Women of the Golf Channel (2023 Edition)

In 2012 I created a post titled Women of Golf Channel and it was my most popular post. The information became outdated so I did a Women of Golf Channel (2018 Edition). It’s time for another update.

In 2020, Golf Channel announced they were moving from Orlando, Florida to NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut which had a huge impact on their employees. A lot of familiar faces on the Golf Channel were gone including; Chantel McCabe (now with ESPN), Lisa Corwell (was very vocal about discrimination at Golf Channel and has a book coming out May 2023 called TroubleMaker), Bailey Mosier (TV personality and married to Brandel Chamblee so occasionally appears on Golf Channel), and Lauren Thompson (works for NBC sports NEXT – the technology division that includes GolfPass).

You would think that Golf Channel would list it’s TV personalities in the about section of their website but that would be to easy. If you want to find them go to NBC Sportsgroup Press Box for a list.

Here are the current women of the Golf Channel

Anna Jackson (formally Whiteley) – joined in 2019 as a co-host of Morning Drive (replacing Cara Banks-Robinson who was promoted to Golf Central. She came from England. Morning Drive was cancelled when Golf Channel moved to Connecticut but Anna remained and now co-hosts shows like Golf Central and Golf Today.

Cara Robinson – joined in 2015 as a co-host to Morning Drive (replacing Holly Saunders). In my opinion, she has become the “Kelly Tilghman” of Golf Channel and does the “Live from” broadcasts from all the important championships.

Paige Mackenzie – joined full-time in 2015 but has been doing on-air appearances since 2012. Her title on her bio page is “Analyst, LPGA Tour” but her role is much bigger with appearances on Golf Today as the analyst discussing PGA tour betting odds, analyst at PGA Tour Waste Management and LPGA tour events.

Morgan Pressel – joined in 2021 and officially took over Judy Rankin’s roll in the booth for LPGA tournaments when Rankin retired in 2022. Her first work was as an on-course analyst for LPGA events while she was still actively playing on the LPGA. Her first on-air TV work was at the 2015 USGA US Women’s Open.

Karen Stupples – joined in 2013 and is an on-air course reporter for the LPGA. She has occasionally been in the booth and I thought she may get to replace Judy Rankin but Pressel won the job. As a side note, she and her partner, Jerry Foltz (former LPGA on-course reporter) are a couple that became “social media” popular during the pandemic because of their amusing twitter feeds. Foltz has left the Golf Channel to join LIV as a golf analyst.

Kay Cockerill – joined in 1995 (since the start of Golf Channel). Her role now is mostly as an on-course reporter for LPGA events. She also does some women’s college events and NCAA golf championships that air on Golf Channel.

Kira Dixon – joined Golf Channel PGA tour coverage in 2021. Prior to her role interviewing players on-air, she was on the digital platform Golf Pass as a lifestyle reporter. She also did digital work for the USGA.

Amy Rogers – She fills-in for Anna Jackson on Golf Central and also is seen on LPGA coverage doing interviews. Amy is listed as a “contributor” on her Golf Channel profile. She is also listed as a contribution on the LPGA Network.

Henni Koyack – Not sure if she is an NBC employee but in 2023 she joined the Golf Channel Podcast “Beyond the Fairway.” Occasionally she appears on PGA Tour coverage on NBC/Golf Channel doing player interviews or special content segments. She also worked for the PGA Tour GolfTV and is most recognized for her exclusive interviews with Tiger Woods. She is from England and a former LET golfer.

Blair O’Neal – I don’t know if she is an employee of Golf Channel but she is the co-host of School of Golf so most people associate her with the Golf Channel. In 2010, she won the Big Break which was a wildly popular Golf Channel show.

As a side note, some people think that Dottie Pepper and Amanda Balionis-Renner work for the Golf Channel but they do not. Both women work for CBS Sports. They get to work The Masters and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM so if I had my choice of jobs of all the women highlighted in this post, I’d want Pepper or Renner’s job.


Women of the Golf Channel


The other day I was talking to a gentleman that likes golf and he said “I like that woman on the golf channel. You know, she’s attractive and has a deep voice.”  I said, “The one that does the tournament coverage?”  He said “Yes.”  I replied “That’s Kelly Tilghman.”

There is great female on-air talent at the Golf Channel and I thought it would be fun to give my view on the women of the golf channel.

(1) Kelly Tilghman is the “grande dame” of the Golf Channel.  She has been with the golf channel since the very beginning and according to her bio, “in 2007, she became the first full-time female play-by-play commentator in the history of the PGA Tour.”

I have watched Tilghman for years and like her commentary and she does have a great voice.  She also has great golf credentials — she was on the golf team at Duke and played professionally from 1992 to 1996.  She is also very funny.  She recently was on Morning Drive and was great.  I hope they have her guest host again.

Unfortunately, her humor has gotten her into trouble.  Many will remember Tilghman because she made a remark during a PGA tournament broadcast in 2008 that Rev. Al Sharpton claimed was a racial insult to Tiger Woods.  Tilghman did apologize but that was not enough for Rev. Al Sharpton — he wanted her fired.  On the other hand, Tiger said he did not take offense.  In fact Tiger appears to trust Tilghman (which was evident in 2010 when Tiger selected Tilghman to do his first interview after his personal life scandal.)  And, Tilghman has been an announcer on Tiger’s very popular Video games.

Image of Holly Sonders(2) Holly Sonders is on the Morning Drive show. Her role is basically to do news headlines and setup segments for the main two hosts (Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams.)  She played college golf for Michigan State University.  You can tell from the few segments she has done on golf exercises and the swing that she really is a great golfer.  The golf channel executives must have noticed too because it was just announced she will be on The School of Golf every Wednesday.  She is also quite funny. I wish she had more air time on the morning show.

Image of Winn McMurray(3) Winn McMurray — McMurray is the fashion consultant and writes articles for “Fashion Focus” (a golf channel blog.)  She used to also host “The 19th Hole” but that has a new host (see below). Her big claim to fame is that she won the 2011 Fantasy Golf Challenge.  I’m always happy to see a woman win!

Image of Lauren Thompson(4) Lauren Thompson — Thompson hosts Golf Now, a travel show. And, the morning drive cast have given her the nickname of T3 (because she hosts the Top Ten series and her last name is Thompson — get it, Top Ten Thompson).

Image of Stephanie Sparks(5) Stephanie Sparks —  Most will know Sparks from the Big Break which is a reality show on the Golf Channel.  She also does on-course commentary for the LPGA and Nationwide tour.  Like Tilghman, she played golf at Duke University.  I like Stephanie Sparks on Big Break but you don’t see her on any other shows.

Image of Lara Baldesarra

(6) Lara Baldesarra — The newest member of Golf Channel’s elite women broadcasters.  She just started this year as the host of The 19th Hole.  She will also fill in as a co-host on the Golf Central show.  My first impressions of her on-air style is that she is very animated and I can tell she is Canadian by the way she says words like “about.”  I’m not crazy about the tone of her voice — it is a bit grating to me; but I’m willing to see how she does over time.

Overall I think all of the Golf Channel Women are entertaining and do a great job.  My favorites are based on their on-air personality and how they display their knowledge of the game.  Kelly Tilghman is my favorite and Holly Sonders is fast becoming a close second. I think Sonders has a very promising future with the Golf Channel.