As Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning make their way around Medalist Golf Club today as part of The Match, there will be an interesting broadcast team composed of NBA legend Charles Barkley, as well as golf experts including Trevor Immelman, Justin Thomas, and Amanda Balionis. Who is Amanda Balionis?
Amanda Balionis destined for a career in sports broadcasting
Amanda Balionis has always been passionate about sports since she was a young girl growing up in Pennsylvania. As for her introduction to golf, that happened when her parents signed her up for golf lessons when she was nine years old.
“I played junior golf for a few years; my parents loved playing with me, but the minute I had to carry my own bag and walk nine holes by myself, I was like, ‘Eh, you know what, I’m gonna go join the swim team,” Balionis told GolfDigest.com.
In high school, she excelled at volleyball and parlayed that into a college career at Kutztown University, a Division II school, where she played for a couple of years. In the back of her mind, however, Balionis always wanted to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. When someone suggested Hofstra University in New York City and the environment, she instantly knew it was the place for her. After several years at Hofstra, which included working on the student newspaper, she graduated in 2008.
Balionis fast tracks to the top at CBS
Amanda Balionis began her career as a sideline reporter for Verizon Fios Channel 1 covering high school sports. From 2009 to 2011, she honed her skills covering high school sports at MSG Network, which included her role as a color commentator on the network’s high school volleyball coverage.
Balionis joined the PGA TOUR as an in-house reporter and host in 2011, producing and reporting tournament highlights and events. In 2016, she signed on with Callaway Golf to work as an in-house reporter producing digital content for the golf manufacturer. Balionis got her big break in 2017 when she joined CBS as a part-time golf reporter, working select tournaments. She became a full-time CBS golf reporter in 2018.
In addition to her time covering golf, she also serves as a sideline reporter for select NFL On CBS games and CBS Sports Network college football games. She worked her first Super Bowl in 2019.
Active in her community, Balionis donates her time to “K9 for Warriors,” an organization that helps save dogs in shelters and trains them to become service dogs for post-9/11 military veterans with PTSD. She also is a part-time yoga instructor.
Is Amanda Balionis any good at golf?
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While Balionis played golf at a young age, as she described, she was never big on the part where you have to walk 18 holes. Today, she doesn’t have to walk, and she plays more than ever.
“The funny thing about this game of ours is the more you play the more inconsistent you become,” she said in an interview with Newsday. “I’m getting better. I have really bad days, and I have really good days. If I can break 100, I am thrilled.”
The 33-year-old Balionis, who now calls San Diego home, said her game has improved while at CBS and the main reason is from working with golf swing guru and her former co-worker at CBS Peter Kostis.
“I bring my clubs with me on the road now, and we went to a range behind a course one day. I was just gonna hit some balls, and Peter Kostis just happened to be there working on his own game. And in true Kostis fashion, he looked at my swing and said, ‘We have a lot of work to do.’ And he proceeded to give me the most grueling hour lesson I’ve ever had. I was drenched in sweat, and now I have a million things to work on, but it was so much fun.”
Fun is what golf and sports are all about, and it’s obvious each time Balionis appears on camera, she’s having a lot of it.