Two time Northern California PGA’s Sports Media Person of the Year Frank La Rosa

Monday, July 2nd

Frank took his passion for golf and parlayed it into a career.  Listen to him talk about friendships with Arnold Palmer and other legendary golfers!     
00:22:09

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Walsh saw off emotion. Firm. Nation hears from emotion. Is there. Are great person. I think that's totally new news for twenty something years but this is actually the first times he sat down and talk. We have yeah that's true and it's it's amazing how this business you you we've had people you know people in your. You raw moving so fast we don't have time to do that. Absolutely well so what I'm gonna Polly Platt on mine podcast post about you is that anyone who has probably ever golfed in aid. Charity tournament and then the Sacramento region in the five counties. Whether they know that they know you're not they know you right. Well you know it's it's interesting I'm I'm always surprised when I asked about the new listing because I am listing every damn likely to say in this net. You know sometimes we sit and a microphone and we start talking we forget there's actually listeners out there are so good at it it's fun to get that feedback. So you are some men and my husband. Idolize because he lives and breathes golf beef with. The kids up at oh dark thirty he gets up on the weekends so that still we still have our weekends and golf's and you have hardly. Your passion. Into a career and an ongoing passion how this all happened. You know it's really funny because. It's almost thirty years ago now very good friend of mine was writing a story for sunset magazine on the golf course is a point. And he said when you come along as my photographer. And I said great and and so I got my wife and my six month old baby and we flew to to Hawaii we spent fourteen days. Played golf thirteen day Paul stayed in four star hotel safe great deal I'm sorry yeah it was horrible and I went. You I can do this. And I literally when I got back I sent a note to. 21 of the local newspapers and I said you need a gulf column there isn't enough information you can sell ads around that stand people looking for it so they said fine your net and Helen oh assists while this is almost thirty years ago now on hand. So. But that afternoon I got on the phone and I call Silverado essay on the golf and travel editor they say come on down and and I started writing one column a month it was great I had all all the golf I could handle and just sort of was was you know. It's sticking my toe in the water. Well over the course of the years the network grows and do you meet more people and as it turns out my aid application builder has become a huge part of my vocation. And at this point the you know I do that the ESPN's staff I hosted. A television series for channel six on golf. I'm in the Sacramento golf hall of fame a and honorary member of the PGA's and number thirteen since nineteen Tawny I mean I just. And and I have an awful lot of they in the real world I have an advertising agency so I have a lot of and business in in and the golfer as well so it it's a great meld. Of the fun and work. So this is this can be heaven on earth for golfers to listen to so over those thirty years when you have been writing about golf courses and traveling. Tell me some of the stories about some of the pros that you have undoubtedly come up against in the past and and and more current than our golf aficionados are just and don't. My. You know. In India it we'd I think we did seven shows and in the channel six series and down. In those seven shows I had down. Jack Nicklaus. Can Terry Johnny Miller. Annika Sorenstam. Peter Jacobson I mean that the the list just went on and on and it was just really nice timing at that all worked out. And all of them were fun all of them were great and but but the one guy that you know that sort of I sat with sort of slack jawed and open amazement was any time I was around Arnold Palmer and the demand is magnificent you know he. We had him for a fund raiser. It's named after Jim Langley who is the head pro at cypress point for 34 years and it's the northern California PGA foundation puts on this fund raiser. Supports PGA hope which is. Veterans and I getting them back into the real world and so. Arnold Palmer's and around with 325. People after dinner and everybody in that round felt that they had a personal moment let him. For him to be in the middle of a crowd and be talking to me in turn to someone else and recognize them pose for a photo and shake your hand. He just did it with such grace that that everybody felt that they were his best friend who is remarkable. And then his passing I don't think there was a single unkind words said about him and when you're in the public can view their could be someone who said yeah he was a jerk to me. But not a single unkind words that are not that man. I don't think anybody could you know there is the when in in the early days of the tour things were things are a lot different than them. There wasn't the see you right on I have of the media. Do you sort of watching every move people make so you know people probably got away with some things and that they might not have from now but. But I don't think anybody ever would've had them. And unkind word to say and are now. All right so I'm just gonna put this out there that my husband is a scratch golfer and we go around and around about this and I say. And look at some of the physics of some of the golfers not so much now but in the past and I say that's not a sport look at this sheet these people are and uses the hell it's not it's a sport. Is it a sport frank. Well yeah of course. Biz but you know I was you can you could say that. You know that that chess is a sport to. What there. Again you go back to the early days of the tour you had some you know some pretty incredible bellies out there than the guys on turnout there for her as a flat bellies. Hand they trained so much more than than anybody and never did now. Some they would say they train too much and that they build muscles that aren't necessarily the best in a golf swing. But. You know you guys like Rory McIlroy or lifting weights and they're they're in the gym every day. And tiger was always so buffed out and and still lives honestly yeah. I'm so here in the Sacramento and in the northern California region list off some of the nor cal golfer male and female there from this area in the in the passing currently. Got some big names that are kind of a calling their way up the ladder yeah you very well so no I have the last yeah. Certainly in the past you know you have about it I knew you almost have to start with a guy like Ken Morton you know I'm Ken certainly wasn't a professional golfer but he just mark his sixtieth here at an Hague announced that