Frank Nobilo

Last updated

Frank Nobilo
Frank Nobilo 1998.jpg
Personal information
Full nameFrank Ivan Joseph Nobilo
Born (1960-05-14) 14 May 1960 (age 59)
Auckland, New Zealand
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
NationalityFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Residence Auckland, New Zealand
Children Bianca Nobilo
Turned professional1979
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
European Tour
PGA Tour of Australasia
Professional wins15
Highest ranking 21 (6 July 1997) [1]
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour1
European Tour5
Asian Tour1
PGA Tour of Australasia3
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament 4th: 1996
PGA Championship T8: 1996
U.S. Open T9: 1994
The Open Championship T10: 1997
Achievements and awards
Companion of the New
Zealand Order of Merit

Frank Ivan Joseph Nobilo CNZM (born on 14 May 1960) is a professional golfer from New Zealand.


Nobilo had a successful playing career, winning 15 pro tournaments around the world. He was at his peak during the mid-1990s when he also produced strong finishes in all four major championships.

Since his 2003 retirement, Nobilo has worked as a television announcer for golf events.

Personal life

Nobilo was born in Auckland, of Croatian and Italian descent, and is the great grandson of an Italian pirate. [2] At birth, his right leg was shorter than his left, which has caused him some back problems throughout his life. He was educated at St Peter's College in Auckland where he was persuaded to play golf by schoolmates (Chris Treen and Mark Lewis). Nobilo preferred to play Rugby league for Glenora over Rugby Union for St Peter's, which was "a bone of contention" with the school. "I got a bit of grief because I preferred league over rugby then and I was a bit more of a rebel. I used to catch the train to and from school and it took about 30–40 minutes. My mum said it drove her crazy because I missed it often and my parents were living in Glen Eden and I would end up in Henderson and they'd have to come and collect me". [3]

Nobilo and his wife, Selena, married in 1998. He has a daughter, Bianca Nobilo, from a previous marriage. Nobilo works as an ambassador for The House of Nobilo, one of New Zealand's leading wineries and founded by one of his relatives Nikola Nobilo. [4] Nobilo was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 1998.


In 1978, Nobilo won the New Zealand Amateur Championship at 18, the second-youngest winner of this title. He turned professional in November 1979. His first professional win came in 1982 at the New South Wales PGA Championship on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Nobilo joined the European Tour in 1985 as a full-time player, having played in selected events in 1982 and 1983. He recorded his first win on the Tour in the 1988 PLM Open (not to be confused with the KLM Open). Nobilo subsequently won four other European Tour events and finished inside the top 50 on the Order of Merit every season from 1988 to 1996, with a best of 14th place in 1993.

After strong performances in all the majors, including a 4th-place finish in the Masters Tournament and a tie for 8th in the PGA Championship, Nobilo left Europe at the end of 1996 and joined the United States-based PGA Tour for the following season. He won the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic during his rookie season, which proved to be his only win on that tour. He has featured in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.

One week after his marriage to Selena in 1998, Nobilo was struck above the left eye by an errant tee shot at the Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Central Florida. The injury required 30 stitches, and affected his play afterwards.

Nobilo played for the International Team in each of the first three Presidents Cups (1994, 1996, 1998). He contributed significantly to the international appeal of the event when in 1998 and paired with fellow kiwi Greg Turner he holed a 70-foot putt on the final green to defeat the American pairing. On 2 October 2008, International Presidents Cup team captain Greg Norman announced that Frank Nobilo would serve as his assistant captain for the 2009 Presidents Cup 6–11 Oct. 2009 at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. [5]

On 9 October 2007, it was reported that Nobilo had announced he would be coming out of retirement, and attempt to gain a card for the U.S. PGA Tour through qualifying school. However, in a statement issued on the Golf Channel's website, Nobilo denied the report: "I have not, nor did I have any intention of entering this years PGA Tour Qualifying school." [6]

Television work

Upon retiring from tournament golf in 2003, Nobilo joined the Golf Channel for studio coverage. He has been a key member of the Live From team at the major championships. From 2012-2014, he occasionally filled in for Peter Jacobsen on NBC's golf coverage (NBC and Golf Channel are corporate siblings).

In 2015, Nobilo joined CBS's golf coverage, replacing Peter Oosterhuis. Like Oosterhuis did, he worked only the cable coverage of about half of CBS's events, while working on the network coverage of the other half, including the Masters and PGA Championship. He remained on Live From on Golf Channel but will no longer be allowed to fill in on NBC. Nobilo made his CBS debut at the 2015 Phoenix Open.

He was also a commentator in Rory McIlroy PGA Tour Video Game, released in 2015.

Amateur wins (2)

Professional wins (15)

European Tour wins (5)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
114 Aug 1988 PLM Open −10 (63-68-71-68=270)1 stroke Flag of England.svg Howard Clark
215 Sep 1991 Trophée Lancôme −13 (65-68-69-65=267)1 stroke Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ian Baker-Finch, Flag of Australia (converted).svg Peter Fowler,
Flag of England.svg David Gilford, Flag of England.svg Jamie Spence
37 Mar 1993 Turespana Open Mediterrania −9 (71-69-67-72=279)1 stroke Flag of Scotland.svg Gordon Brand, Jnr, Ulster Banner.svg David Feherty
42 Jul 1995 BMW International Open −16 (67-69-69-67=272)2 strokes Flag of Germany.svg Bernhard Langer, Flag of Sweden.svg Jarmo Sandelin
52 Jun 1996 Deutsche Bank Open TPC of Europe −18 (65-69-72-64=270)1 stroke Flag of Scotland.svg Colin Montgomerie

PGA Tour wins (1)

No.DateTournamentWinning scoreMargin of
127 Apr 1997 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic −14 (69-69-69-67=274)Playoff Flag of the United States.svg Brad Faxon

PGA Tour playoff record (1–0)

11997 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic Flag of the United States.svg Brad Faxon Won with par on first extra hole

PGA Tour of Australasia wins (3)

Asian Tour wins (1)

Asian circuit wins (1)

Other wins (3)

Results in major championships

Masters Tournament CUT446CUT
U.S. Open T9T10T13T36T40CUT
The Open Championship T59T16T73T51T11T68T27T10CUTT18
PGA Championship T33T22T47CUTT8T29CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied


TournamentWins2nd3rdTop-5Top-10Top-25EventsCuts made
Masters Tournament 00011142
U.S. Open 00002365
The Open Championship 000014109
PGA Championship 00001275

Team appearances



See also

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  1. "Week 27 1997 Ending 6 Jul 1997" (pdf). OWGR . Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  2. "Four long shots who are in with a chance". The Independent . 17 July 1997. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  3. Wynne Gray, "Q & A Frank Nobilo", New Zealand Herald , 12 Nov 2011 (retrieved 17 November 2011)
  4. "Professional Golfer Frank Nobilo Signs on as House of Nobilo Brand Ambassador". Business Wire. 4 May 2005. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  5. "Nobilo Joins Norman's Int'l Team". Golf Digest. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  6. "Golf Channel's Nobilo Denies Return". Golf Channel. 9 October 2007.