For a long time — most of his career, in fact — Trevor Immelman never wanted to step into the broadcasting booth.
“I didn’t think about it at all while playing,” Immelman told Yahoo Sports. “I was very thoughtful, focused on myself, my game and how I could try to improve and achieve the goals I set for myself.”
But on Friday, Immelman will take over as one of golf’s chief analysts. The former Masters champion is set to make his debut as a CBS golf analyst at the Farmers Insurance Open, which begins Wednesday, at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
“I am so excited,” said Immelman. “I’m so excited. I’m so humbled by the fact that I’ve been given this opportunity. I’ve only been doing television for five or six years, and suddenly finding myself in this position with this opportunity is so humbled. But I can’t wait.”
Substituting for Nick Faldo
Immelman has not been on television for long. He was still competing as of 2019.
The 43-year-old South African has won twice on the PGA Tour in his career, most notably at the Masters in 2008. Immelman beat Tiger Woods by three strokes that year at Augusta National in what was by far the biggest win of his career.
Immelman is also a six-time international, played on two Presidents Cup teams and was the international team captain for the 2022 Presidents Cup in North Carolina.
Although he had not played seriously on tour for several years, Immelmann was still competing in 2019. He last competed in the Portugal Masters that year on the DP World Tour, which came after just four appearances on the tour at that season.
But with his playing career winding down, Immelman began working with The Golf Channel in 2017, then joined CBS as an analyst two years later.
Immelman said moving into broadcasting was something he never considered when he was still competing. Then, next thing he knew, Immelmann was right in the mix.
“I got into it pretty quickly,” said Immelman. “It only started to germinate once I got on TV, and it’s been an amazing journey over the past five or six years.”
He quickly rose through the ranks at CBS, and got the call last fall — just minutes before he went on the air on The Golf Channel — that the network wanted him to replace Nick Faldo, who had been He retired after 16 years at that place.
Trevor Immelman joins the exclusive club in the role of Principal Golf Analyst
The job itself was not held by many. In his 66 years of covering the PGA Tour, Immelman will be only the fifth person to take on the lead analyst role — something he said he learned only last week.
“I was blown away…that was one of the moments when all of this became more real as we counted the days to Torrey Pines,” said Immelman.
Immelman will be thrown into the mix right away this week on Torrey Pines, the first of 23 events CBS will air this season. The network will broadcast both The Masters and the PGA Championship, 11 of the 17 new “high” events and all three FedExCup Playoff events this fall.
Although he’ll be alongside longtime announcer Jim Nantz all season, Immelman’s first time out in this spot is going to be a little unique. Nantes will call the championship remotely from Kansas City, where he will talk about the AFC Championship game between the Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.
“It would be different, for sure… We have Jim Nantz, perhaps the most legendary sportscaster in American history, shepherding us through this,” Immelman said. “I definitely trust him and his experience.”
Immelman knows he has big shoes to fill. But, at least in the beginning, he tries not to focus on anything other than being himself.
“I can’t act like, or say things like, what other people in this position have done,” Immelman said. “I have to be myself. I have to be authentic. I have to be honest. I have to let my love for the sport shine through. I think if I do that, if I take off the shackles so to speak, we’ll see what happens from there. … Most importantly That, at the end of the day, you have to be entertaining.
“If someone is going to go ahead and sit on the couch and invest their precious time watching PGA TOUR golf on CBS, it must be entertaining.”
Although his golf career ended faster than he expected, Immelman is fully embracing this second chapter in golf.