116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — It wasn’t the kind of news to send shock waves under your feet Monday morning, but it got some golf fans a bit stirred up.
In an Instagram post sent by Colt Knost from Elmcrest Country Club was a photo of Zach Johnson, 2023 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, with Knost, golf commentator for CBS Sports and SiriusXM Radio. Between them was the actual Ryder Cup trophy.
The words Knost sent with the photo: Just want to thank @zjohnsonpga for granting me the honor of being an assistant captain at next years @therydercup!!! Let’s go @rydercupusa!!
Knost’s followers replied with overwhelming congratulations and delight. Others jumped on it with criticism. The only problem: Knost was joking.
He assumed the facts he never played on a Ryder Cup team himself or won a PGA Tour event would be enough for people not to take his post seriously.
“Whatever you post on social media is true these days,” Knost rued in the middle of his round at the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic. In the real news of the day, this year’s ZJFC raised about $1.1 million for the foundation’s Kids on Course program in Cedar Rapids.
Before his round of golf in the ZJFC was over, Knost felt compelled to go on Twitter to say “Guys @ZachJohnsonPGA and I were just having some fun. Relax!!!”
Which was disappointing to his fans. That’s a group growing in number all the time, because Knost’s style as an on-course reporter for CBS Sports’ PGA Tour telecasts has caught on in a short time.
Knost joined the network last year, and has given it something pro golf on TV desperately needs: Personality.
The reverence and hushed tones with which so many golf announcers treat the sport and its players makes you long for a Johnny Miller or David Feherty before you fall into an afternoon nap.
Knost doesn’t make a joke of golf and its competitors, and he doesn’t overwhelm a broadcast with loudness or idiocy. He just tries to make things more accessible and interesting to those of us who don’t care whether a shot draws or fades and wouldn’t know a 57-degree wedge from a bottle of Heinz 57.
“Not everybody plays golf,” Knost said. “I want to make it where if you’re not a normal golf fan you know what I’m talking about. At the end of the day it’s entertainment. So let’s just have fun with this thing. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Knost won the 2007 U.S. Amateur. He played in 199 PGA Tour events before retiring in January 2020. He shot a second-round 63 and tied for third at The Players Championship in 2016, but a wrist injury after that hampered his career.
Known for his outgoing personality — the 5-foot-9, 215-pounder is nicknamed “Big Gravy” — Knost expanded his role as co-host of a SiriusXM golf show called “Gravy and The Sleeze” and co-hosts a podcast for Golf.com called “Subpar.”
“I’m relatable,” Knost said. “I’m not scared to make fun of myself. Some people might say I didn’t have the greatest career of whatever, but I played eight years on the PGA Tour and I know what it’s like being out there.”
Knost certainly was a fan favorite Monday. He had country music coming from a speaker in his golf cart, and had offered pulls of Don Julio tequila to a few faces in the crowd, including a female who told him she had just broken up with her boyfriend.
“He’s so nice,” one fan said after walking away from an exchange with Knost.
“He’s amazing,” another said.
“I love it here,” Knost said. “I have so much fun every time I come.”
He took the day off from his SiriusXM show to appear at the ZJFC except for when he called in to talk for a little while.
“I think Zach Johnson is like Elvis in Cedar Rapids,” Knost told his substitute co-host. “They’ve got a bronze statue of him here.”
Then he talked about the Ryder Cup and the joke that many took to heart.
“I think they might have to name me assistant captain now,” he said. “They’re going to win, anyway, so they might as well just throw me in the mix.”
As he was walking toward a green, Knost turned and said “To be fair, Zach told me to do it.”
Comments: (319) 398-8440; firstname.lastname@example.org