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NOTAH BEGAY, III by Leigh MacKay
With his intimate knowledge of the game and its players and his incisive commentary, Notah Begay has become one of the most recognizable analysts on NBC Sports and Golf Channel broadcasts. From his debut as a parttime commentator in 2010 to his full-time position in 2013 to his current celebrity status, Notah has distinguished himself both with his passion for the game and his passion for the improvement of American Indian communities. A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a full-blooded American Indian, Notah hopped the fence at Ladera Golf Course at the age of five and convinced the head pro to give him a job and teach him the game. He became one of the best junior players in the country and earned a golf scholarship to Stanford in 1990 where he graduated in 2005 with a degree in Economics—“still the most important thing I will ever accomplish in my career” he says on his website—and led the Cardinal golfers to the 1994 NCAA Championship, shooting a 62 in the second round, still the record-low score in the event.. The three-time All-American, who won the Northeast Amateur at Wannamoisett CC in 1995, began his close friendship with Tiger Woods in the fall of 1994 when Tiger was a freshman, and then Notah turned pro shortly
after graduation. He shot a 59 in the 1998 NIKE Dominion Open and earned his PGA TOUR card in 1999, winning two tournaments in both his rookie and second years on TOUR. Paired with Tiger in the Presidents Cup in 2000, Notah went 3-2 and helped the U.S. claim victory. In 2001, his professional career came to an abrupt halt when he tore a disk in his back and was not pain free for seven years. During this time, he started his Notah Begay, III Foundation (NB3F) to serve American Indian youth and raise their standard of living. To date, he has raised millions of dollars to fund scholarships and other educational and wellness programs, and his foundation has served thousands of children and their families. In 2012, Notah received the Golf Writers Association of America’s Charlie Bartlett Award for his “unselfish contributions to the betterment of society.” Notah also owns a golf course development company, NB3 Consulting, and works with American Indian communities to develop world-class properties. I first met Notah in 2013 at the grand opening of his Sewailo Golf Course at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, one of the area’s most delightful and scenic courses and one of the most popular casinos. I interviewed Notah in September at the Deutsch Bank Championship.
32 | golfcontentnetwork.com | November / December 2016
Published on Nov 9, 2016
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