The Story Behind Frank LaRosa, Sacramento’s “Voice Of Golf”

You can find Frank LaRosa at a number of different places…

His website is golftogo.com His Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/golftogo1/

He is on Twitter, @GolfToGo

That’s not all.

He is a board member with the Northern California PGA Foundation.

He works in fund development as a board member with the Morton Golf Foundation.

He is a board member with the George Archer Memorial Foundation for Literacy.

He is a board member with the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association.

That’s not all.

He is a contributor to PBS KVIE Channel 6, a Sacramento station, and hosted and co-produced “Pebble Beach at 100,” a TV documentary about Pebble Beach Golf Links and its history as one of the top courses in the world.

He has been the host of “Tee Time: Golf in Northern California,” a show that is produced by KVIE-TV.

He volunteers with The First Tee of Greater Sacramento as a consultant and to MC their events.

His work has appeared in Sacramento Magazine and NCGA Golf Magazine, the Northern California Golf Association publication.

He has been involved in other area organizations over the years, including Saving Strokes, a program run by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

He is a committee member with The Langley, A Tribute to Legends Charity Pro-Am Tournament. According to www.ncpgafoundation.org: “Named after former PGA head professional Jim Langley of

Cypress Point Club, The Langley is the NCPGA Foundation’s premier charitable fundraising event designed to honor the game’s legends, where proceeds are donated to PGA HOPE.”

That’s not all.

You can also find LaRosa on the radio, as he is a contributor to KHTK Sports 1140 AM in Sacramento, providing one-minute golf features that air three times daily. LaRosa is also looking forward to resuming his coverage of Northern California golf in 2021 with KHTK’s Jason Ross and Doug Christie. KHTK, a Sacramento sports station, also carries the Sacramento Kings, San Jose Sharks, Oakland Athletics, Las Vegas Raiders, Sacramento Republic and UC Davis football.

On the homepage of his website, in the “Welcome to Golf To Go with Frank LaRosa,” he promotes his radio show with the following:

“The game of golf is attracting a whole new generation of fans, ready to join the millions who already love the sport. It’s been called a game for a lifetime and Golf To Go treats it with the respect deserved.”

LaRosa is one of the leading ambassadors for golf in Northern California, covering and promoting and helping the game out on so many platforms for the last 30-plus years.

“I’ve experienced a lot in my career, but the one thing I still haven’t learned is how to say no,” he said. “I am sought out for my help with fundraising and marketing and quite frankly find it very fulfilling.”

Honored for his outstanding work

LaRosa, a radio and TV personality in the Sacramento area who is also a golf writer, has been recognized and honored for his work over the years.

He was inducted into the Sacramento Golf Hall of Fame in 2017.

He has been the recipient of the Northern California Section of the PGA’s Sports Media Person of the Year award in 2005, 2010, and 2018.

He was named as an honorary member of the NCPGA in 2013.

He was awarded the Media Service Award by the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in 2018.

“My involvement with the game of golf begins with the people that I’ve gotten to know and become close friends with,” said LaRosa, the owner of Frank LaRosa and Associates Advertising and Marketing Agency. “I count my relationship with Jim Langley as one of life’s treasures. There are people like that, that they make us all better. They make you smile when you get up in the morning.”

LaRosa added: “The older I get, the more I just kind of subscribe to the theory that, the only reason we’re here is to kind of put your hand out and help someone else along. And I think that I’ve found a way to do that in my work as well.”

Continuing in radio in Sacramento

LaRosa spent 13 years with ESPN 1320 AM-Sacramento Sports, as host of “Golf to Go.”

He left there and joined KHTK, starting on Sept. 1. “KHTK has been extremely welcoming,” said LaRosa, who produces and hosts the daily golf radio segment.

He joined Jason Ross and Doug Christie earlier this year, doing a 15-minute segment focusing on golf that continued through the week of the Masters tournament.

