Santa Rosa's own Ginella finds home close to game he loves

  • (Morning Drive-- Season:(3) -- Pictured: Ahmad Rashad, Gary Williams, Damon Hack, Charlie Rymer, Holly Sonders, Kelly Tilghman, Matt Ginella, -- (Photo by: Photographer's Name/Golf Channel)

Go and find the world you want, Pern and John Ginella of Santa Rosa told their five kids. It's your life. You define it. You own it. You live it. Think outside the box? Heck, just get rid of the box altogether. Follow what makes sense to you, not to someone else. Mom and Dad didn't have to say it twice to Matt, their youngest.

"I love stories," said Ginella, co-host of a five-day-a-week morning television show on the Golf Channel, "and wouldn't it be something that the greatest story you've ever heard was the one about your life?"

It's as if Ginella, 41, is finding himself in the middle of his own movie, in the lead role, looking at himself in the mirror, blinking over and over in disbelief. Yes, that's me all right, he thinks to himself, the kid who graduated from Cardinal Newman in 1990, the kid who once thought the ultimate description of happiness would be working as the course superintendent at Oakmont. And the allure at the core of that image, lo these many years, drives Ginella still to this day.

"To see a sunrise over a golf course," Ginella said, "that's like church to me. It's peaceful. It's like . . . waking up in my own bed."

Ginella worked five summers at Oakmont, in the pro shop, raking grass and taking out garbage. Three of those summers came while he was at Newman, and two while at St. Mary's College before he graduated in 2005 with a degree in communications. Ginella liked the smell, the visual, the feel of it and he could have been happy staying there, very well could have stayed there, never gotten out of bed so to speak .<TH>.<TH>. if it wasn't for his voice, the one he found at the age of 10.

Starting at 10, and for four summers, Ginella at night would broadcast imaginary baseball games into a tape recorder. He'd make up everything; lineups, scoring, pitching changes, drama, weather, all of it. Even describing those flying hot dog wrappers so endemic to summertime Candlestick. The mock broadcasts always would be of a Giants-Padres game.

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