Ann Liguori wears many hats. She continues to have a successful career in sports media after 30 years in the field, and she runs the Ann Liguori Foundation, which benefits cancer prevention. The foundation’s Charity Golf Classic is held in the Hamptons each year. Most recently, she has partnered with Dune Jewelry to launch The Hamptons Collection, a line of experiential jewelry that is created using sand and other natural elements from beaches and golf courses across the world. The pieces are created to be a keepsake from one’s travels or favorite places, with every piece customized and handcrafted with a unique experience in mind. The Independent spoke to Liguori about all of these projects.
What are some Highlights from your sports media career?
I’ve been a sports talk show host/reporter/journalist/interviewer for over 30 years. It’s been fascinating to be a part of two major sports entities from the very beginning—WFAN Radio in New York and The Golf Channel. I’m proud to be an original sports talk show host on WFAN Radio, the first all-sports radio station, where I hosted a call-in sports talk show, “Hey Liguori, What’s the Story,” every week for 26 years and continue as their golf and tennis correspondent, covering Major Golf Championships and the U.S. Open tennis championships.
I’m also one of the original hosts on The Golf Channel, where I hosted the weekly prime-time show, “Conversation with Ann Liguori” for six years, which featured interviewing celebrities in Hollywood, music, sports and business, while golfing with them. Talk about fun! I golfed with everyone from Sylvester Stallone, Matthew McConaughey, and Smokey Robinson to Celine Dion, Samuel L. Jackson, and Brett Favre, using golf as a vehicle to get to know them.
I hosted, produced, and owned a series called “Sports Interview with Ann Liguori,” featuring interviews with sports legends. My very first interview for this series was with Mickey Mantle. What a storyteller he was! Ted Williams was such an intriguing interview, a baseball genius. Wilt Chamberlain talked about sleeping with 20,000 women. Pete Rose was so feisty and angry. I interviewed him soon after he was banned from baseball. I interviewed everyone from Whitey Ford, Julius Erving, Bart Starr, Wayne Gretzky, and Martina Navratilova to Sam Snead, Jim Brown, Hank Aaron, Jimmy Connors, and Annika Sorenstam. It’s a treasure chest of archives!
I also host a weekly radio show called “Sports Interview” out here on the East End which airs on NPR’s WPPB 88.3 every Saturday morning from 9 to 10 AM.
Tell us about your Charity Golf Classic in June
The 20th Annual Ann Liguori Foundation Charity Golf Classic, benefitting cancer prevention, research and care, in addition to supporting several mentorship initiatives, takes place on Monday, June 4, at Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton. The East End of Long Island is paradise for golfers and we’re thankful that the tournament has sold out every year.
Tell us about the work the Ann Liguori Foundation has done
I’m proud of the work the Ann Liguori Foundation has done, raising money for organizations such as St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, American Cancer Society, and KIDS NEED MORE, a not-for-profit that hosts a camp on Shelter Island every August for children with cancer and their siblings. We’ve sent nutritionists into schools on the East End to educate young people about good nutrition. We also contribute to organizations such as the Samuel Waxman Research Foundation, East End Hospice, Southampton Fresh Air Home, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and the South Fork Natural History Museum.
The charity golf tournament started 20 years ago when Marla Schlenk, who worked for the American Cancer Society at the time, asked me if I would host a charity golf tournament at the Westhampton Country Club. I had lost my dad to cancer when I was in college and a year later, my brother Jim died from leukemia at the age of 22. I vowed then to do everything I could to raise money and awareness for these diseases that affect all of us in one way or another.
How did YOU COME TO collaboratE with Dune Jewelry?
I met Holly Daniels Christensen, the founder and CEO and talented designer of Dune Jewelry, through my publicist Carole Imperiale. For my charity golf tournament last year, Holly donated custom and handmade golf divot repair tools made with sand from the bunkers at The Maidstone Club. This year, Dune Jewelry is gifting each golfer a custom ball marker that will provide lasting memories of the charity tourney.
Last summer, I had Holly on my radio show to talk about her jewelry collection. I was fascinated with the whole idea of experiential jewelry and what a great keepsake they make for both men and women, savoring experiences from one’s travels from anywhere in the world. So, we continued our conversation off the air. I suggested that Dune Jewelry explore getting more involved in the golf world, as natural elements and sand are so much a part of golf. And so, Dune Jewelry designed a line of items for golfers including golf divot repair tools, wine bottle stoppers, ball markers, cufflinks for men, and a variety of jewelry for women that incorporates sand or other natural elements from golf courses throughout the world. These items make great keepsakes and gifts.
What made you decide to work on a jewelry line?
Holly asked me if I’d like to collaborate on a line that reflects my tastes and personality. I was thrilled at the prospect. Then when she showed me the designs, it blew me away! We named it The Hamptons Collection for its sophistication and classic design. The Hamptons Collection includes a necklace, earrings, bracelets, a ring, and cufflinks. It has a rope motif, which gives it a nautical theme and obviously reminds me of the beauty of The Hamptons, all the gorgeous beaches on the Atlantic Ocean in The Hamptons, the Peconic Bay, and Long Island Sound. We enjoy boating and I adore marina life, the people at our marina, and the natural beauty on the water.
What about the East End inspires you?
I absolutely love and appreciate the East End for many reasons. I’m inspired by the stunning scenery, beautiful, white fluffy beaches, stunning waterways, some of the most prestigious golf courses in the country, sunset boat rides, biking on quaint, country roads, and spending quality time with family and friends. There’s no prettier place on the planet! And that’s what The Hamptons Rope Collection is all about. It encapsulates what the Hamptons mean to so many people who savor the beauty of this area and the memories we create by living out here.
Where can we find the Hamptons Collection?
Hildreth’s Department Store in Southampton is carrying The Hamptons Collection. And you can order it online at www.dunejewelry.com. Each and every piece is customized and handcrafted with unique experiences in mind.
What’s next for Ann Liguori?
I will be covering my 20th straight Masters for WFAN and CBS Sports Radio Network April 5 to 8 and my 30th straight U.S Open golf championship at Shinnecock in June. I’m emceeing the Brain Injury in Sports Forum for the Head Injury Association on Long Island on March 21.
And with my new roles as a brand ambassador for PEAKVISION Sunglasses and this exciting new Hamptons Collection for Dune Jewelry, my schedule is packed. That’s how I like it!
Visit www.annliguori.com for more info and www.dunejewelry.com for more information on The Hamptons Collection.