Spring 2018

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52 SPRING 2018 | NCGA.ORG said, smiling. "I think the course is where I'm happiest." Cockerill's versatility does not go unno- ticed at Golf Channel. Beth Hutter, a pro- ducer at the network who has worked with Cockerill the past 15 years, appreciates her lack of ego and team-first approach. Hutter also good-naturedly pointed out that Cockerill makes sure everyone with a headset knows when a UCLA alum is climbing the leaderboard. "She's just easy to work with," Hutter said. "From a producer's standpoint, there's a lot of stuff coming at you – and she's the first one to offer to come in early and stay late." Cockerill's two-plus decades of televi- sion experience turned her into the mentor when Inkster inched into broadcasting with Fox. Their friendship is rooted in a love of Bay Area sports and red wine; they often socialize with former LPGA pro Pat Hurst, another Northern California native, to attend San Francisco Giants home games. (Cockerill's husband, Danny Dann, is a longtime Giants executive.) But the conversation turned to business when Inkster found herself in a strange domain, suddenly analyzing golf rather than playing it. "When I first started, I tried to pick Kay's brain all the time," Inkster said. "She's really found a niche for herself. She's smart and she does her homework." Inkster and Cockerill will tackle another kind of challenge in July, when they play in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open in Chicago. That will be Cockerill's first competitive event in more than 20 years. She bemoaned the lack of time to prac- tice, though Inkster insisted Cockerill sneaks out more than she acknowledges. She's a member at the Olympic Club and works on her game when her schedule allows. Cockerill might not be as nervous as the 15-year-old who pumped that long- ago tee shot OB in Salinas. But the Senior Women's Open counts as an imposing hur- dle for this golfer-turned-broadcaster. "I'm trying to wrap my head around it," she said. "This is the first one, and I think it's important to support it. … If I can relax and enjoy it, I'll probably play decent golf." Ron Kroichick covers golf for the San Francisco Chronicle. A bove, with dad, Dale, and mom, Mary, at a San Francisco Giants game at AT&T Park; right, h olding the World Series trophy in 2010 with her husband, a longtime team executive. IMPROVEMENT STARTS HERE Download the FREE V1 Golf App Today! Capture, Analyze, Share Swings and Receive Lessons from Your Instructor 4.7 App Store Rating

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