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Bob Kurtz "Ironman" Biography

“To try and explain Bob Kurtz is like trying to explain all that is in the Smithsonian.”

                                                            ~Danny Edwards

                                                            Top 100 PGA Tour All-Time

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Early Years

 

Born May 23, 1941

Norfolk, Virginia

Bob grew up in Virginia, also living with his family for a time on Chincoteague Island before his Father, a 20 year  decorated WWII U.S. Navy veteran retired and moved the family to Nebraska. In a tiny town called Long Pine,  they worked together at their family owned hunting and fishing Lodge and cabins called "The Pines."  Bob excelled both in the classroom and in sports, where he played baseball, basketball, and ran track.  

In basketball, he set multiple high school scoring records including 56 points in one game.  Baseball's Kansas City Athletics (before they moved to Oakland) offered Bob a professional contract, which he declined due to his committment to attending college where he continued in basketball and track.

Education      

  • Long Pine Nebraska HS

  • Yankton South Dakota HS

  • BA  Yankton College

  • Seminary  Drake Divinity School

  • BD and MTh  Drake Divinity School

  • Master’s Studies: School of Journalism  Drake University 

  • PhD Studies: Department of Radio-TV-Film Northwestern University

Par For The Course

              

            Bob started playing golf with his father, Chuck Kurtz, and they competed in college golf together on the Yankton College golf team.  After winning 53 golf tournaments as an amateur, Bob turned pro in 1976.  In addition to having qualified for the PGA Tour's Champions events, he has played internationally in Scotland, Denmark, Bermuda, Panama, and Mexico.  His last professional win was the Cleveland Senior Open in 2019.  Bob and daughter Beth Carpenter, a LPGA and PGA professional combined for the best-selling golf instructional video “How To Break 90 in 30 Days.” For more information or to purchase this video, visit our Lessons Page.

On The Air

             

              While studying at Northwestern University, Bob was hired in 1968 to host the Emmy award winning TV Show “Wonderful World” on Channel 2, WBBM-TV, in Chicago.  He remained with CBS- Chicago until 1971, when he moved to Dallas to be a sportscaster for Channel 2, CBS.  Wanting to move up to football broadcasts, he became the sports  anchor for Channel 9, ABC in Denver where he did broadcasts for the Denver Broncos and the Air Force Academy.    He hosted the Air Force coaches shows where he worked with Bill Parcells, whose first head coaching position was with the Falcons.

               After a brief stint with the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Bob moved on to become the very first person on-air for the new Turner Broadcasting breakthrough triumph called CNN (Cable News Network).  Bob and Nick Charles hosted "CNN Sports Tonight," and worked with CNN until 1986 when he briefly joined CBS Golf and ESPN, before retiring from his twenty year broadcasting career.

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Bob and Nick Charles hosting CNN Sports Tonight

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Bob and NFL Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach and NFL great Bill Glass

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Tom Brokaw of NBC News and fellow Yankton HS grad. Bob Kurtz

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Bobby Richardson NY Yankee star and World Series MVP

NBC channel 11 Twin Cities promo featuring Bob's parents

Serving The Lord

             

          After retiring from television, Bob considered working for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes but he was surprised to be called to serve as the Minister of the First Swiss Reformed Church in Nashville.  His training for the Christian ministry was completed more than twenty years before with his Seminary degrees from Drake Divinity School.  It was a joy for him to lead his small congregation whose religious heritage traced directly to Ulrich Zwingli and the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland.  Bob later visited Zurich and Zwingli's historic Church,  the "Grossmunster" (meaning: Great Place Of Ministry).

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Grossmunster, Zurich 

        Later, Bob was called to another historic Reformation heritage Church,  St. John's Evangelishe Kirche (translated: Evangelical Church) in Cullman, Alabama, the state's largest German community.  St. John's was the founding Church of Cullman, and traced history directly back to Martin Luther.  While serving St. John's Church as lead Pastor, he also visited Frankweiller, Germany and preached (in fluent German) from the pulpit of the church in the birthplace of Cullman's founder, Colonel Johann Gottfried,  Culllman.

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St. Johns Church, Cullman, AL

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St. George Church, Germany

                     While pastor at St. John's, Bob continued to compete in Senior Professional Golf as his schedule permitted.  After stepping down as Senior Pastor of the 2,000 member church in 2012, he was named Pastor Emeritus, a lifetime honor.

Ministries to Children and Golf's Ironman Marathons

         

          During his final years serving St. John's Church, Bob became involved in raising monies for an orphanage in Kenya.  The church's fundraising missions committee voted to have an event where Bob played multiple holes of golf where people pledged per hole of golf.  Thus, the Ironman evolved.  For a more detailed information on this transformation, visit our history page.

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World Record Holder for Golf Marathons & Golf Endurance Marks

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