Beth Hutter feels a bit like Suzann Pettersen at the 2019 Solheim Cup, walking away from a job she loves on the highest of highs. Hutter won’t strike the winning putt at the CME Group Tour Championship on Sunday, of course, but she will be in the truck orchestrating the drama for all those watching at home.
And daughter Evelyn will no doubt be on her mind.
Hutter, who was reticent to have any kind of spotlight shone on her this week, is a behind-the-scenes VIP for women’s golf as the longtime producer of LPGA coverage for Golf Channel. Over the summer, she made history as the first woman to produce live coverage of the U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club, where she happens to be a member.
And now, while it seems that Hutter is enjoying the peak of her career, the tug of being home with her husband and daughter has her shifting gears.
“My contract was up,” said Hutter, whose daughter Evelyn turns 3 years old in January.
“I’m going to take a year just for me and my family and shut it down.”
Golf Channel producer Beth Hutter poses with daughter Evelyn at the KPMG Women’s PGA (courtesy photo).
Hutter played soccer and softball at Virginia and took a job on Wall Street for six months after she graduated and “hated every minute of it.” The finance major decided to reach out to the local station on Long Island that did a feature on her in high school to see if she could work an internship for six months.
“The cool part is we were a tiny, tiny, tiny station on Long Island in the biggest sports market in the U.S.,” said Hutter. “So since we only had one reporter, they would send me out to do all these sports stories. Go interview the Islanders, I’ve got to go to the Rangers. Or I’ve got to go to the Jets, you do the Giants. Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Nets. We had so much.”
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From there, Hutter went to ESPN before getting hired on in the early days of the Golf Channel in 1999, working on “Golf Central” and getting out on the road four or five weeks a year to work as a replay producer for Keith Hirshland on what was then the Nationwide Tour.
Hirshland believed in Hutter from the start, and it wasn’t long before she produced several telecasts on her own. There was one time, Hirshland recalled, when a teary Hutter came into his office and said she’d made the wrong choice. The job was too big for her.
“I kind of let her get all of that stuff out of her,” said Hirshland, “looked her in the eye and said ‘You couldn’t be more wrong.’ ”
Like many, Hirshland was surprised to learn that Hutter is stepping away from a job that, any given time in the world, only four or five folks have the chance to do it.
“It’s also a really cool job,” he said, “so people tend to don’t stop doing it.”
But he’s thrilled for her.
Beth Hutter and husband David Murvin with daughter Evelyn (courtesy photo).
On-course reporter Jerry Foltz said he has never enjoyed working for someone as much as Hutter. They have a good time on the set. There’s plenty of needling and laughter, and Foltz said he’ll miss that the most.
“I don’t know everything or even anything about producing,” said Judy Rankin. “What I think she has created is a great work environment. We all genuinely like to go to work, and she’s the head of that.”
Hutter made a point to get to know 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 heads,” said Golf Channel’s Karen Stupples, an LPGA veteran and major champion. “She always has her finger on the pulse of what’s going on across the board.”
— Golf Channel PR (@GolfChannelPR) November 20, 2021
Rankin knows what it’s like to raise a child on the road, having raised her son Tuey while competing on the LPGA. She understands Hutter’s desire to replace golf events with ballet class, swimming, tennis, and golf lessons. Evelyn loves to have picnics in hotel rooms, and now they’ll have a picnic every day in Birmingham at the park.
In 2022, Hutter won’t have to worry about missing her dad’s 80th birthday or her brother’s 50th. She and husband David Murvin can celebrate their 10th anniversary at someplace other than a golf tournament, as they did last week.
“It’s a tough decision,” said Hutter. “It’s like having your two favorite desserts, and you’ve got to choose one. For the next couple years, I’ll have the chocolate sundae with Evelyn.”