When Todd Sadowski graduated from Towson University and started working as a sports anchor in Allentown, Pa., he toyed with the idea of launching his own regional golf television show.
“When I began working in television, I always thought about doing a show that would feature the top golf courses and top golf events in the mid-Atlantic,” Sadowski said. “I knew I just had to take my time and learn the business and get better in front of the camera before I gave it a shot.”
A Carroll County native, Sadowski graduated from Westminster High School, where he was a standout in baseball, basketball and football. He picked up golf his freshman year when a friend asked him to tee it up.
“I got the golf bug really bad early in high school,” Sadowski said. “I was playing every chance I could and eventually decided to drop football to focus on golf.”
Leaving the gridiron behind, Sadowski honed his game and played his way into the Maryland state championship by his junior year.
While he excelled at golf, baseball was his true love and best sport. Sadowski stayed in Maryland for college and played on the baseball team at UMBC. After transferring to Towson, Sadowski earned a degree in mass communication and began working in television. He landed his first job as a sports anchor in Allentown and made a move to a bigger market when he took a job at the ABC affiliate in Knoxville, Tenn.
Throughout the early part of his career, Sadowski set a goal to land a position at a station closer to his wife’s family in Maryland and also hung onto the idea of launching a regional golf show.
Sadowski was offered the sports anchor position at Fox 43 in York, PA, in 2000, and after two years, he decided to launch “Keystone Golf,” which focused mostly on upscale courses and resorts around Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Sadowski found that course owners and golfers were receptive to the new show and he began expanding his efforts to feature courses in surrounding states.
“I try to keep the show fast-paced, yet informational, to let golfers know what sets the course apart,” Sadowski said. “I also focus on the non-golfing spouse and give them an idea of what local activities and events are available.”
While the concept of the show remained the same as it evolved into “Eastern Golf TV,” the audience and sponsor support continued to grow. Sadowski began traveling to and shooting shows at some of the top resorts and courses on the East Coast, taking local golfers along for the ride.
Now the sports director at Fox 43, Sadowski said he is thrilled with the continued growth of his venture. He was especially excited in 2007 when MASN agreed to carry the show.
“Even though we were getting picked up by networks up and down the East Coast, we still weren’t being shown in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area,” Sadowski said. “Being carried on MASN filled that hole in our coverage area, but it also meant a lot to me to have the show on in my hometown.”
The tagline for “Eastern Golf TV” is “the best courses, the most important events and the biggest names.” Outside of reporting on great courses and resorts throughout the region, the show also covers local professional and charity events. Extensive coverage is given to Jim Furyk’s Exelon Invitational held outside Philadelphia and Bobby Mitchell’s Hall of Fame Classic outside Washington.
Sadowski is the face of the program and generates much of the content, but he gives credit to his team that works behind the scenes to turn out shows that exhibit very high production values. Chris Dearolf from Hawkpoint Productions does most of the camera work and Steve Gardner of Lowell Video Productions handles post-production work.
Sadowski said his most memorable moment came while wrapping up a late afternoon shoot at Greystone in Baltimore County in 2005.
“We were shooting our question of the week segment and we still needed one more golfer to comment and it was getting late,” Sadowski said. “There was one guy left on the practice green at Greystone, and we interviewed him about his favorite memory of watching golf on TV.”
The young man, who spoke with a Spanish accent, recounted the thrill of watching Costantino Rocca hole out a long putt on the 18th green to force a playoff against John Daly at the British Open in 1995.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. Sadowski was at Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia to cover the 2005 U.S. Amateur for his show. During the final match Sunday, Sadowski was struck by the fact that the man he had interviewed at Greystone a few weeks prior was Eduardo Molinari, who ended up winning the 36-hole final at Merion against Dillion Dougherty.
Sadowski and his producer couldn’t believe the kid they interviewed by chance at Greystone was a world-renowned player gearing up for the biggest tournament of his life.
Eastern Golf with Todd Sadowski
Date, Time: Saturdays, 10 a.m.
Web site: www.EasternGolf.tv
Issue 3.21: May 22, 2008