Championship, Super Bowl, Final Four, Masters and PGA Championship, all in a span of 120 days.

Other accolades for Nantz include membership in the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame, and being named National Sportscaster of the Year five times.

“(The Old Tom Morris Award) is a big one,” says Nantz. “I treasure the relationship that I have with many superintendents around the country, and I value their efforts so much. They work so hard and they don’t get the acclaim I feel they deserve. They’re so incredibly well educated and trained on all issues involving agronomy. It’s been an eye-opener for me the last 35 years.”

Outside of broadcasting, in 2011 Nantz teamed with Houston Methodist Hospital to create the Nantz National Alzheimer Center. The NNAC has become a leader in dementia research, diagnosis and treatment. Nantz wrote a New York Times Best Seller chronicling his father’s battle with the disease, “Always By My Side,” in 2008.

Nantz lives in Pebble Beach, Calif., with his wife, Courtney. They have two daughters, Caroline and Finley, and a son, Jameson.

Past Old Tom Morris Award winners

2020: Gary Player
2019: The Powell family
2018: Ernie Els
2017: Paul R. Latshaw
2016: Herb Kohler
2015: Dan Jenkins
2014: Annika Sorenstam
2013: Michael Hurdzan, Ph.D.
2012: Peter Jacobsen
2011: Nick Price
2010: Judy Rankin
2009: Col. John Morley
2008: Greg Norman
2007: Charles Sifford
2006: Joseph M. Duich, Ph.D.
2005: Jack Nicklaus
2004: Rees Jones
2003: Pete Dye
2002: Walter Woods
2001: Timothy W. Finchem
2000: Nancy Lopez
1999: Jaime Ortiz-Patiño
1998: Ken Venturi
1997: Ben Crenshaw
1996: Tom Fazio
1995: James R. Watson, Ph.D.
1994: Byron Nelson
1993: Dinah Shore
1992: Tom Watson
1991: William C. Campbell
1990: Sherwood A. Moore, CGCS
1989: Juan “Chi Chi” Rodriguez
1988: Gene Sarazen
1987: Robert Trent Jones Sr.
1986: Patty Berg
1985: Gerald Ford
1984: Bob Hope
1983: Arnold Palmer