ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The World Golf Hall of Fame announced that Jim Nantz, Johann Rupert and Bob Goalby will be presenters at this year’s induction ceremony for the Class of 2011. NBC’s Dan Hicks, meanwhile, will serve as host of the annual induction ceremony on May 9.
Nantz, the play-by-play anchor of CBS's golf coverage, will be presenting former President George H.W. Bush. Nantz is a close friend of the Bush family. The former President is unable to attend the ceremony and will accept his induction in a pre-recorded video address.
It will be a busy night for Nantz, who will also present 2011 inductee Frank Chirkinian. Nantz got his start at CBS under the tutelage of Chirkinian, who became a mentor to him.
Ernie Els will be presented by his South African compatriot Rupert. As a long-time supporter and now current chairman of South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, Rupert has been able to watch Els rise from a star junior player to success on the world stage.
Bob Goalby, winner of 11 PGA TOUR events including the 1968 Masters, will be on hand to present fellow Masters champion Doug Ford.
Rounding out the Class of 2011, Jumbo Ozaki will remain in his native Japan for the ceremony. He and the late Jock Hutchison will be celebrated with video tributes.
“It is a privilege to have presenters and a host of this caliber at the 2011 induction ceremony,” said Jack Peter, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Hall of Fame. “We are eager to welcome the Class of 2011 to the World Golf Hall of Fame family. The induction ceremony is a signature event on golf’s world calendar and we’re very much looking forward to our new date and kicking off a great week of golf and THE PLAYERS Championship.”
The 2011 induction ceremony will be held at the St. Johns County Convention Center, located adjacent to the World Golf Hall of Fame at World Golf Village. The post-event gala will be inside the Hall of Fame.
Overnight packages and Ceremony & Gala tickets are available now. A limited number of complimentary general admission tickets to the induction ceremony only will be available to the public (two per person) beginning April 1 while supplies last. For tickets and more information about the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum, please visit WorldGolfHallofFame.org.
Legendary golf television producer Frank Chirkinian passed away on Friday.
Frank Chirkinian, the legendary golf and sports television producer, passed away at his North Palm Beach, Fla., home Friday evening after a long battle with lung cancer. Chirkinian, who was selected for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in February, was 84 years old ( click here for a video tribute of Chirkinian).
Under his 39-year watch as CBS' lead golf producer, the network was the first to use high-angle cameras in blimps, trees and cranes. He also put roving reporters on the ground, painted the cups white and created the IFB device that allows producers to talk to their announcers during a telecast.
In 1960 he was the first to list a player's score relative to par instead of their total strokes for the tournament.
In all, Chirkinian produced 38 Masters telecasts.
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem issued the following statement:
"Frank Chirkinian was a visionary in every sense of the word," Finchem said. "He was an artist. The sport of golf was presented on television to generations of fans in innovative, imaginative and entertaining ways because of Frank. Our sport has lost a friend and a true pioneer."
The World Golf Hall of Fame issued the following statement:
Jack Peter, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum: “Golf lost one of its giants with the passing of Frank Chirkinian. Like everyone in the game, the World Golf Hall of Fame family is saddened by this news. We will be honored to celebrate his life and impact on the game with his induction into the Hall of Fame in May. He will forever be remembered as a pioneer and truly deserving of being known as the father of golf on television.”
CBS Sports issued the following statements Friday:
Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports: "In his 38 years with CBS Sports, Frank Chirkinian's remarkable innovations and contributions have become the industry standard for the way we watch golf on television. Frank has left a legacy of excellence and creativity in golf broadcasting that will never be equaled and is a true Hall of Famer in all of sports television."
Jim Nantz: "He was a friend, a mentor and a father figure to me. I was blessed to have his guiding hand extended to me at the age of 26. I am comforted knowing, as long as there is golf being televised any where in the world; Frank Chirkinian lives."
Lance Barrow, Coordinating Producer of Golf and the NFL on CBS Sports: "The golfing world lost a great ambassador to the game today in the passing of Frank Chirkinian. He did as much for the game as anyone who has ever been associated with golf. His legacy will live on forever."
CBS Sports will honor Chirkinian throughout the day on Saturday. Nantz will deliver a special tribute to Chirkinian during halftime of the Kansas-Missouri game that begins at Noon, ET.