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Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Inductees

Entrance into this Hall of Fame is the highest honor that Northeastern New York Professional Golfers Association can bestow. These faithful PGA Professionals will be forever remembered for their significant and enduring contributions to the game of golf and the PGA of America. Below is a complete list of the HOF members.

Inductees by Year

2010’s 2000’s 1990’s 1980’s 1970’s
2018 Inductees

2017 Inductees

2016 Inductees

2012 Inductees

2005 Inductees

2004 Inductees

2001 Inductees

1999 Inductees

1998 Inductees

1997 Inductees

1996 Inductees

1995 Inductees

1993 Inductees

1992 Inductees

1991 Inductees

1990 Inductees

1985 Inductees

1982 Inductees

1981 Inductees

1980 Inductees

1979 Inductees

1978 Inductees


2018 Inductees

Tom Sullivan
PGA, Wyantenuck Country Club

On this day October 22nd, 2018, The Northeastern New York PGA inducts Tom Sullivan, PGA into our Hall of Fame. The NENY Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those PGA Members who through their lives, careers, service and support have represented the highest essence of PGA membership.

Tom’s life can be characterized in five specific areas of passion, his love for the game of golf and teaching, his love for competition, his devotion to his family, his affection for the PGA and his support for his community. His golfing career spans over decades and multiple PGA Sections but the majority of it serving as the PGA Head Professional for the Wyantenuck Country Club located in Great Barrington, MA. He was elected as a Class “A” PGA member in 1997 and was hired at Wyantenuck nearly 20 years ago and continues to lead a successful golf operation with as much passion for the club and members today as when he started in his first year.

Playing competitive golf has always been a deep passion for Tom. Early in his career, his playing prowess qualified him to play on several mini-tours and now into his senior years he continues to be an extremely strong and accomplished player taking home numerous titles and Section Championship wins such as the Donald Ross Classic (2015); the Senior Stroke Play Championship (2002 & 2012), Senior Professional Championship (2005; 2006, 2009), and qualifying for numerous PGA Professional & Senior PGA Professional Championship competitions.

Tom’s passion of teaching is unparalleled and earned the NENY PGA Section Teacher of the Year Award in 2013. He shares his knowledge to all realms of players from young kids, his assistance to high school team players, amateurs of all skill levels and his fellow peer PGA professionals. It is not an uncommon sight to see Tom giving a fellow competitor a putting lesson post a competition.

Tom has served in numerous NENY PGA Section governance positions including Board of Director service from 2013-2016, Tournament Committee Chair (2013), years of service as a Tournament Committee member, and years of expertise and experience in the area of Employment. His giving nature to help improve a fellow professional’s vocation is remarkable and he continues to be a valued and respected go-to for both fellow Section professionals and club leaders in the employment arena.

He is a constant in his community even in non-golf areas. He is freely giving of his time to the Berkshire County Allied Golf Associations, the Berkshire Junior Hockey scene, and service to the Berkshire Town of Parks & Recreation. His family is fully supportive of him as much he is a supporter for them. With his wife, Kathy they have two children, Ryan and Sarah who have both excelled in their own areas of passion.


2017 Inductees

Kevin Hughes
PGA, Saratoga Golf & Polo Club

On this day October 23rd 2017, The Northeastern New York PGA inducts Kevin Hughes into our Hall of Fame. The NENY Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those PGA Members who through their lives, careers, service and support have represented the highest essence of PGA membership.

Kevin’s love of the game led him into pursuing golf as a career where he had a hand in the construction of several area courses. He began as an Assistant Professional at Glens Falls Country Club in 1984 for his mentor and NENY PGA Hall of Famer, Tom Haggerty. In 1988, he was hired as the non-Head Professional at Hiland Golf Club before they broke ground and he assisted with the club’s construction process. It was here that he earned his Class A PGA Membership. His next opportunity presented itself in Kingswood Golf Course where he spent the next 14 years as their Head Professional and continued rounding out his golf career experience ranging from course design, construction, course maintenance, merchandising and managing the entire golf operation of the 18-hole facility. At the end of the 2003 golf season, he was hired as the Head Professional at Saratoga Golf & Polo Club.

Kevin has thrived in the golf business with a goal driven focus and devotion to his own club’s membership and administering a successful golf operation. He was always an avid section tournament participant and earned the Match Play Section titles in 1998 and 2010. He continues to strive to promote the game of golf through various ways including his key involvement in a golf marathon which still continues annually at Saratoga Golf & Polo Club and has raised tens of thousands for the Folds of Honor, a charity organization near to his heart.

Although he did serve on the section’s Board as a Director for one term early on, it was nearly two decades into his PGA career which have all been spent in the NENY PGA Section, when he experienced the desire and time to want to give back more to his Association. He began with service to several committees including Tournament, Employment, Board of Inquiry and the Hall of Fame Committee itself and then sought service as a Board Director serving a term from 2010-2011. In 2011, he jumped with both feet in to serve the section members and was elected Secretary of the Section and went on to serve two years in each of the offices, Vice President, President, and is currently serving as the Honorary President from 2017-2018. In 2013, he was named the Roland Stafford Award Winner, Bill Strausbaugh Award Winner and the coveted Golf Professional of the Year.

