ABOUT Golf Hawaii
Like many great ideas Golf Hawaii had modest beginnings, but it didn't take long for the famed golf show hosted by Mark Rolfing to become one of the most successful series in sports television. Rolfing, who first made his mark in television as an ESPN golf announcer and now works for NBC Sports, developed the idea for a golf and travel show after providing one-minute golf tips for a local Hawaii TV station, KITV-4. He expanded on that nascent premise to develop and produce Golf Hawaii, which aired in the 50th state beginning in January 1995. The Golf Hawaii television concept was further developed and in late 1995 through early 1996 a 10-week season was launched to a national audience via ESPN who saw the attraction of a program that featured a compelling tropical locale, Hawaii, and it's over 80 golf courses. That first year on ESPN, Golf Hawaii, through premiere airings and repeats, reached nearly 650,000 households cumulatively per week and steadily grew in popularity from there. The series continued on ESPN through 1998, then moved to The Golf Channel in '99. Over the unprecedented 14 years of Golf Hawaii, 180 original Golf Hawaii shows and 700 re-airs were viewed by the U.S. national audience and was seen globally in 20 countries.
In addition to featuring Hawaii's great golf resorts and other natural wonders, Rolfing’s evident rapport with the game's biggest stars and celebrities provided viewers with over 100 compelling “insider” interviews. The list of PGA Tour players to sit down with Rolfing includes: Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Sergio Garcia, Steve Stricker, Fred Couples, Stewart Cink, Lee Trevino, Tom Lehman, Paul Azinger, Fred Funk, Nick Faldo, Stuart Appleby, Corey Pavin, Hale Irwin, David Duval, John Daly, Ben Crenshaw, Greg Norman, Gary McCord, Justin Leonard, Peter Jacobsen, and Gary Player. One of the highlights of the series on ESPN included a 1996 Christmas show that featured interviews with Tiger Woods at the start of his career and Michael Jordan at the peak of his. It also showcased a made for TV - Championship of Hawaii - that pitted Bill Murray against Joe Pesci in a three-hole playoff on Kapalua's Plantation Course.
In 2010 Mark Rolfing evolved the golf travel show to feature the best golf destinations from around the world in a new TV show called Global Golf Adventure. Broadcast on NBC Sports Global Golf Adventure is a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind golf and travel show for U.S. network television.
"It's been exciting and very rewarding to be able to create a show that people enjoy," Rolfing says. "I am most proud of introducing the beauty and challenging golf courses of Hawaii to the world and now welcome showcasing golf from around the globe in our new endeavor ~ “Global Golf Adventure".."
ABOUT Mark Rolfing
Over the past two decades, Mark Rolfing has emerged as one of the leading forces in sports event marketing and production out of the State of Hawaii. As NBC Sports’ award-winning golf commentator, Mark Rolfing continues to cover top golf events such as the prestigious Ryder Cup, The PLAYERS Championship and The U.S. Open to name just a few. A native of DeKalb, Illinois, Rolfing graduated from DePauw University in 1971, where he served as captain of the school's nationally-ranked golf team and named its "Most Valuable Player." Rolfing came to Hawaii in the mid-1970’s and built a solid career in sports marketing and event production. Rolfing Sports, Inc. (RSI) grew into a management and consulting company producing Hawaii-based sporting events for national broadcast. RSI productions include the PGA Tour post-season Lincoln Mercury Kapalua Invitational and collegiate basketball’s Maui Invitational. ESPN discovered Rolfing’s warm and friendly on-camera skills and quickly brought him into the world of sports broadcasting. After two years with ESPN, Rolfing became NBC's lone on-course commentator in 1988. After four years with NBC Sports, he signed with ABC in the fall of 1991 where he was an integral part of the ABC Sports golf team for six years before returning to NBC in 1997. He continues to travel the U.S. covering over one dozen events annually for the network.