Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis ’89 covers the Masters  

Posted on April 01, 2024

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This Spartan had a huge responsibility. Tigers Woods, at age 43, had recently returned to playing golf – and now he had electrified the sports world by winning his fifth Masters. UNCG alumnus Todd Lewis ’89 was the interviewer, as dusk settled at Augusta. What should he ask – and follow up on? Many millions would be tuned in, hanging onto the golf legend’s words.  

“I wanted to make sure our viewers got something they would get nowhere else,” Lewis says. He knew it was also a defining moment for himself as a sports journalist. 

The Spartan got his start in UNCG’s Carmichael Building. “They had a broadcast studio. We learned how to do a newscast.” His instructor was WFMY meteorologist Randy Jackson.  

“He saw potential in me,” Lewis says. “He gave me a belief in myself.” For someone who was the first in his family to attend college, that was key. Jackson also introduced him to journalism.  

A stint at student radio station WUAG further inspired the speech communication major (minor in broadcasting and cinema). “I did news. I learned to be a bit of a journalist.” He fondly recalls taking his cassette recorder to interviews.  

A variety of sports broadcast experiences in later years included WXII (Winston-Salem), WECT (Wilmington), and WRAL (Raleigh), among other stations.  

His big break came when he joined the Golf Channel in 2008, where he’s a host and reporter. 

He has interviewed and covered virtually all the professional golfers. And he has gotten to know the courses. by playing the Monday after the tournament has ended. It helps him prepare for the next time he covers a tournament there. Pebble Beach and Augusta National are among his favorites, as well as one in Hawaii: the Plantation Course. It’s remarkably beautiful and relaxing, he explains. “It’s on the side of a mountain. I’m not a great golfer but, at that course, the winds are light, the whales are breaching, there is no pressure on you.” 

He’s covered golf at the last two summer Olympics for NBC. At the Beijing Winter Olympics he covered alpine skiing. The view from the top of the run gave him newfound appreciation for the skiers’ skill and courage. He also covers sporting events for the ESPN networks. 

The Reidsville native gets back to North Carolina when he can. And he catches UNCG teams when they’re playing in the same city as an event he’s covering – such as in the Bahamas last November when Men’s Basketball captured the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship. 

His advice to students looking to go into broadcasting? Of course you have to have some talent, he notes. “But number one, you have to be determined. Number two, it’s important to build relationships.” 

By Mike Harris ’93 MA
Courtesy photograph of Todd Lewis interviewing Tiger Woods.

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