On this day October 23rd 2017, The Northeastern New York PGA inducts Derek Sprague into our Hall of Fame. The NENY Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those PGA Members who through their lives, careers, service and support have represented the highest essence of PGA membership.

For the majority of his professional career, Derek was originally rooted in the Northeastern New York PGA Section. He grew up and worked his way up the ladder from caddie to Head Professional & General Manager at Malone Golf Club, located in the northern tier of the NENY PGA Section and helped to revitalize the club to a successful 36 hole golf operation. Derek’s natural leadership and internal desire to assist his fellow PGA Professionals got him started quickly in section governance. He jumped into committee service after receiving his Class A membership in 1993 and then made his way up through the section’s officer chairs serving as President from 2003-2004. He then went on to serve as the PGA District 1 Director representing the NENY PGA, Connecticut PGA and New England PGA Section membership. In 2012, he committed to a campaign for PGA Secretary and won against five opponents with his fellow NENY PGA Section membership in full support. Prior to his election as the PGA’s President on November 22, 2014, he briefly served as Interim PGA President after 23 months as PGA Vice President and two years as PGA Secretary. From 2014-2016 he served as the President to his beloved Association. In 2016, he led the Association when golf debuted as an Olympic Sport on a national stage as well as during the momentous occasion of the PGA’s Centennial Anniversary.

Derek’s slogan during his national campaign was “Derek Delivers”. A slogan which he brought to life in his quiet leadership manner and his mark has been left historically on the NENY PGA Section, Malone Golf Club and the community of Malone. His local accolades include being named the Northeastern New York PGA Professional of the Year in 2005 and 2008, receiving the section’s Bill Strausbaugh Award four times (2000-03) for his leadership and mentoring of fellow professionals and being named section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities in 1989-1999. To-date, he is the only NENY PGA member to achieve service as a PGA of America national officer.

2016 Inductees

Bob Haggerty, Sr.
PGA, The Edison Club

On this day October 24th 2016 The Northeastern New York PGA inducts Robert Haggerty Sr. into our Hall of Fame.  The NENY Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those PGA Members who through their lives, careers, service and support have represented the highest essence of PGA membership.

Bob was the second PGA Professional at The Edison Club following their first, Alex McIntyre who was there for nearly 25 years beginning in 1926..Haggerty took over in 1950 and served as the Head Professional for the next 22 years. He had previously worked as an Assistant Professional at the club for McIntyre from 1941-1947. During his tenure, Haggerty was years ahead of his time when it came to junior players and junior golf. He helped to establish junior interclub teams and matches while developing numerous top-flight area juniors who dominated the local scene. He produced 5 PGA Members and 3 NY State Junior Champions. Bob rose to the top of his profession and was named NENY PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 1954 and 1962 while serving as President of the Section in 1956. In 1963, he was awarded with the prestigious Schenectady Gazette Meritorious Award for Junior Golf and then enshrined into The Edison Hall of Fame in 1984.

Bob married Theresa Garofalo and together raised their family of 3 children, daughter, Eileen and two sons, Robert Jr. (Bobby) and Tom. Both sons spent their lives serving the game of golf and followed in their father’s footsteps earning their membership into the PGA of America with the NENY PGA Section. Both his sons preceded him into the NENY PGA Section’s Hall of Fame entry. Collectively, the Haggerty’s have over 100 years of service to the golf clubs they served in the NENY PGA Section.

Ben Lord
PGA, Glens Falls Country Club

On this day October 24th 2016 The Northeastern New York PGA inducts Ben Lord. into our Hall of Fame.  The NENY Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those PGA Members who through their lives, careers, service and support have represented the highest essence of PGA membership.

Lord was a member of the PGA of America since its founding year in 1916. He was devoted to serving his professional association and ascended to extremely high positions within the PGA both locally and nationally. He served as President of the NENY PGA Section for an unprecedented 9 years from 1940-1948. He served as the first Executive Vice President (currently known as District Director) to the PGA and was a delegate to the PGA of America National Meeting 14 times.

He served as the Head Golf Professional at Glens Falls Country Club for 39 years from 1917-1956. Lord was also an outstanding player and set the Glens Falls Country Club course record in 1925 with a 64. He competed in the PGA Championship a total of four times during his career. He also competed in the U.S. Open four times making the cut three of those. In his first appearance in 1912 he finished his highest ranking at 41st at The Country Club of Buffalo where the purse was $300. He played the next year in 1913 in Brookline missing the cut and after a hiatus and following the war, played again in 1922 at Skokie Country Club in Illinois which was the first win for a young Gene Sarazen and Lord finished 69th. His last Open Championship was in 1924 when he finished 55th at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan.


Brian Lowe
PGA, Windham Country Club

On this day October 24th 2016 The Northeastern New York PGA inducts Brian Lowe into our Hall of Fame.  The NENY Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those PGA Members who through their lives, careers, service and support have represented the highest essence of PGA membership.

