By Matt Hombach
For 15 years, Bobby Vermillion has been giving golfers who couldn’t make it to the course on a Saturday morning a taste of what they’re missing.
Whether you’re shackled to a mile long “honey-do” list or stuck watching the kids while your loving spouse goes shopping, you’ve undoubtedly come across the television show Vermillion has been producing for the past decade and a half.
The current incarnation of the show, “Endless Golf,” gives viewers a taste of some of the finest golf courses in the country. Vermillion not only shows highlights of these world-class tracts, but also gives tips on where to stay and other things to do while in the area.
Vermillion started producing the show in the early 1990s when he was a successful radio and television ad salesman in Ocean City. He began to dabble in some broadcasting projects and came up with a concept that would give local golf courses the opportunity to promote themselves on a half hour television program.
The original show was called the "Ocean City Maryland Golf Show" and featured courses primarily from the Delmarva Peninsula. Vermillion leveraged his skill as an ad salesman to sell the airtime and his budding skills as a golfer and broadcaster to make the shows engaging and fun.
“The funny thing is I had only been playing golf a few years when I first started the show,” he said. “Baseball was my sport growing up and through school. I only started playing golf in my late 20s.”
Over the years, Vermillion’s golf game has improved and the show has evolved. In the late 1990s, the show changed to “Golfing the Mid-Atlantic,” and the focus became regional. Vermillion featured courses up and down the I-95 corridor.
The latest show, “Endless Golf,” lives up to its name. Vermillion reports on courses from desirable resorts like Bermuda, Pinehurst and Palm Springs, but also dedicates plenty of time to “everyman” resort areas like Myrtle Beach and Ocean City, where Vermillion still lives.
Vermillion grew up in Woodlawn and went to Salisbury State. He fell in love with the lifestyle and landscape the resort area provided.
“My goal with the show is to give the traveling golfer an idea of where to take his next trip,” Vermillion said. “I want to show golfers where to play when they travel, where to stay and what else they can do to have fun while they’re there.”
"Endless Golf" will continue its evolution with the launch of www.endlessgolf.com in the next few weeks.
Even though Vermillion began playing golf later in life than most, he has whittled his handicap down to a 7 at the present time. He indicated most of his rounds are in the low 80s or upper 70s. Not bad, considering he plays a lot of different courses that are new to him.
“While I do play at courses all over the country, I play a majority of my golf in the Ocean City area, close to home at places like Glen Riddle and Ocean City Golf Club,” he said. “I normally tee it up about three times a week.”
When asked if there’s one course out of the hundreds he has played that sticks out in his mind, Vermillion mentioned the La Quinta Resort Mountain Resort course in Palm Springs. The stunning Pete Dye designed course is ranked amongst the top 100 public courses in the county by Golf Digest.
It’s obvious Vermillion respects and appreciates the game of golf, and he’s passionate about exposing golfers to unique and entertaining courses they’ve never played before.
“I’ve been fortunate to make this my full-time occupation,” Vermillion said. “I get to play golf for a living and I hopefully won’t ever have to go out and get a real job!”
“Endless Golf” airs on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. or Monday at 5:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet in Baltimore and Fox Sports Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and western Maryland.
Issue 2.34: August 23, 2007