The Michigan Golf Hall of Fame learned recently of Larry Adderley’s passing. He was one of the founding members of the MGHOF Committee in 1982 and served through 2018 when he withdrew because of his health.
Dementia was his final health battle, and due to his wishes, his family did not have a memorial, create an obituary or make a public announcement. He was cremated after passing Dec. 20, 2019. He was 82.
“He never wanted a big deal made about him,” his wife Linda said this week. “He was private and proud, and he missed his golf trips, especially the ones up north, and we would laugh and tell stories about the golfers, the people we met and things they said.”
Adderley is remembered as a broadcaster in the Detroit market for WXYZ-TV, his radio and television work for the Detroit Tigers and being involved with his longtime friend Jim Brandstatter with the original Michigan Replay TV Shows at the University of Michigan.
A must-see is his creative 1976 jogging interview with legendary coach Bo Schembechler following the coach’s heart surgery:
“I spent a lot of time with Larry, and he was just a great guy, a great professional and very talented,” Brandstatter said. “The last time I visited him, about a year ago now, we had a great talk, shared some memories. I’m so glad we went to see him that day.”
After his broadcasting career in Detroit, Adderley developed and was the talent for the Michigan Golf Network. He covered major Michigan golf tournaments, including Michigan PGA events in addition to the Buick Open and other tour events, and provided live and taped reports to radio stations across the state. He wasn’t timid with his questions. He was always prepared.
Tim Hygh, CEO of Mackinac Island Tourism, coordinated press and media coverage of Michigan Section PGA major championships for 20 years across the state as a summer sideline while working in the radio industry. Larry’s Michigan Golf Network was part of the package.
“Larry brought a tinge of glamour to our traveling media centers,” Hygh said. “He was the silver fox with the beautiful wife who made the most of being on the road. Tales of their wonderful dinners with exotic wines were always welcomed to start another sunup to sunrise tournament day.
“Larry kept adapting to an ever-changing world of radio so that names like Roth, Brady, Erskine and Gillis were known all over Michigan. For us, we’ll have a lasting memory of Larry working in the corner of a quiet media center, hunched over his laptop and recorder with cheaters and earphones on, then clearing his throat and saying: ‘In 3-2-1…’”
Larry could also be seen golfing on television sets at Michigan golf resorts for years, usually in resort marketing productions interviewing and or playing with the head golf professionals of courses and talking about the merits of the resorts. He did voice work for radio and some television commercials, too.
As a founding committee member at the Hall of Fame, he would volunteer to bring in friends and fellow broadcasters to serve as master of ceremonies for annual induction events. He would grudgingly though seamlessly fill in when needed.
He loved to play golf, though he would lament his skill level even as he often played better than others in the group.
Larry, a resident of Edmore when he passed away, was from Beverly Hills in the Detroit area and a Michigan State graduate in communications. A gifted athlete, he was a walk-on to the football team while a student at MSU.
“Let’s put it this way, I was confused with Herb Adderley only in last name references,” he said when pressed to talk about the experience.
He was a proud and critical fan of the Spartans, a season-ticket holder, alumni club member and we often partnered in charity and media golf outings.
He would call sometimes just to talk sports, especially golf or the Spartans, and he had the perfect broadcasting voice that immediately identified him.
He was the voice of Michigan golf for several years, and he was always the best-dressed guy in the room.
Rest in peace Adds.
-Greg Johnson, chairman MGHOF