For Frank Nobilo, his dream job came after a personal nightmare.
When injuries forced him to retire from golf prematurely in 2003 he was at a loose end, wondering what he would do with the rest of his life.
As he admits now, golf had been all he knew and had "given him his life".
He was offered a chance to do commentary work on the Golf Channel, which back then was little more than a fledging cable station. Now it is beamed into 130 million homes around the globe. In a nation of golf fanatics, the bearded New Zealander is one of the most respected analysts of the sport.
"It was really tough to stop playing but I guess I fell on my feet," says Nobilo.
He says the most difficult aspect is maintaining a relationship with players that he is paid to judge and critique.
"There is a fine line - sometimes you feel like you are treated as gamekeeper turned poacher," says Nobilo. "When you have competed against players they know you probably know too much but you are trying to give the fan at home a reason to root for the guy. It's not an easy situation. You are not trying to undress them.
"It's not an easy game - I know that. I'm not saying that with a six iron from the middle of the fairway over water you just close your eyes and then go to ten feet. But I'm also not going to say that's the greatest shot I have ever seen."
Nobilo was also quick to learn about the potential perils of the spotlight, having being caught up in his own racial controversy last year.
While it was nowhere near the scale of the recent Steve Williams controversy, it perhaps gives Nobilo a better insight than most.
During the 2010 Northern Trust Open, Nobilo, while reviewing Steve Stricker line up an attempt on the fairway 230 yards from the green, made the comment that it was a shot of "230, chinese dentist time." It is a common joke around the golfing circuit, apparently 2.30 is so called that because two-thirty can sound like 'tooth hurty'.
The New Zealander apologised almost immediately, saying that "while trying to add humour" to a highlight he had made an inappropriate comment. "As soon as I said it I realised," recalls Nobilo. "There was [some] reaction but I tried to handle it straight away."
The station received some complaints and various golfing blog sites condemned the comment as racist and demeaning.
"Just like Steve Williams at the moment, viewers don't know you as a person," says Nobilo.
"None of us are perfect but still you are answerable to your words. That is the reality."
Nobilo has known Williams for the best part of three decades and has some real empathy for his situation.
"As a guy I would like to think that he is different from the words that came out of his mouth," says Nobilo. "That being said, people always judge you on what you do or what you say. So there is some make up to be done from his point of view.
"In the end if [Adam Scott's] sponsors pull out or they don't that is their prerogative and then you have to move on."
Ever since his messy split from Woods earlier this year, Nobilo has been wary of what might happen to the firebrand caddy.
"I warned him that he would have to be very careful because that camp had been so tight.
"It was almost like a shakedown. People think if they push [Williams] to the limit he will say something or they will get something out of the Tiger Woods camp.
"Oddly enough I think it is more about trying to find out how Tiger Woods really worked over the last 13-14 years - what made him tick - and the casualty in that will be Steve Williams - or has been so far which is quite sad."
Next week Nobilo will be the assistant captain of the international team in the President's Cup, and the return to Melbourne will bring back some of his favourite golfing memories.
In 1998 Nobilo and fellow Kiwi Greg Turner were wildcard picks in the team that convincingly beat the USA, marking the first and only triumph for the composite team in the history of the competition.
The New Zealanders were in the first match on the opening day, up against Mark O'Meara (who was coming off two Major victories that year) and David Duval.
"We played well and were one up going into the final hole," remembers Nobilo.
"We were all involved in club selection and I pushed Greg to hit one more than he should have - I didn't realise he was that pumped up and he knocked it about 50 feet past the hole."
Duval had hit his approach perfectly, so the Americans had a tap in for a tie, unless Nobilo could hole the monster putt.
"My caddy told me Wayne Riley had made putt from there," says Nobilo. "That was the last thought in my head and it went in. It started a huge week."
Nobilo would also roll in another huge putt to defeat Davis Love and the international team won by the astounding margin of nine points against a US team led by five of the world's top ten players.