serves as a remarkable. Time spent at one facility and and we really kind of referred to him as the godfather of golf. Many many of the ideas that have that have happened throughout the golf world. Including first TV and golf things for people with disabilities. And women's golf. A lot of that stuff was a started right here in Sacramento and only a lot of people know that now none at all while cans not that kind of a guy. You know to be out there are telling the world but. Yeah he's he's remarkable. And I'm in right now on the Champions Tour is certainly your got down. Kevin Sutherland who Yahoo! is made great career for himself. His brother David also played on tour and had some. Had some physical issues that cannon cannon kept his gain from progressing to where it might have and David is now we're sac state. Director of their golf programs over there. Now legal analysts were talking happily as he walked into. And that today she's from this area Natalie Gulbis. Is is. From Granite Bay high as I remember played on the boys golf team there. Yes she says she's made a great name for herself I think she's only won once but she has managed to turn. Her career in two on. A lot of endorsements as well so you know she's she's done very well another one that stays physically fit. Absolutely. I'm so tell me about Casey RA radio I've been here twenty something years and only Mukasey RA as a TV station. But you know you were involved with case CRA radio. I was. Johnny Hyde who was one of the certainly one of the best rock jock here in Sacramento. He was with Caro alive for years knew that whole life. Yeah and LeCroy where this fighting kicks or weigh in those years and then. And Johnny had Corey in the top all the time well Johnny and I were friends and we said around one night drinking line trying to decide which radio station needed his help. And we decided this case the RA so he went down there and said then I wanna program your station and and ended up with a job so. He asked me if I would help then and I was the first guy that that he hired to put on the air. It was great fun you know because if it was. Established radio station but it was a station that we were developing brand new things breath. Is such as well. It. We knew we were we were doing debts back then that. That would take. You know 34 days in the production studio and would take three minutes on the air. I'm always trying to do something a little bit different. It it was tough to do it in a station with a format that. Signed on and signed off its signed on with. News. News from sixty tin music from ten to noon news from. Noon to two music from too you know as it was like that. As a matter fact. The guy on the board before me he ran remember in the board during the newscast was Gary Gerald. Oh god he's and I felt like an area on air. I I just told a story the other day about a radio pornography which Christmas is kind of fun because radio pornography well we all have listeners right now I'll have listeners that that. You recognize their voices when they call and then. Now on this guy used to call a time request songs well I find out at some point that he worked an adult bookstore. And he would he would have us on in the they'll bookstore at night so I thought you know I'm I'm I'm big and adult bookstores anyway. I'll never forget the the time that I was so. I'm getting ready to go on the air well you had to lobby with not only the radio with the TV station it was about. Quitting time. And so the lobby was filled with people I was told I had guessed I walked out there I didn't see anybody I knew I said I'm frank anybody here for me. And across the run this guy refer cut offs and you know a tank top and long string the hair and many a couple of teeth held up this package and says hi frank here Haitian pornography. It's a porn star it's the warm up guy. So much richer asked for a while I have to tell you I didn't requested it was a you know we had that women that would bring cookies and cupcakes and these men and a torn down the right and under for the let's circle from there back to golf and I love all the different up nonprofits who or where I I think the massive. Known that you reminded me that first he started. In this area and first tee. But my husband had talked to me when our kids were younger he would take them not say I would love to spend four hours with them talking about life and when they got older maybe make this a place where they could talk to me about. Things that were going sideways in their life and in the meantime teach them etiquette and respect and networking with important people on the golf course and it's such a great organization started here in Sacramento. Well the first tee. It is is a youth development program and down. Years ago when the city schools. Got rid of the money for golf programs can Morton decided that. He would develop this foundation. And to help support golf in the schools and it was called Sacramento area youth golf. That became the title programs say golf that became the pilot program for first tee. And today the Sacramento chapter of the first he is is one of the the nation's premier chapters a lot of very innovative things come out of here as well. But it initially with first tee they they kind of got off to a bumpy start in my mind because I don't think they ever. In the beginning establish the fact that it was a youth development program Lou I think most people thought it was a program to teach kids to play golf. And that's solid foundation yet it it down. Some of that the stories. Me and I've had a about opportunity to interview some of these kids over the years and I am it's remarkable. Where they've come from men and where they get to and down. Some of them addressing congress. Lovett. You know it's just it's been remarkable and it it. It is certainly their program worthy of it. What it was when you sit down to think about charities I mean almost every charity that you can think of you know has something going forward but but the ones that Canon deal with kids and kind of get him off on the right. Start I think this is. This is a place to put some attention. I love that you hear back from some of them that have succeeded it. Very possibly because of the men touring in the time they spent. Golfing as part of it but also learning honesty and respect and posture and speaking well you know two people and respect and everything that that that goes with this. Program on a golf course you can always tell a first tee kid when you when you meet him on a golf curse says they'll take off there happens out there now and I'll say hi I'm so and so. And yet until I started to have a lost art and it's maybe not something that that that they learned to. And homer in school and and certainly first tee. Emphasizes that. But he talked to some of the kids see you know even just the small