Shane Bacon is in the moment. Always. Spend just a few minutes with the Fox Sports golf broadcaster – one month removed from a wedding-honeymoon-adventure-for-two in New Zealand with his wife, Cindy Bacon – and you had better be strapped in and ready for a rollicking conversation.
While most golf announcers are all dulcet tones and golf-clap cool, Bacon is in your grill, geeked up to be talking golf, sports, friendship and anything else that pops into your head. His on-air style lets golf lovers live vicariously through him. He speaks to you because, unlike most golf announcers, he has cleaned clubs for tips, picked range balls, written sports columns for his college newspaper at the University of Arizona and caddied – at St. Andrews.
When he returned from Scotland, Bacon tried to make it on the Gateway mini-tour in 2007-08, before he started covering golf for AOL in 2008, where his first gig was the epic U.S. Open showdown between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines. From there, he covered golf for Yahoo Sports and CBS online before he moved from behind the keyboard to in front of the camera for “The Turn,” a show on DirecTV’s Back9 Network, and ultimately wound up at Fox, which will broadcast eight USGA championships this year. Bacon will be on all of the Fox broadcasts, in one form or another, as well as writing stories and continuing his weekly podcast.
1) How did you get started in the game?
My dad, Monte, was a big golfer. He was a really good player. He didn’t hit it like a pro, but he was scrappy and could get up-and-down from anywhere. He stopped playing when I was younger to be around the family more. I was playing baseball, basketball and football and wasn’t really interested in golf. Then I started playing competitively and played a lot of AJGA events. I did OK in tournaments, but when I left Marshall, Texas for the University of Arizona, I didn’t try out for the team.
I had an interest in writing so I started working at the Arizona Daily Wildcat. It was a highly regarded [college] paper and I was happy to be there and started covering golf. Ricky Barnes had just won the U.S. Amateur. Erica Blasberg, who was on the 2004 Curtis Cup Team, was winning college events, but nobody was covering golf – and they were paying.