Larry Dorman Wins Tim Rosaforte Distinguished Writers’ Award

Larry Dorman and Tim Rosaforte groomed their skills as reporters and writers in big-city South Florida publications at roughly the same time, starting in the late 1970s. Dorman didn’t quite know what to make of the hulking Rosaforte the first time he ever saw him. Dorman was playing golf on a chilly morning, and Rosaforte was in sweats, jogging down a nearby cart path. 

“He looked like a boxer in training,” Dorman said. Little did he know then the two would become the closest of friends. Seldom do you see a press room photo featuring one without the other nearby. Today, Dorman shares something in common with his friend, who died Jan. 11 due to complications from Alzheimer’s at 66. Rosaforte and Dorman, once roommates at tournaments on the road, are the first two honorees to receive the Tim Rosaforte Distinguished Writers’ Award. 

With Tim Rosaforte’s wife, Genevieve, and two daughters, Molly and Genna, in attendance, Dorman, 72, was honored at the Honda Classic at PGA National on Tuesday. Dorman, who lives in California, covered the Honda for two decades as a writer for the Miami Herald, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, The National Sports Daily and New York Times.

Dorman said receiving an award bearing his good pal’s name was “humbling, overwhelming and an unexpected honor.”

Said Dorman, “We were best of friends, like brothers. This is a great honor. Tim was one of my best friends almost since the day I met him.”

Dorman worked at the Palm Beach Post from 1977-80, covering golf, college football and the Miami Dolphins. He spent 10 years at The Miami Herald, covering those same beats, and was hired away to be the first golf writer at a bold, fledgling sports newspaper called The National Sports Daily. That was 1990. The publication was widely praised, but the business model didn’t work, and The National folded. In 1992, Dorman returned to the Sun-Sentinel. 

Less than two years later, he was hired by the New York Times as the newspaper’s golf correspondent, a position of great esteem. From there, he left writing for a spell, filling a press and public relations role at Callaway Golf, where he worked closely  with Ely Callaway, the company’s legendary founder. After 10 years at Callaway, Dorman returned to writing, rejoining The New York Times. He retired in 2011. 

Dorman said he knew Rosaforte always had a goal to get into television, and marveled at the way he made the difficult transition from writing to broadcasting, something few ever do successfully. Rosaforte’s last job was at Golf Channel, where he wielded his two phones and was a trusted source in delivering breaking stories and developments across golf. 

“I would talk to people all the time, and they loved having Tim Rosaforte in their living room,” Dorman said. “He happened to like the camera, and the camera liked him, and people happened to like him.” 

Jimmy Roberts of NBC/Golf Channel spoke at the ceremony, and talked about being a newcomer on the golf scene for ESPN in the late 1980s. Writers and television types didn’t always get along very well in the press room. But Roberts said Rosaforte, by then established as a national voice on the beat, could not have been more welcoming, or accommodating.  

“It can be a little bit of a closed society,” Roberts said. “Here was Tim, this big guy who was well-respected, and he made me feel like I belonged.”

Roberts was able to repay the favor years later, when Rosaforte transitioned from writing into broadcasting, and asked Roberts for advice to help him in his new venture. 

Ken Kennerly, Executive Director of the Honda Classic and a longtime friend to both Rosaforte and Dorman, said when the Tim Rosaforte Distinguished Writers’ Award was created in 2021 and Rosaforte was named as first recipient, little did anyone know his time would be so shortened. 

“I never thought Tim would not be here to enjoy this,” Kennerly said. “… There was no one better. Not only in the game of golf, but no one better on this planet. We all loved Rosie.” 

Kennerly also paid tribute to longtime Palm Beach golf writer Larry Bush, who was a fixture at the Honda Classic for decades. Bush, who began his career at The Palm Beach Evening Times in 1958, died last March at age 87.