PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — Gary McCord has opinions. Not breaking any news here, but the long-time golf commentator is one of those guys that if you can get a microphone in front of, chances are you’re going to get a few gems.
The recent Arizona Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Class of 2023 at Paradise Valley Country Club was a chance for many decision-makers, influencers, players past and present and more to mingle, and McCord was among the attendees.
Wearing a slick, patterned white sport coat and his signature mustache, McCord, 75, was first asked the obvious question: Why are you here?
“Peter,” he said. “Kostis. We’re buddies. We were at CBS for 30 something years. I brought him here to Arizona.”
Kostis was one of four inductees in the Class of ’23, including former PGA Tour player Howard Twitty as well as Judy McDermott and Wade Dunagan, two stakeholders who were influential in the grass roots of the game in southern Arizona.
McCord seemingly knows everyone, but it was Kostis that McCord spoke the most about. Does he remember the first time they met?
“Yea. We were doing the Ryder Cup in 1989. Can’t remember where it was,” he admitted. “It was a road game. We had a team over there for USA Network and he was on the team and so we started hanging.”
Did the two of you two hit it off right away?
“Yea. I knew him from the Tour and him teaching a lot of the guys,” McCord said. “He got tired of Florida so I called him and I said ‘You wanna come down [to Arizona]? I got a new place called Grayhawk. I’m going to start a golf school there, and I have no idea what to do.
“He said ‘Let me think about it’, and then he said ‘Yea, I’ll do it’ and he moved out here.”
Here’s the rest of Golfweek‘s chat with Gary McCord.
GM: You never know if someone is overdue. It’s so political. Whoever checks the boxes. But of course he deserves it. He’s been part of the heirarchy of golf teaching in schools. He was one of the five guys who started the Golf Digest schools.
GWK: What impact did he leave on golf broadcasting?
GM: What he did was, when you’re teaching live, you gotta pick something out that that guy…