Tributes Flow for Popular Golf Channel Host Dead at 50

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Golf Channel host and former professional golfer, Stephanie Sparks, died last Saturday at the age of 50.

No information has been given about her cause of death, or where she died but Sparks most recently lived in Orlando, Florida.

Originally from West Virginia, she began her career as a golfer, and was an All-American collegiate golfer at Duke University. Sparks won many tournaments over the course of her career, beginning with the 1992 North and South Women’s Amateur at the Pinehurst Golf Club. She represented the U.S. on the 1994 Curtis Cup team.

In 2000, Sparks went on play with the LPGA, before she injured her back, bringing an end to her brief professional golf career.

Sparks co-hosted the Golf Channel reality show Big Break for seven seasons between 2005 and 2013, alongside sports commentator Tom Abbott. The show offered aspiring professional golfers the opportunity to participate in a real tournament, if they competed in a series of golfing challenges.

Abbott posted about his former co-host’s passing on X. “I’m shocked and saddened by the death of Stephanie Sparks,” he wrote. “Steph was a crucial part of the Big Break success story. My thoughts go out to her family.”

Sparks also hosted two other shows for the channel, Golf with Style! and Playing Lessons with the Pros, and would also report at professional golf events.

According to her obituary, Sparks spent the last several years of her life as an advocate for hospice care.

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