victories I was doing really badly in school and down. You know the the things I learned in first he helped me when my home burned help me with my respect to getting along with my and my parents and my siblings and and and those are really heartwarming kinds of stories. Good stuff OK so Sacramento region favorite golf course and then worldwide. Top three are you get it (%expletive) anybody off a viewpoint if you play no one favorite old course full absolutely they're well. Well it or more give me your favorites locally. Well OK so let let's try it this way of the first time I ever played golf. I don't feel I was a junior in high school up. And my father was in the military we lived on May third. And we got on our bikes and erode over there and sir it was the first time ever played well you don't you know you're not thinking about the things that. That you you think about later when you play golf that you know boy is my elbow in the right place is my my hips right and all that's he's just a kid you go out there and swing the golf club and it was great. You know on it it cost us very little money and we just did go on our bikes and that summer I played a lot of golf and quite frankly put down the clubs for a very long time and probably didn't pick him up again until I was Saddam. Mid twenties oh wow yeah and and it was just. The game is is really intriguing you know none of us will ever get to be as good as we think we wanna be your husband as a scratch golfer that's that's incredible. He comes on the other day and he's just as I type played terribly I sucked why I don't know everything was wrong yeah absolutely and some days you go out there and everything is just so easy and so perfect India the days you run you wondering where the holding the right into the club. It's it's just remarkable how how. How you can lose and yet you go back out after that frustrating oh yeah you know the next time is going to be great. Okay all right so maybe there is one of your favorites for for. And were emotional reason this apps. Literally you know what I I go out there now end and is you know I think in my parents that that aren't aware of me now and I think of backyard. The fights my Brothers and you know washing my car and and and growing up in on all those things and and so it they're really is a great sense of nostalgia wanna go back there. Pagan oaks is certainly is. You know is is the bedrock of golf here in Sacramento. With 36 holes and and again all the programs that they offer. You know their 151000 square foot pro shop. You know everything is is just first rate there. Your TD he is it is a remarkable designs have my cache creek cash greenhouse gas and and it's interesting everytime I see Brad bell who designed the course I you know complement him and and and Brad is the first to point out. Yeah I appreciated the comment but they maintain a very well and and he says if if the maintenance isn't there the design just doesn't come through anymore so. He of their there are a lot of things that go into. A beautiful golf course for me quite frankly. In I mean I've I've played some of them that the best courses it is in the world but. It isn't of course as I remember are the ones that I was with friends. Because it it it's all about the relationships to me it's you know it's it's the trashed our markets. Having a beer afterwards it's you know watching somebody make a great. Those are the memories I take away. Having been to Scotland the birthplace of golf. I have not but but there are plans that felt good doing that fantastic and so on a worldwide. And some of your favorites or are you favor that stands out maybe because of how great it was or because of GE having a great experience with friends. And a call at a course outside this area. You know I've had the great fortune to play cypress point a couple of. I send. Depending on which Poland loses like number 12 or three in the world to depending on who you ask but. I I became. Great friends with Jim Langley who has the head golf professional there and there was a man that. I used to call on the human error. There was no way to compliment him because he always found a way to make that. And your compliment from Jim you look great today both frank why would not here with me oh gosh. I don't think I thought and charged for lessons in the 34 years he was there he was beloved by everybody at at his funeral. And the I'm Jim Nantz who was a friend of Jim Langley came in and did the eulogy and insist. Then there's a man that touched many lives so. During the course of the the fund raiser for the Langley had talked I told you about we had. Our our honorees as elementary as Arnold Palmer can even carry Tom Watson and Johnny Miller. The Jack Nicklaus and an every time I'm one of those a gentleman was going to come I would say the jam. Do you do you know Jack. Well you know I've met Jack broke down town he certainly and and their humble yeah Jack would command and threw his arms around him into power in gym it's so nice to see you and thank you for all your hospitality over the years suit. He was so. He was a very giving man. What great stories none so you know you were kidding here. You're still here or why do you stay in this region as the because this and this podcast is called nor account names and it talks to all the eclectic interesting artistic athletic. Important people who call this region home. I you've been here for a long time. Yeah you know once you set down roots. It it's pretty hard to leave them in Sacramento is is in my mind northern Californians that is the perfect place in the world who with. With the weather over the we have with the access to the beach to the mountains. Of the golf courses to the golf course has sent out beat you you talk about Scotland you talk about. It that. You know it anyplace around the world that has wonderful golf courses that it's pretty hard to compete with the with the Monterey Peninsula and I California we have some incredible golf around here. But. When you grow up here you know it's you you really do set down roots I am I remember. You know walking down K street mall. When they had a case strip mall and it was just that sort of concrete. Bastion that it was but. I would see 68 people that I knew just walking from one end of the mall to the other you know we've we've grown to a much much bigger. More cosmopolitan cities and and then but those are still kind of through the roots that you can live with the old state fair and you know all of those kinds of things that you go up when. So frankly in us we've known each other for years and years thank you for finally I can't believe we haven't done this before and we've recorded it for posterity thanks to sit down and talking with me am I think you might have did come back again for. Part B at some point part.
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