Beth Hutter feels a bit like Suzann Pettersen at the 2019 Solheim Cup, stepping down from a job she loves at the height of heights. Hutter won’t hit the CME Group Tour championship-winning putt on Sunday, of course, but she’ll be in the truck orchestrating the drama for everyone watching at home.
And her daughter Evelyn will no doubt be in her thoughts.
Hutter, who was reluctant to be honed in on her this week, is a backstage VIP in women’s golf as a longtime producer of LPGA coverage for the Golf Channel. Over the summer, she made history as the first woman to produce live coverage of the US Women’s Open at the Olympic Club, of which she is a member.
And now, when it looks like Hutter is enjoying the peak of her career, the tug of being home with her husband and daughter has made her shift gears.
“My contract was up,” said Hutter, whose daughter Evelyn will be 3 in January.
“I’m going to take a year just for me and my family and shut it down.”
Hutter played football and softball in Virginia and took a job on Wall Street for six months after graduating and “hated every minute of it.” The finance major decided to contact the local Long Island station that did a story on her in high school to see if she could intern for six months.
“The cool thing is, we were a tiny, tiny, tiny station on Long Island in the biggest sports market in the United States,” Hutter said. “So since we only had one reporter, they would send me to do all these sports stories. Go interview the Islanders, I gotta go see the Rangers. Or I gotta go to the Jets, you do the Giants. Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Nets, we had so many things.
From there, Hutter went to ESPN before being hired at the Golf Channel’s debut in 1999, working on “Golf Central” and hitting the road four or five weeks a year to work as a rebroadcast producer for Keith Hirshland on that which was then the Nationwide Tour.
Hirshland believed in Hutter from the start, and she was quick to produce several television shows herself. There was once, Hirshland recalls, when a tearful Hutter came into his office and said she had made the wrong choice. The job was too big for her.
“I kind of let her get all that stuff out of her,” Hirshland said, “looked her in the eye and said, ‘You couldn’t be more wrong. ”
Like many, Hirshland was surprised to learn that Hutter is walking away from a job that, at any time in the world, only four or five people have the chance to do.
“It’s also really cool work,” he said, “so people tend not to stop doing it.”
But he is happy for her.
Ongoing journalist Jerry Foltz said he never enjoyed working for anyone as much as Hutter. They have a great time on set. There are a lot of stings and laughs, and Foltz said he would miss that the most.
“I don’t know everything or even anything about the production,” Judy Rankin said. “What I think she’s created is a great working environment. We all really like going to work, and she’s responsible for that.
Hutter made a point of getting to know the players, inviting rookies to an annual dinner to meet the talent. She loves telling the rich stories of the tour and doing her homework.
“I think her knowledge of the Tour and the players is better than all of us talking,” said LPGA veteran and Grand Champion Karen Stupples of Golf Channel. “She always has her finger on the pulse of what is happening in all areas.”
— Golf Channel PR (@GolfChannelPR) November 20, 2021
Rankin knows what it’s like to raise a kid on the road, having raised his son Tuey while competing on the LPGA. She understands Hutter’s desire to replace golf events with ballet, swimming, tennis and golf lessons. Evelyn loves having picnics in hotel rooms, and now they go picnicking every day in Birmingham at the park.
In 2022, Hutter won’t have to worry about missing his father’s 80th birthday or his brother’s 50th. She and her husband David Murvin can celebrate their 10th anniversary somewhere other than at a golf tournament, as they did last week.
“It’s a tough call,” Hutter said. “It’s like having your two favorite desserts and just having to choose one. For the next two years, I’ll be having the chocolate sundae with Evelyn. »