Sidelines: Mayer of the greens

Teammates (l-r) Gabe Goodwin, Peter Coughter, Carol Mayer and Nicole Coffey.

ESPN talent producer Carol Mayer grew up across the street from a golf course, and the game’s been in her blood ever since.

The former University of Illinois athlete plays a game convincing enough to make some of her friends take a recent prank seriously.

“My April Fool’s joke was to write on FaceBook that I’ve decided to focus my efforts on joining the LPGA,” said Mayer, in her seventh year with ESPN.

“I must have had at least 30 or 40 different people say,’Congrats,’ or ‘You go, girl.’ People must have thought it was a realistic enough goal. But I know I have no business on the tour. But that was my way of punking everyone for April Fool’s Day.”

Mayer recently became Director Of Talent Producers. Last fall, she transferred from ESPN’s Bristol headquarters to the company’s Chicago offices.

Her father Eric, a former kicker for Michigan State University, taught her how to golf. They ‘re planning to enter two tournaments as teammates this summer.

“[Golf] is definitely a great bonding experience,” said Mayer, who with teammates Nicole Coffey, Gabe Goodwin and Peter Coughter won the 2010 ESPN employee golf tourney.

Mayer’s job involves booking guests for all of the ESPN shows originating from Bristol, including many visitors who are part of the “Car Wash.”

“I love the variety, I love the team atmosphere, and the fact that I enjoy coming to work each day,” said Mayer.

“I just feel like I connect with people who are really different from me. I like learning about people who grew up different from me. I love people’s stories, learning what makes them tick.”

Mayer’s excited about tackling the world’s best courses between work assignments.

“I got to play Torrey Pines and Del Mar in January,” Mayer said. “I got a chance to play Medina as an 18 year old, and I don’t think at 18 you can appreciate the splendor of that course.”

But the pro tour will have to wait.

“I’m a good athlete who knows how to play golf. When you see it on TV, it just further reminds you why they’re pros and why we’re journalists,” she said.

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