“Hopefully next year, during the golf season, the golf hour will be something, once a week, that we can all sit in the same room and talk about golf,” said LaRosa. His minute-long Golf To Go segments focus not on the PGA Tour or recapping the previous week’s event, but more so on local personalities, a swing tip, new equipment, places to play, golf getaways, books, training aids, ways to get started in the game or a personal comment.

“It offers me complete flexibility and an opportunity to remain topical,” he said. “But my feeling is that people don’t want to know about the PGA Tour. They’re not as interested in who won last week’s tournament. It was entertainment and it’s come and gone.

“You certainly can talk about a guy like Tiger (Woods) and maybe a Bryson DeChambeau when he’s hot. What people care about is, where they’re going to play this weekend? Are their 15-year-old clubs still good enough? Yes, that’s the stuff that that resonates with them. And so that’s the person I try to talk to.

“The great thing about being your own boss is that it can be anything you want, so I try to remain topical. Because it’s the Sacramento area, I can be a little more local.” LaRosa’s one-minute reports air during the morning drive and afternoon drive and then again mid-day.

LaRosa has a background in advertising and marketing. “In my career in advertising, I’ve learned how to pack a lot of information into a 60-second message, so it’s worked out well,” he said.

Background in broadcasting, writing

LaRosa graduated from Sacramento State in 1969 with a degree in speech, with a broadcasting emphasis. He began his career as a radio announcer. After a couple of years in radio, he went to work for public television at KVIE-TV in Sacramento as a producer and director. He then became the station’s program director.

Over the years, LaRosa has done interviews with some of the giants in the game – Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Billy Casper, Tom Watson, Annika Sorenstam, Ken Venturi, Roger Maltbie, Peter Jacobson, Mark O’Meara, Dave Stockton and Sandy Tatum.

“I’ve always felt that everybody has a story. And if you can find a way to tell that story, it’s really interesting. I don’t try to tax people with words they don’t understand. I try to write and talk as if I’m having a conversation with someone,” he said.

“The best compliments I’ve gotten on my interviews are, ‘I didn’t know you were interviewing me. What a great conversation that was.’ Ken Venturi said to me, ‘That’s the best interview I’ve ever had.’ Ken Venturi may have said that to a couple of other people, but he did say that to me. That was extremely satisfying.

“When I interviewed Jack (Nicklaus), I said, ‘I’ve got to let you go.’ He said, ‘No, this is good. Let’s keep going.’ “You know, I’ve had that kind of success with people and it’s been great.”

LaRosa wrote a golf and travel column years ago for Valley Community Newspapers in Sacramento.

“I take great pride in the fact that I’ve never missed a deadline,” said LaRosa, who moved with his family to Sacramento during his junior year of high school. He graduated from Christian Brothers-Sacramento.

On its website, Morton Golf Foundation, at mortongolffoundation.org, said:

“Frank LaRosa truly is an ambassador of golf in Northern California. … he has used his talents to promote the game of golf for many years. He admittedly lacks the ability to ‘say no,’ and his generous spirit has been realized by several local charities over the years.” On the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex website, www.hagginoaks.com reported:

“Frank LaRosa displays an exceptional ability to reach and touch people through his creativity and communication expertise. … his ability to take a piece of news and transform it into a captivating story that the audience will connect with is his hallmark. His reach and impact for the Section have transcended all communication mediums – from print, to radio and television, to the Internet.”

On golftogo.com, it reads: “His commitment to community outreach, growing the game, and his involvement with charity overshadows what he has accomplished in the media.”

LaRosa’s family

LaRosa and his wife, Marcia, have two children: Michele who is married to son-in-law Christopher, son Michael, and the newest golfer in his family grandson, Austin.

Marty James is a freelance writer who makes his home in Napa. He retired on June 4, 2019, after spending 40 years as a sports writer, sports editor and executive sports editor for the Napa Valley Register, a daily newspaper in Napa County. He is a 1979 graduate of Sacramento State and a member of the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association. He was inducted into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2016.

Leave a Reply

*required