Golf’s Renaissance Man: A Profile of the Author Matthew Adams
New York Times best selling author, award-winning national morning host on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio and golf industry executive, Matthew E. Adams, is one of those people that are hard to pin down. Ask him what he does for a living and “Matty”, as his friends call him (he publishes under his full name), will tell you that the answer depends on when you ask him. What cannot be denied is that for a man with many passions, any one of his multiple jobs would be one that most people would love to have.
Adams has been called “the best interviewer in golf,” by golfing legends including Billy Casper and Gary Player. On multiple occasions, he has interviewed virtually every living legend of the game from Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Adams’ broadcasting talents have been featured on the BBC, ESPN, Golf Channel, PGA Tour Entertainment, European Tour Productions and Back9Network, among others. Matt has hosted broadcasts from every Major and the Ryder Cup. He counts hosting from the Open Championship at St Andrews in 2010 for ESPN/ITV, The Ryder Cup from Celtic Manor for the world feed and the 2011 U.S. Open from Congressional for ESPN as his live coverage highlights. Week in and week out, no golf commentator in the world can be heard for more hours than Adams, who has established himself as a distinctive voice not only for the game’s top tours, but also for the lifestyle elements of the sport, including
travel, history and equipment.
As a New York Times best selling author, his premier literary successes have come from his co-authoring multiple books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. In addition, Adams is also an expert in golf equipment technology by virtue of spending many years on the manufacturing side of the game, having built and/or designed golf clubs for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Nicklaus, MacGregor, Ram and Wilson. He is also a professional sports broadcaster, golf course operator, speaker, founder and chairman of an important collegiate golf tournament, golf historian and golf travel writer. What does he do? Maybe the question should be, what doesn’t he do?
In 2002, Matthew co-authored Chicken Soup for the Soul of America, Stories to Heal the Heart of Our Nation, with Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. The book quickly rose to the top spot in book rankings around the world and it was printed in multiple language translations. Proceeds from the book benefited the New York Area Relief Fund. Matt described the experience of writing and compiling this book as one of the most emotional and rewarding experiences of his life. “In the face of such horror, we saw such nobility.
As the worst of human nature was revealed we also saw the triumph of kindness, caring and love,” said Adams. “Even at Ground Zero, immediately following the attacks, the people of New York were so heroic and resolute. The events of September 11, 2001 did not make all of these people heroes; it just exposed their heroism for the entire world to
All told, sales of Adams’ ten books to date have surpassed 1,000,000 copies, making him one of the most successful authors of the last decade.
Matt calls the golf industry his “primary profession” and he has mastered his craft in the sport for over twenty-five years in golf club operations, golf equipment manufacturing and golf media. As such, he has become a well-respected and recognized expert in many facets of the business. “Most people choose to work in the golf industry as a life style. It takes a long time to forge a path to financial stability in any profession and golf is no different and probably even harder because so many people would literarily do it for nothing if they could. I have always believed in following your passion first, and then the money will follow. I am extremely fortunate to have made a career in the game I love. Making it in any vocation takes hard work. You may not be the most talented, most experienced, well connected, or smartest, but nobody can stop you from being the hardest worker. If you can’t outshine them, out work them, because in the end hard work beats out glamour every time.”
Matt’s roots in broadcasting began in radio. Matt began working in sports radio while still in high school. He would go to the radio station at 5:00 AM, edit and file his reports, then race off to school. After college (where he broadcasted hundreds of hours of live hockey), Matt began his career working in the production department at ESPN where his assignments were the NHL, NFL, and SportsCenter. Matt left ESPN to pursue his primary passion of working in the game of golf. However, he maintained his dual passions of media and golf, establishing himself as a person who not only understood the complexity of modern golf equipment technology, but he could speak to it in simple, easy to understand terms to millions of viewers all over the world during the early days of the Golf Channel. “You have to make yourself distinctive. You must establish yourself as a unique authority, as an expert in something. That gives you credibility and the ability to use your forum as a basis of expansion to other areas where you have an interest or passion.”
Following his passion is not an area that Adams seems to struggle in. Matt is very proud of his Irish roots and spends a portion of every year back in Ireland when not dividing his time between homes in New England and Florida. “I’ve always said that if one day I’m lucky enough to walk through the Pearly Gates, I’ll just look around, nod and say ‘Yea, I recognize the place,’ because to me, Ireland is my heaven on earth.”
For a person that rarely has time to play golf, Matt has memberships at multiple clubs, including Reunion in Florida and Narin & Portnoo in County Donegal, Ireland. Among the organizations that Matt belongs to are the Golf Writers Association, Golf Travel Writers Association, Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, International Network of Golf and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Author, golf expert and administrator, worldwide broadcaster, speaker, so which job does Matt like the best? “Whichever one I am doing at the moment,” he reasoned. “Life is about doing what you like to do and I like to do a lot of different things. I’ve tried to do is fill my life with things that interest me. Basically, my various jobs are really my hobbies, so I never feel like I work a day in my life.”