Tj Mcgovern: Golf Channel's Link To Players; Mickelson Loves N.J.

Tj Mcgovern: Golf Channel's Link To Players; Mickelson Loves N.J.

TJ McGovern doesn’t mince words when it comes to talking about his job.

“I’m a very lucky guy doing what I’m doing,” he said on Thursday at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City which is hosting The Barclays this weekend.

McGovern, 28, a graduate of Monmouth University and River Dell High School has a job sports fans dream of – player relations manager for The Golf Channel.

It’s McGovern’s job to book guests and be the point person between the Golf Channel and the PGA Tour. In particular, he helps facilitate the guest route for Golf Channel’s Morning Drive show and instructional shows. He may have to get up early- Morning Drive is seen at 7 a.m. , seven days a week.

“I get to travel the country and do 40 events a year,” said McGovern, who was a member of the golf team at Monmouth. “I think my knowledge of golf and having grown up with a pro like my uncle Jim (former PGA Tour player Jim McGovern), makes it easy for me to have a level of understanding with the golfers.

“I learned early on they’re just regular guys and put their pants on one leg at a time,” he said.

McGovern majored in marketing and finance at Monmouth and worked in the field until February, 2012, when he landed a job in the sponsorship department at Golf Channel. A year later, this past February, he was given his current responsibility.

“I always wanted to get into golf. It’s part of our family and part of my makeup,” said McGovern, whose father, Tom, is president of the NJSGA and whose uncles Jim (White Beeches) and Dave (Brooklake) work as professionals.

On his trip back to New Jersey, TJ got a chance to golf at Hackensack Golf Club, site of the 2013 State Open, with his father this past Saturday.

He also caddied for PGA Tour pro Jonas Blixt of Sweden in Wednesday’s pro-am at Liberty National.

“I gave him the back bag after three holes. The bag is heavier than you think. I told Jonas I had to go back to work,” he kidded.

He has struck up a friendship with Morning Drive host Gary Williams, a native of Ridgewood.

“We banter over the best golf courses in New Jersey,” he said.

Rich Lerner, an anchor on Golf Central who has been with the Golf Channel since 1997, believes TJ plays an important role with the network.

“TJ is a tremendous asset for the Golf Channel. In a people-person sport, he’s scratch in the personality department. He connects with the players in a way that is not generally very easy to do.

“Players are our lifeline in the terms of the programming we do. We ask quite a lot of the players and TJ and Courtney (Director of Player Relations) have just the right touch. They have to have an understanding of the mind of the player, when to approach them and when not to.

“With TJ’s playing background, he understands a player’s mentality. He has a likeability that would serve him well in any profession,” Lerner concluded.


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Phil Mickelson enjoys playing in The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City.

For one, he is a spokesman for the company. For another, he has been a member of the club since it opened in 2006.

“I love it. I love it because I think the shots around the greens have been very well thought out," Mickelson in 2009.

“Phil plays here whenever he has the chance. He mentions playing here frequently,” said T.R. Reinman, media relations director for Lagardere Unlimited, which represents a number of LPGA and PGA Tour players, including Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.

“He thinks it’s a fabulous piece of property with views like no other course. He likes the metropolitan area. He loves the vibe here. He connects with the fans who are very passionate about sports,” Reinman said.

Following Mickelson’s victory at this year’s British Open, he stands one leg short of a personal grand slam, missing only the U.S. Open. “Lefty,” of course, has finished runner-up in the U.S. Open six times, with three of those second places coming in the Metropolitan area.

One unforgettable defeat came in 2006 at Winged Foot when Mickelson proclaimed: “I’m such an idiot.”

Reinman believes that statement endeared him to New Jersey-New York fans.

“Phil plays hard. He wins with style and he loses with style. The New York area fans love it when somebody loses with class. You step up and take it. This is the real world here, not L.A.”

Reinman also remembers the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage. Tiger Woods won by three shots and Mickelson was tied for seventh, but it was the first time fans chanted “Mick-El-Son” in unison.

The 42-year-old golfer has also paid a number of visits to Baltusrol in Springfield where Barclays has hosted a number of “Corporate Days” outings.

“He has become very good friends with (Baltusrol head pro) Doug Steffen,” Reinman said. “He loves coming to town and the New York-New Jersey thing. There’s a lot of love there.”

This website requires javascript. Please enable it or visit to find a modern browser.