Interview With The Golf Channel’s Win McMurry

Win McMurryIf you watch the Golf Channel, you are no doubt familiar with the beautiful and talented Win McMurry. She appears on several shows and throughout the day during tournament coverage. And if you don’t watch the Golf Channel – What’s wrong with you!?

Win McMurry joined the Golf Channel in early 2010. She anchors studio updates during the Golf Channel’s tournament coverage, hosts Top Shelf Wednesdays & PGA Tour Primetime, reports for Golf Central, serves as a contributor on the Grey Goose 19th Hole and more. Her presence in studio has added a youthful energy to the usual cast of characters, and anyone that has seen her on the air knows that her smile can stop traffic.

Before joining the Golf Channel, McMurry worked for PGA TOUR Entertainment. She was the producer and host of PGA Tour Today, Monday Backspin and Morning Movers on PGATour.com, as well as being a feature reporter & interviewer during “LIVE@” remotes for the PGA Tour. She also worked for CBS Sports in New York City, which took her all across North America as a production assistant for the network’s coverage of the PGA Tour. When not on the road with CBS Sports, McMurry worked for two years in Manhattan as a field producer at WCBS-TV, covering various news and sporting events for Channel 2 News.

Win McMurry attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a second major in communication studies. She also holds a post-graduate certificate in Business from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC, and still cheers her beloved UNC Tarheels!

Win is currently a brand ambassador for Birdy & Grace, a woman’s clothing company that is known for its classic, feminine designs. Win was on hand at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando helping Birdy & Grace launch their second annual “Golf Woman of the Year” contest in which they are looking for a woman who best represents a passion for golf, family,community and healthy living. The contest runs through June 1, 2011 and the winner will be announced on July 1, 2011. For more information about the contest or to enter or nominate someone, visit their website at www.birdyandgrace.com and on Facebook.

We caught up to Win McMurry at the PGA Show and she was gracious enough to give us a few minutes of her time for this interview, which wasn’t easy will all the people walking by asking for pictures with her! So, without further ado, lets get right to the interview!

How did you get started in golf? Has your career always been around the game?

I was first exposed to golf through my dad who is an avid golfer, but like most kids, I was interested in many sports growing up. It wasn’t until high school that I actually began devoting time to the game. I played on my high school golf team in Wilmington, NC and loved being a part of the team, although I was nowhere near the most talented player on the team. After I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in journalism and communication studies, I moved to New York City. There I worked in research for CBS Sports and as a field producer for WCBS-TV. Working for CBS I helped cover many different sports, but ultimately began traveling with their golf crew, and from there the rest is history! I spent much of 2007 traveling from tournament to tournament with CBS. I was looking to transition from the production side to reporting on-camera and I found an opportunity for that at the PGA TOUR. I signed-on to work for them starting in 2008 and reported for pgatour.com for two years. In 2010 I moved to the Golf Channel where I am so happy to be today!

Who was your favorite golfer growing up?

I’d have to say it was Davis Love III because he was a Carolina boy! But Fred Couples is right up there as well. He’s just so cool. I still love watching him play!

Have you always wanted to be a journalist or did you have other plans?

When I was really young I wanted to go to Julliard and become a professional ballerina. As I got older, that dream changed. In school English was my best (and favorite) subject and my mother is an author, so writing is in my blood. I knew going into UNC that I would major in journalism, but I wasn’t sure what area I wanted to pursue under that umbrella. I tried my hand in public relations, but after two internships in PR, I knew that wasn’t for me. I took a sports reporting class my senior year and knew that was the direction I wanted to go.

So, how’s your golf game these days, and do you get to play much?

I play as often as I can. Some weeks more than others, but usually I get out on the golf course twice a week. My game is coming along, but I don’t plan on trying to tee it up on the LPGA Tour anytime soon…or ever for that matter!

Time for the inside scoop! Who’s the biggest joker/prankster at the Golf Channel?

Hands down it’s Charlie Rymer. He’s the same around the office/newsroom as he is in the studio. He’s lost twenty pounds over the last few months so most of the jokes revolve around food and Nutrisystem these days!

What is your current role at the Golf Channel? (What shows are you on, travel, etc)

Currently I anchor Golf Central Updates which air throughout live golf coverage Thursdays through Sundays. I also host PGA Tour Primetime which airs on Thursday and Friday nights. I am a contributor on the Grey Goose 19th Hole on Wednesday nights live from 7:30-8 ET. And I also host Top Shelf Wednesdays, which are short interview segments that I conduct throughout the night on Wednesday. I have also reported for Golf Central and for Golf in America. New in 2011 I am also the fashion reporter for golfchannel.com.

People only see you and other personalities on the air, but how much work goes into the job behind the scenes? For example, how much research might go into a 30 minute show?

It depends on the show! But for a Grey Goose 19th Hole it is a day-long process to prepare for the live half-hour. I am usually in the office at 10:30 a.m. reading through the show rundown and researching any topic I may need to look into. In the early afternoon we have a production meeting where we talk through the show. We work throughout the day writing our scripts. Make-up takes about an hour as well, so it’s definitely a process!

What’s the hardest thing about being a TV personality?

Luckily I love my job! At first it’s a little challenging getting used to having a producer in your ear counting down and cueing you with certain information while speaking and maintain your train of thought simultaneously. But after a while that becomes normal. I think in general it’d be learning to have thick skin to go along with a good sense of humor. Sometimes you’ll come across an article about you or an uncomplimentary post on the internet and you just have to brush it off and in some cases make light of it!

How many weeks per year do you travel, and do you like going on the road?

With Golf Channel most of my work is done in the studio. But I anticipate traveling this year to maybe five events or so. I’d love to start traveling more!

Do you have any companies/charities/causes you want to promote while you have a chance?

I recently became a brand ambassador for Birdy & Grace, a womens’ golf clothing line that I absolutely love. They have very wearable pieces that can transition from the golf course to the Golf Channel studio, so it is a wonderful fit. I also am a supporter of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital and I have worked with the Alzheimer’s Association and Autism Speaks.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In ten years I see myself still reporting on golf or on a news and lifestyle show and hopefully with a family of my own. I’m focusing this year on preparing to hold an anchor role on Golf Central.

If you could retire tomorrow, where would you go, and what would you do?

I’d love to take a trip like the author Elizabeth Gilbert did for her book Eat, Pray, Love. I would love to go back to Italy, maybe in place of India go to South Africa, and I’d love to see Bali & Thailand and that area of the world as well! Of course I’d like to play golf at every destination!

Who’s the person to contact at the Golf Channel to get them to wise up and give you your own show?

Haha! Thanks for requesting one! I’d love to host my own show one day. Any ideas what the show should be about?

We are sure that whatever the show is about, she’ll do a great job and people will love to watch. I personally would love to see her co-host a Big Break series or an in-depth interview show like the one Peter Kessler used to host called Golf Talk Live. I think her charm and easy-going personality would allow her guests to really open up, which is part of what makes for a great interview. You can follow Win’s updates on Twitter, and of course on the air almost every day at The Golf Channel!

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