One of the rising stars in the football analyst world will dip his toe into golf broadcasting this June. And no, we're not talking about Tony Romo. So for all of you hoping to see if Romostradamus could predict birdie putts before they dropped, it ain't happening. Well, for now at least. You have to figure Verne Lundqvist will retire in the near future, which would open up a spot in the 16th tower at the Masters. Imagine if Romo slid in there? He'd be electric: "ohhhh, hereeeee it comes off the slopeeee it's rollingggggg toward the holeeeeeeeee JIMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!"
The guy we're talking about is Joel Klatt, who has been FOX's lead college football analyst alongside play-by-play man Gus Johnson since 2015. Thanks to being on the Big 10 and Pac-12's marquee games every Saturday, in addition to becoming a prominent NFL Draft analyst during the offseason, Klatt has become one of the most well-known and respected voices in the sport. Like Romo, he's also a former quarterback, though Klatt's career didn't last long after college. He attended the University of Colorado, where he started under center for three seasons, leading the Buffaloes to two Big 12 Championship game appearances and setting 19 school records along the way.
It was in Boulder where Klatt also took up golf, something he credits his former Colorado head coach Gary Barnett with. Klatt, who is now a 1 handicap and a huge fan of the game, told The Chicago Tribune about the sage advice Barnett once gave him.
"He basically said, ‘You need to pick up the sport. It will be good for you not only personally but professionally for the rest of your life,’" Klatt recalled.
Barnett's words are proving to be prophetic. This summer, just months before Klatt will begin his fifth football season as lead analyst on FOX, the former gunslinger will serve as a reporter at the U.S. Open, the U.S. Women's Open and the U.S. Senior Open Championships, conducting post-round interviews with players and special guests. This won't be the first time Klatt has tried his hand at golf, as he's served as a play-by-play man and host for FOX's digital coverage of the U.S. Open since the network began hosting the event in 2015.
"I couldn’t be happier with this new opportunity on our USGA coverage," said Klatt in a press release. "The past four years at the U.S. Open have been exhilarating, and I can’t wait to spend more one-on-one time with the best players in the world across these incredible championships."
Klatt started as host of of FOX's 360 online show at Chambers Bay, then worked his way up to play-by-play of featured group coverage. Hardcore golf fans watching on the FOX Sports app on their laptops and phones probably didn't realize it at the time, but Klatt was calling some of the action. This year, he'll be interviewing the best players in the world at Pebble Beach, something he'll have no problem with. In addition to his play-by-play work with Johnson, Klatt also conducts postgame interviews with coaches and players at the Big 10 and Pac 12 Championships each year.
"I could not be more excited. I could not love the sport any more," Klatt said in the Tribune interview "Outside of college football, golf is 100 percent the thing I talk about and pay attention to. (My wife) is laughing at me now. Golf Channel is on all the time."
As much fun as calling a game at the Big House must be, it sounds like a week at Pebble Beach will rank just as high for Klatt.