Brian’s love for the game began early and he reached incredible playing accomplishments during his amateur years, through his collegiate career and into his professional career as a PGA member. His professional playing highlights include numerous section titles and qualifying positions for the PGA Professional and Senior Professional Championship which ultimately earned him a playing spot in the 2002 Senior PGA Championship (Firestone CC) and 2003 Senior PGA Championship (Aronimink Golf Club).

Brian’s devotion to his Association has led him to dedicate over a decade to the governance of the NENY PGA Section’s leadership serving through the officer chairs to the culmination of NENY PGA Section President from 2002-2004. His naming of NENY PGA Golf Professional of the Year in 2003 is a testament to his professionalism displayed both on the course and off and the respect he garners from his fellow PGA professionals. His influence and passion for the game of golf is infectious and leave an impression that has positively affected the NENY PGA Section, his past and current facilities represented and the past and future golfers he has taught.

John Maurycy
PGA, Mohawk Golf Club

On this day October 24th 2016 The Northeastern New York PGA inducts John Maurycy, PGA into our Hall of Fame.  The NENY Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those PGA Members who through their lives, careers, service and support have represented the highest essence of PGA membership.

Johns playing career spanned more than five decades, highlighted by qualifying for and playing in three US Opens in 1963,’64 and ‘65 while playing on the PGA Tour. Locally John won countless section events including the Championship in 1970 and 1979. John also broke the course records at Mohawk Golf Club (64), Schuyler Meadows ((63) and Mount Anthony Country Club (63).  Professionally John held Head Professional positions locally for over 35 years, 25 of which were spent at the Mohawk Golf Club where his work ethic and commitment were surpassed only by his ability to transform the games of many players with a pragmatic approach to the game. In addition to his playing and teaching accomplishments John’s mentoring of young Assistant Professionals produced many successful PGA members.

Jim Tureskis
PGA, Wolferts Roost Country Club

On this day October 24th 2016 The Northeastern New York PGA inducts Jim Tureskis into our Hall of Fame.  The NENY Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those PGA Members who through their lives, careers, service and support have represented the highest essence of PGA membership.

Thirteen years of Jim’s nearly thirty plus and counting PGA Professional career were dedicated to the membership of Wolferts Roost Country Club in the NENY PGA Section. He excelled in the area of merchandising and servicing his members being awarded the section’s Merchandiser of the Year Award for private facilities in 1993, ’94, ’96 and ’98 along with his golf shop being voted in the top 100, eight years in a row from 1996-2003. Jim reached the pinnacle of recognition in his own professional Association being named the 1998 PGA of America National Private Merchandiser of the Year Award Winner.

Jim’s involvement with his local community and the mentorship he demonstrated to those golf professionals who worked for him was also extraordinary. He willingly shared his knowledge of the golf business with many of these young professionals whom he helped to guide through their own PGA membership pathways and who have since become successful PGA Head Golf Professionals.

2012 Inductees

Frank Mellet
PGA, Colonie Golf & Country Club

At one time, Colonie Golf & Country Club head pro Frank Mellet was the section’s all-time leader in NENY PGA major titles, with nine. That mark has since been surpassed, but the fitness fanatic continues to excel at all aspects of the game as he nears 60 years of age.

Mellet owns both Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year awards on his long resume that also includes three Match Play championships, three Professional Championships, two Donald Ross Classic titles and one Stroke Play championship. At age 50, he won the Stroke Play, the Donald Ross and the Professional Championship in 2010.

He seemed to get better with age after battling some back issues. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to train more year-round to say in shape,” said Mellet, a mainstay on the pro team that squared off against the amateurs from the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association every season in a special match-play event called the Challenge Cup. “If you train, you can definitely extend your career. I don’t know how many more years I’ll be able o compete with all the younger guys. I’m definitely in the final third of my career.”

The former assistant pro at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester was trained by legendary head pro Craig Harmon.

Mellet has been the head pro at Colonie Golf & Country Club since 1990. He qualified for the U.S. Senior Open in 2011, with Colonie G&CC owner Jeff Sperber on the bag.

“Nobody works harder at the game,” Sperber said. “He always has a club in his hand, and he gave me the biggest thrill in golf when he allowed me to caddy for him at the U.S. Senior Open at Inverness. I’m Frank’s biggest fan. He’s an amazing teacher. He took 14 shots of my handicap” Sperber said. “He’s also a terrific administrator of the game. We have members who are also his customers, and Frank has a way of being a tremendous authority of the game. He teaches our members about the rules and the integrity of the game, but tells them about it in a way that doesn’t offend them.”

Mellet, a former Professional of the Year, also served two stints on the NENY PGA Board of Directors. He chaired the player development, awards, marketing and media, sponsorship/promotions and tournament/scholarship committees at various times during his two terms. Mellet is also a former Merchandiser of the Year.

2005 Inductees

Tom Haggerty
PGA, Glens Falls Country Club

One of its longest-serving club professionals, Tom Haggerty is a member of one of the section’s all-time great families, with three members in the Hall of Fame. