NW native Paige Mackenzie finds life on screen after LPGA career

Updated: March 31, 2024

By Steve Turcotte

Being involved with Pacific Northwest golf for more than 30 years I have been lucky enough to get to know some of our bigger names in golf in the NW. The one name who has always been friendly, always had time for conversation and always had time for charity has been Paige Mackenzie.

You should know Paige. She was one of the top high school golfers in the state from Yakima and went on to become an All-American golfer at the University Washington. From there she had a career on the LPGA Tour for more than 10 years.

Once she decided that the golf career was over, thanks to some back injuries, Paige decided on a new career path. And the new path almost came by accident. The Golf Channel asked her if she would like to be a studio host for the 2012 LPGA Tour Championship and she agreed. She enjoyed the time in front of the camera and was surprised when the producer called and asked for her social security number. “They said we have to pay you,” she said. “I thought I was doing it for free just being a guest.”

Then came six months later when she failed to quality for the U.S. Women’s Open and The Golf Channel called again with a job. This time working The Morning Drive Show. “That was a comfortable experience,” she said. “It opened me eyes to maybe doing something different down the road.”

In 2014, Paige had back surgery, missing the entire LPGA season and came back in 2015 playing in just four events. But she knew it was time to walk away from the game and head down the TV road.

“I enjoyed playing and it felt odd walking away when I felt I had more left,” Paige said. “But I knew it was time. I was walking away toward something that made it comfortable for me. I was ready to be done. It was a smart decision for me to make.”

Her best finishing was a tie for eighth at an event in 2009 and then a tie for ninth in 2011. Her best year was 2011 when she earned $184,384.

Her Golf Channel career took off right away. She started working basically full time in 2016, typically on The Morning Drive Show and she worked her first tournament at the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA. Since then, if you are fan of the Golf Channel you have seen Paige in the mornings, the afternoons and at tournaments.

I ran into her at the WM Phoenix Open and she had one of the best seats in the house, in a booth on the 16th hole. She saw all of the craziness first hand. She heard the yelling from the fans toward the Golf Channel booth with her and her co-hosts. She saw the wild outfits. “I didn’t understand about the wizard outfits, though,” she said with a laugh. The tournament dealt with plenty of issues this year from the bad weather, to the drinking, to the mass people trying to get in but Paige said she enjoyed the entire week. “It’s a one-week deal, we were able to enjoy it,” she said. “We were right in the middle of the action and it was unique and fun.”

When the Golf Channel called, she moved to Florida to be close to the studio in Orlando. She enjoyed Florida but when the Golf Channel uprooted and moved to Connecticut, Paige didn’t want to move north. She wanted to move west.

She landed in Scottsdale, Ariz. with husband Jonathan and their two kids ages 4 and 6. And what has made the move so good is that there is plenty of family around including her mom and dad who re-located from Yakima and even brother Broc, a former pro golfer from the University of Washington, is close by working in real estate.

As Paige looks back on her career, she wouldn’t change a thing. And years ago I helped her with a charity tournament which took place at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent – and event she invited several of her LPGA friends to raise money for charity. I could see it then that she was serious about everything she did – making sure the event was a success.