Matt Ginella has spent the last 25 years covering golf, the development of the game, and the camaraderie at the core of its culture.
Matt has recently teamed up with Imperial Headwear to design the limited edition Fire Pit Collection using the logo from his new podcast. The fire pit represents the relationships he’s forged with some of the most colorful, influential people in the game, and the stories they have shared around fire pits all over the world.
The new collection includes Matt’s graphic red-and-black logo embroidered on our original performance, and retro performance rope cap, a couple meshback styles perfect for the summer heat, and our best selling performance Tour Visor™. There’s even a new T-Shirt in the collection.
Imperial also got the chance to catch up with Matt and pick his brain about his past, present, and future in the world of golf:
1.) When and how did you get introduced to the game of golf?
One of my best friends as a kid was into golf. His dad asked if I wanted to join them for nine holes at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. He let me tee it up from tee to green. Made it so much easier to have fun. From there, my uncle Tony took over. He was an accomplished amateur when he was in his teens. He taught me the grip and the swing. My dad taught me the rules and integrity of it all.
2.) Golf seems to be your career, your passion and even be at the center of your personal life. Why do you love it so much?
What’s not to love? Yes, it’s a game, it’s health and fitness, it’s a tool and a venue that accommodates interpersonal connections and camaraderie. We laugh, cry, scream, whisper, achieve, fail, plan, audible, chunk, shank and save. And that can all happen in one hole. Golf has afforded me an opportunity to see the world and immerse myself in so many cultures. I travel, therefore I learn. And I appreciate golf for all of that.
3.) You’ve worked for so many great golf media brands over the years. Walk us through the decision to break off on your own recently?
There was no decision really. Golf Channel and Golf Advisor had provided me with an incredible opportunity and platform to share stories about golf and travel. I worked with so many talented people who love the game. So many people who work long and odd hours to produce quality TV. And they do it day in and day out. I already miss the Morning Drive family, but I also know that it’s time to take all that I’ve learned and see what it’s like to create my own production company. Scary, obviously. But that fear is a great form of inspiration.
4.) What was your inspiration for The Fire Pit podcast?
It was a few weeks into quarantine. I had knocked off several home-improvement projects. John Ashworth called and asked about doing Instagram Live interviews. It just got me thinking about if I were to create content in the midst of the pandemic, what would it be? I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts. But I did like the idea of using a podcast to tell a story. Get to the heart of a narrative, but use multiple voices to tell that story. Then I started making a list of what stories I would try to tell. Several friends were then involved in the name, logo, length, theme music and edits. I’ll continue to work with the production team I’ve worked with for the last seven years at Golf Channel. Alex Upegui is my producer, Rex Lint directs the visuals, and now we’ve all added podcast production and editing to our resumes. There have been a lot of long nights, but it has afforded us the opportunity to tell stories. And that will continue to be my motivation and focus for the foreseeable future. What’s the next story we tell? What’s the best way of telling it? The Fire Pit is now an option.
5.) The timing and content of The Fire Pit podcast has been spot on. What are your plans for the future and keeping up with the high bar you have set for yourself?
We will probably end the season soon, take a quick break, reset, and then get right back to it. I want to find more stories, use more voices, and continue to enhance the experience. I worked at several radio stations in high school and college. My first dream job was the play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres. I have always been fascinated by the romance of radio. Painting pictures with words. In some ways, I’ve just come full circle. In my mind, we’re trying to create great radio.