Four years after having hired her away from Golf Channel, Holly Sonders will not be part of Fox Sports’ future golf telecasts.
“I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of Fox Sports’ USGA coverage,” Sonders said when contacted by The Forecaddie. “The entire golf team has become like family and I learned a lot working alongside them. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Fox Sports as I transition into a studio role and am excited about the opportunities ahead of me.”
Sonders was in contract negotiations four years ago with Golf Channel when Fox Sports offered a lucrative deal to join its newly-acquired USGA coverage package. At the time, Sonders was the second big hire after Greg Norman, who lasted one season with the network as the lead analyst. Sonders was hired as a studio host and also was expected to work as an NFL sideline reporter. She continues to work select studio shows as well as college football broadcasts.
Fox Sports shared a statement confirming her continued role on non-golf coverage.
“Holly is a valued member of the Fox Sports family and we’re thrilled to continue working with her,” it read.
The Fox Sports-USGA contract expires after the 2026 championship season.
An Ohio native and accomplished junior golfer, Sonders graduated in 2009 with a degree in journalism from Michigan State where she helped the women’s golf team win a Big Ten title in 2007. Prior to her Golf Channel stint, Sonders was a news and sports reporter with KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas and worked as a sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network after beginning her career at Columbus, Ohio’s WBNS-10 TV.
Best known as the star of Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” and various instruction shows, Sonders left the channel and signed with Fox Sports prior to the 2015 commencement of the USGA contract. Her role was never particularly clear and Sonders was briefly reassigned from U.S. Women’s Open coverage the following month after a rough start interviewing players at the 2015 U.S. Open. She worked subsequent U.S. Opens and U.S. Women’s Opens in a variety of roles.
The Man Out Front also hears that Fox Sports has not renewed Irish golf journalist Shane O’Donoghue, another member of the original 2015 announcing team who came from CNN International, anchored coverage of Fox’s first broadcast in 2015 and more recently handled post-round interviews at the 2018 U.S. Open.