Ever been on a PGA, LPGA or Champions Tour?
David Cook has been announcing live at professional golf tournaments for five years, so one of the voices you may have heard on the course was likely his!
Join me for my interview with David Cook here on VOX Daily.
I’m very excited to bring you this interview with David Cook, professional announcer and voice over talent. If you scroll up a bit to see the picture above, you can see Tiger Woods shaking hands with a gentleman in a red ball cap – that’s David Cook.
Now, I’d like to share our interview 🙂
Stephanie: How did you get the gig as the primary PGA announcer?
David: When the PGA TOUR’s Deutsche Bank Championship was lining up its staffing 5 years ago, they learned that I might not be available Tournament Week because I was a semi-finalist for the Boston Red Sox public address announcer’s job. Once they heard that someone else was chosen by the Sox, they decided to make me their “tournament voice” on the 1st tee to introduce the players to the thousands of spectators as they teed off. Later they added announcing on the 18th hole.
Stephanie: What is your favorite leg of the PGA tour?
David: Hmmm – that’s a tough call because in addition to PGA, I also do some announcing for LPGA Legends Tour and PGA’s Champions (formerly Senior) Tour. Each has some special meaning for me as I am a lover of golf history as well.
Stephanie: Are your expenses paid for you?
David: I am compensated in various ways by the different tournaments. At the moment, the events I work are all in Greater Boston so travel expense is a non-issue.
Stephanie: Where do you sit when you announce?
David: I stand most of the time as I have found the need to move around the tee box (or green) to interact with the players plus my voice projects better that way.
Stephanie: Have they given you a special jacket to wear when you are working?
David: Generally a blazer with tournament crest worn over an official Tournament shirt is the “uniform of the day.”
Stephanie: Is your announcing affiliated with a particular broadcast station or are you with the PGA?
David: I am an independent contractor (just as the players are!) so at any given event, depending on the coverage, my voice might be carried over NBC or ABC or Golf Channel, XM radio, New England Sports Network, PGA Tour productions etc.
Stephanie: Who have you met while on the tour? Any celebrities, dignitaries or royalty?
David: Pretty much the full gamut from obvious big names such as Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, Kathy Whitworth (winner of 88 LPGA titles!!) and Nancy Lopez. I have also met and introduced Donald Trump and various other media, sports and business leaders who love the game of golf. Arnold has been called The King of Golf but that is as close to “royalty” as I’ve gotten.
Stephanie: Do you get to hang out in the club house?
David: It varies with each event but there’s really not much time to hang around. Bottom line – I have all the access I need to do my job. Tour staff and local Tournament officials are incredibly supportive.
Stephanie: How would you describe announcing for golf?
David: It’s a total rush. First of all, I love and respect the game (just wish I played it a bit better) so being that close to the action/players is a thrill. Plus it’s an important role and responsibility to get the players to tee off at exactly the right time with the correct scorecard and to pronounce names correctly.
Some of the international names can be a bit challenging! And when you have thousands watching and listening, you really want to nail the introductions. The roar of the crowd – as you might imagine – is also pretty unforgettable. I try to “take my vocal efforts to the next level” when introducing our defending champion or someone who has just won a Major Championship such as Padraig Harrington, Zach Johnson, Angel Cabrera and Tiger Woods earlier this year.
Stephanie: How do you use your voice? Is it low, hushed tones at certain instances?
David: Good question. As we hear on TV coverage of golf, the play by play announcers in the tower speak in a low voice so as not to disturb the players concentration while putting, etc. But since I am speaking before players begin their rounds or as they approach the 18th green green, I am free to use all the vocal gusto that seems appropriate. It makes for a welcome change of pace from much of the radio spots and e-learning gigs that I do.
Stephanie: Do you have a favorite player on the tour?
David: Wow – that is such a hard call. With all due respect to the hundreds I have met and introduced – past and present – getting to meet Arnold Palmer is hard to top. He has meant so much to the game of golf and helped bring it into mainstream of sports starting in the 1960s . Of course today, Tiger is considered America’s top golf ambassador. The crowd roars that he gets are amazing!
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