Rich Lerner graduated from Temple University in 1983. Though he grew up in the leafy suburbs of Allentown, Temple’s urban setting. He remembers reading the work of then-Daily News reporter Ray Didinger while riding the subways, feasting at the lunch trucks on Broad Street, hanging out at WRTI, announcing basketball games at The Palestra across town, and taking a few classes in Center City from the wonderful local NBC sportscaster, the late Bob Bradley. The diversity of the Temple scene broadened his outlook on the world.
He was introduced to golf as a boy working at his father’s driving range, putt-putt and par three. Baby boomers familiar with the Lehigh Valley likely remember Dorneyville Golf Center, a staple from the early 1960s through the late ‘80s. Rich hosted “Let’s Go Golding” on his first broadcast job as sports director for WFMZ-TV. He also enjoyed more than 10 years as Lehigh University football’s play-by- play man.
After broadcasting stints that took him from Philadelphia to New York to Dallas, Lerner landed at The Golf Channel in 1997, just as Tiger Woods was ascending. He currently serves as a play-by- play voice for The PGA Tour’s tournament coverage, and as the lead host for the network’s Live From program on site at the sports’ biggest events. Called an “essayist of distinction” by the writer Lorne Rubenstein, Lerner delivers his signature teases and closing essays at all the majors as well as The Ryder Cup, adding perspective to the critical moments in the game. He also anchors Golf Channel’s coverage of The Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals from Augusta National Golf Club.
Through the years, Rich has brought a number of in-depth specials to Golf Channel, from “New York Stories” to “Courage on the Fairways” to “Tiger Woods, Millennium Man”. He was honored with the Women’s Sports Foundation Journalism Award for his documentary, “Se Ri Pak, A Champion’s Journey”. He was also the recipient of a Telly Award for his work on a story on 1964 U.S. Open winner Ken Venturi.
Lerner and his wife Robin are the proud parents of two sons, Jesse and Jack, and they live in Maitland, Florida. Each year they host The December Classic, a charity golf outing with Tour professionals that raises money for The Palmer Hospitals. Previously, they were honored with The Hands of Peace award for their work helping victims of domestic abuse.