Jim Nantz: 20 Facts You Didn't Know About The Masters Commentator

Get to know more about iconic sports announcer Jim Nantz via these 20 facts about his life and career

Jim Nantz broadcasting during the 2023 Memorial Tournament
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the most recognizable announcers on the planet, Jim Nantz has been commentating and anchoring sports events for decades. His voice is now synonymous with golf and the NFL in particular, but how much do you really know about him?

If the answer is 'not much' or even 'plenty, but I want to know more' then keep reading to discover something new about his life and broadcasting career.

1. His full name is James William Nantz III.

2. Nantz was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 17, 1959 but grew up in New Orleans (Louisiana), Colts Neck, and Marlboro (both New Jersey).

3. Nantz went to the University of Houston and graduated in 1981 with a BA in Radio and Television Broadcasting.

4. While at college, Nantz roomed with 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples and another professional golfer in Blaine McAllister.

5. He became the public address announcer for the Houston Astros (baseball) and Houston Cougars (American football) while attending university.

Fred Couples (left) and Jim Nantz at Augusta in 1992

6. Shortly after graduating, Nantz called Brigham Young University football games as well as Utah Jazz NBA games along with Rodney Clark Hundley.

7. Nantz joined CBS Sports in 1995 and initially worked in a number of roles - including studio host for the network's college football and basketball coverage, on-course reporter at PGA Tour events, and NFL commentator on Sunday Night Football fixtures.

8. Nantz has anchored CBS' coverage of The Masters every year since 1989.

9. Nantz played himself in the 1996 Golden Globe nominated move Tin Cup. He has also appeared in TV shows such as Yes, Dear, Criminal Minds, and How I Met Your Mother.

10. In 2008 and 2009 he won an Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play by Play.

Tournament host Jack Nicklaus visits with Jim Nantz in the CBS broadcast booth during the third round of the the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 3, 2023 in Dublin, Ohio

Jim Nantz (left) and Jack Nicklaus in the CBS studio during the 2023 Memorial tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)

11. A keen golfer, he regularly plays with former US President George H.W. Bush.

12. Nantz begins each of his broadcast stints with a phrase which is now synonymous with The Masters - "Hello, friends." Nantz invented the greeting as a way of identifying himself to his father, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

13. Nantz launched the Nantz National Alzheimer Center after losing his father to the disease in 2008.

14. Before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, Nantz used to have a home overlooking Pebble Beach Links which had a 50% replica of the iconic seventh hole located in his backyard.

15. In 2007 he became the first sports announced to call the Super Bowl, NCAA Men's Final Four basketball championship and The Masters, all in the span of just 63 days. He would do this again in 2010.

Jim Nantz and his wife Courtney Richards

Jim Nantz and his wife Courtney Richards

(Image credit: Getty Images)

16. Nantz was married to Ann-Lorraine Carlsen Nantz for 26 years before they divorced in 2009. He was ordered to pay his ex-wife $916,000 a year in child support and alimony, just a snip of his reported $7 million a year salary.

17. In 2012, Nantz married Courtney Richards in a ceremony at Pebble Beach's seventh hole tee box. In 2014, he and his wife welcomed a baby girl, followed by a second child, a boy named Jameson, in 2016.

18. He has been named National Sportscaster of the Year five times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association - these awards came in 1998, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

19. Nantz partnered with wine producer Peter Deutsch in 2009 to launch a private label titled 'The Calling' - in reference to the sportscaster's involvement in The Masters. Its first vintage was released in 2012.

20. Nantz's net worth is thought to be around $15 million.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.