Oakland A’s radio broadcaster Ken Korach served as a first assistant professional at Bennett Valley golf course in Santa Rosa, California, in the early 1970s. Golf has played a major role in his life ever since.
The full-time gig allowed him to concurrently work part-time at KTOB radio—his first broadcasting gig—in Petaluma. Golf’s principles also helped mold his on-air skills.
“I don’t want to get too into the Zen of it, but the discipline of golf is the focus and concentration that is needed,” Korach, 68, said. “I have always equated what I do on the air to sports. You need to have an ability to lock in, but also do it in a way that is relaxed. In golf, the harder you try, the worse it gets. The same in broadcasting.
“I try to get into that zone where I am focused and relaxed at the same time. Thank goodness for me, I’m a lot better at it in broadcasting than I am in golf. It’s a never-ending quest for me in golf.”
Korach, a longtime Las Vegas Country Club member, leaves Sunday for another spring spent in Mesa, Arizona, a time he cherishes.
“What I think about first is spring training, how much I enjoy it and how magical of a time it is,” said Korach. “I buy into all of the old clichés about the ‘romance of spring’ and ‘how the season blooms along with the cactus’ at this time of year. It’s like a renewal.”
Korach and Vince Catroneo, his broadcast partner, hit the fairways often together to rejuvenate and form bonds with players, coaches and others.
“The most important thing about golf during the season is that it provides some distance from the everyday of the games, which is so important,” Korach said. “In baseball, it’s not unusual to work 35 out of 36 days and getting out on the golf course is the best way to clear my head. I never want to get stale on the air—I’m sure I have, at times—but the chance to go spend four hours in such a beautiful setting is meaningful.”
Korach recently co-authored “If These Walls Could Talk—Stories from the Oakland A’s Dugout, Locker Room and Press Box” with Susan Slusser, a project with deep meaning for him.
On Mother’s Day 2010, A’s pitcher Dallas Braden, who lost his mother to cancer at an early age, threw a perfect game. Korach’s mother, Frances, committed suicide when he was 21.
The book project allowed for some closure. Korach reflects on that loss in the book, a main motivation for writing it.
“People have asked, ‘Why are you writing a chapter about suicide in a baseball book,’ but the story of the perfect game framed my journey with my mom,” Korach said. “It’s been rewarding because I have heard from a lot of people about how it has helped them get through some difficult times. That has been special.”
At Revere, Henderson Amateur champions were Seichu Hiramoto (Championship), Kelly Knievel (Senior) Frank Acker (Silver), Aaron Bartels (Net), Brian Freymueller (Senior) and Tony Herrell (Silver net).
The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @LVGolfInsider.
Saturday, Sunday: SNJGA Palm Valley Amateur (IMG World Qualifier), Palm Valley
Sunday, Monday: UNLV women, The Rebel Beach, Spanish Trail
Feb. 19: USGA 4-Ball Women’s Qualifier, Mountain Falls
Feb. 20: USGA 4- Ball Men’s Qualifier, Mountain Falls
Feb. 20-22: UNLV men, John Burns Intercollegiate, Hawaii
Feb. 20-23: Las Vegas Pro Disc Challenge, Wildhorse
Feb. 23, 24: UNLV women, Westbrook Invitational, Arizona
Feb. 25: SNGA Tour, Royal Links
Feb. 24-26: Vegas World Amateur, Revere and Chimera
Feb. 29-Mar 1: Recruit Look LV Kickoff Event, Las Vegas GC
March 1-3: UNLV men, Southern Highlands Collegiate, Southern Highlands
April 3: UNLV Rebel Girls tournament, LV National
April 15-18: Derek Jeter Celebrity Invitational, Shadow Creek
April 23-26: Westgate Resorts Celebrity Classic, LV Country Club
May 16: Italian American Club tournament, Las Vegas National