Giardi: a Pro in Golf and Life

Posted in Golf Writers Column, Molori Unplugged by on May 22nd, 2012

When I asked Comcast SportsNet sportscaster Mike Giardi if he was a golfer and might be interested in being interviewed for this column, he responded, “I am a rotten golfer with a hole in one at TPC Boston on media day a few years back! I’d be happy to assist.”

Indeed the high point of Giardi’s links life occurred in Norton, MA in 2005. “The 11th hole was a par three uphill, and I was hitting into the wind,” explains the 40-year-old Giardi. “I was going to hit a seven iron, but decided to switch to a six iron. I saw the ball bounce off the green, but didn’t see it go in. As we approached the hole, one of the guys I was playing with told me I had a hole in one.”

Giardi was never able to drink in the glory of this momentous accomplishment amongst his media brethren. He relates, “I had to pick up my kid at day care, so I left after the 14th hole. They sent me a plaque and I kept the ball. I can’t complain.”

Indeed, family and golf have always intertwined for Giardi. He played for the first time in Falmouth, MA at the age of 14. On that day, another unlikely shot reeled him into the game. “The 15th hole was about 270 yards, and I hit an absolutely terrible drive,” says Giardi, a former sports editor at the Falmouth Enterprise. “My next shot bounced off the green and went right into the cup. Here I was slashing my way through the course, and I end up with an eagle. I think my friend and I invented the chest bump after that.”

Giardi was born in Hooksett, New Hampshire and raised on the Cape and in Norwood, MA. He graduated from Norwood High School in 1989 and from Trinity College in 1993 with a major in English Literature and a minor in Classical Tradition. He holds a Masters Degree from Boston University in Broadcast Journalism. Giardi worked at WIVT-TV in Binghamton, NY and joined NECN in 2000.

Now at Comcast SportsNet, golf takes a back seat to wife Sandy, daughter Tessa, 9, and son Beckett, 6. “I might get out seven or eight times a year maximum,” says Giardi. “When I worked at NECN, we did a lot golf tips segments, so I got to play quite a bit. I love Blackstone National. It’s such a beautiful course.

“Cape Cod and Falmouth are my home courses. Outside of New England, I like Shadow Wood in Bonita Springs, FL and Aurora Country Club in Ohio. I would love to play Pebble Beach. The wider the fairway, the better for me. I can hit a ton off the tee, but I really don’t know where it’s going.

Giardi played basketball, track, and football at Norwood High School and once had an interception against future NFL quarterback Todd Collins. He remains one of the all-time leading receivers at Trinity. A lifetime of competitive sports has affected his golf game. “I have torn labrums in both of my shoulders,” says Giardi, who counts a round of golf with Red Sox legend Dwight Evans as a highlight. “I was going to have surgery, but my doctor recommended swimming to help build strength. Before I got hurt, I took the game very seriously. Now, it’s just fun to be out there.”

While Giardi’s fire for golf has dimmed, there is still a spark, and it’s still all about family. “I just can’t let my brother Greg keep winning the family championship,” he relates. “It’s been six or seven years since I won.

“Greg really smokes the ball, and his oldest son is obsessed with the game. All winter, he was outside swinging a club, and they have a putting green in their house. The family rivalry is still there, and my son may take to the game. He is definitely getting the itch.”

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