“Oh my god, Derek just said my Playing Lessons show is on Golf Channel right now.”
It’s this type of reaction (while answering a question during a recent interview) that tells you all you need to know about Symetra Tour player Sara “No-H” Brown and her new gig with Golf Channel for the remainder of 2014 as a co-host of School of Golf.
“This is definitely something I don’t just like, I love,” said Brown, who can be seen co-hosting School of Golf every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. on Golf Channel through December 3. “I think it is awesome. I think it is something I can get a lot better at. Working with Golf Channel right now is amazing.”
If you’ve interacted with Sara on the LPGA Tour or the Symetra Tour, you might automatically assume that she has years of television experience. Not the case.
“Besides some interviews on the Symetra Tour and the Big Break (Brown was a contestant on Big Break Sandals Resorts, Big Break Dominican Republic and the Big Break Invitational Reynolds Plantation) I don’t have television experience,” Brown said. “I didn’t take communications in college (Michigan State), I didn’t graduate with any of that, I never worked at a television station, nothing.”
She made her Golf Channel debut on Tuesday on Playing Lessons with Fredrik Jacobson. All of her trademark qualities shined through – the smile, the laugh, the exuberance, the bubbliness, and the charisma – that’s just Sara Brown. And that’s probably the overarching reason why Golf Channel made the hire.
“The only thing I have ever done is be myself, I don’t know how to be anyone else,” she said. “My personality is bubbly and I giggle sometimes and I have to learn not to do that as much, but at the same time I think they wanted me on there because I give a real feel.
“They can mold me. I’m taking everything they say, good and bad, and trying to mold myself into something they want to be on Golf Channel for hopefully a very, very long time.”
Brown admits that she has things to learn, like wearing an earpiece and adjusting to listening to the producers behind the scenes while also still focusing on being in front of the camera.
“One time they said in my earpiece ‘Sara, move to your left’ and I said ‘OK’ while Martin was still talking,” Brown said with a laugh.
There are minor issues that need to be ironed out, but the trickiest adjustment for Brown so far? Wearing her hair down while golfing.
“I am so used to a hat and a pony tail and now my hair is down,” she said. “Golfing with my hair down as a professional golfer, I am completely not used to that. After my first swing, I was like ‘whoa, my hair is going to literally whip me in the face all day.’”
The game of golf is in Brown’s DNA. She picked up her first club at 8 years old and hasn’t stopped. Her dad owns the Cactus Tour, mom can name any professional golfer on the planet, her husband (Derek Radley) is the assistant women’s golf coach at Arizona and her brother works at a golf course in Phoenix.
“Golf is part of my life and I can’t imagine not having golf in it,” Brown said. “I’m still smiling ear-to-ear that they called me and asked me to do this.”
And then she has mentors like Karen Stupples and Paige Mackenzie, who also transitioned from the course to the studios at Golf Channel. Brown met Stupples at a pro-am before the 2013 season.
“When Karen got on Golf Channel I thought that is exactly what they need – she is smart, she is a golfer, she’s pretty and she gets it,” Brown said. “When she was doing School of Golf, I went in and watched behind the scenes and saw what she does.
“She actually came up to me and said ‘Sara, I am so excited that you are going to be in this role.’ It is motivating for me to hear from an LPGA winner like her and get advice. It really meant a lot and I definitely watched what she did.”
Brown has known Mackenzie since she was in college and considers her a good friend.
“It is great to have people like them that are doing golf and television,” Brown said. “It shows that it is possible to do a little bit of both. They transitioned very well from golf to television and I hope I can follow in their footsteps.”
But don’t assume that Brown has put away her golf clubs for good. The 2012 Symetra Tour winner and 2011 LPGA Tour player still has Symetra Tour status for 2015.
“My Golf Channel career could be a year or it could be 15 years,” she said. “I just don’t know because I have never done it. I’m really excited to see where it takes me, but I am still a professional golfer all the way through.”
Time to sit back and watch Brown on a television near you for the next three months…or a lot longer than that.