WCVB Channel 5 sports anchor Bob Halloran is a modern day Renaissance man. He answers to the titles television star, radiopersonality, author, and of course, golfer. Halloran’s most cherished title, however, is dad. He and wife Eileen Curran, a news reporter at NECN, have a 10 year-old daughter, Grace. Halloran also has three sons, Sean, 21, Dan, 17 and Liam, 13. Fittingly, the 48 year-old Halloran’s love of golf stemmed from his own father. He relates, “My Dad was a member at Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, and I started caddying for him when I was about 12. I liked the game, and my Dad showed me the three grips, and told me to keep my head down. That’s the only lesson I ever had until last year.”
Halloran made the golf team at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, but never played in any matches. His golf game blossomed along with his media career. “It wasn’t until I got to Channel 5 nine years ago and started playing in a lot of charity tournaments that I got back into it,” says Halloran, whose TV career has taken him to Cape 11, WCVX, WPRI, ESPN and Fox25. “I joined Granite Links two years ago, and hit three or four times a week. I’m down to an 8.2 handicap index. I tend to shoot 85-87, but I get hot every so often. I’m now teaching my three youngest kids. My daughter Grace has a beautiful swing, and seems to like it the most.” Granite Links is a favorite of Halloran’s for another reason. “I shot a 76 there last year with three 3-putts,” he relates. “Fairways and greens all day, it was one of those rounds that make you think you’ve got it all figured out, and then you go out and shoot 88 the next time.” The Emmy and AP Award-winning Halloran has penned four books including “Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward.” He served as a technical consultant for the film “The Fighter.” Along the way, he has played some of New England’s nicest courses, each with its own unique qualities.
“In college, I played Bass River and Blue Rock a lot,” says Halloran who wrote and narrated a DVD focusing on Cape Cod golf spots. “I’ve played a bunch of different places on the Cape including Highland Links, which is a fun loop with a nostalgic feel. With charity tournaments, I’ve had a chance to play Ferncroft, Ipswich, International, Lake Winnipesaukee, Brae Burn and others.” Like any golf lover, Halloran has his own tastes. “I like every course with good greens, soft and fast,” he states. “I hit a high ball, but I don’t get the backspin on it, so I like it when I can land the ball softly and it sits. Nice fairways, scenic views and changes in elevation are all nice.” Halloran’s game is a mish-mash of some of his favorite pros. He relates, “I think about Tom Watson when I swing. His body type and mine are similar, and his rhythm is so perfect. I’ve got a little Jim Furyk thing going on at the top of my swing, and I think Phil Mickelson’s got the right perspective. He competes really hard, wants to win badly, but win or lose, he smiles and returns to his beautiful family.”
While Halloran has not employed golf to “make friends” with athletes, he does use the game to improve the lives of others. “The charity connection has been wonderful. I played in a tournament for Hearth (elderly homelessness), and they invited me to serve on the board. I also host a lot of tournaments, and it’s been an honor to help raise money for at least a dozen different causes.” Still, it is the game itself that keeps Halloran on the course. He states, “I like golf, and I like practicing. I’ve had a bunch of eagles holing out from the fairway, and the occasional putt on a par 5, but when I think of great shots, I think of the times I made the ball do what I wanted. I definitely attempt shots that are beyond my capabilities, and when they work out, it only encourages me to be stupid again the next time.”
Syndicated columnist John Molori writes for numerous publications and appears regularly on AM 1110 WCCM. Email John at MoloriMedia@aol.com.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?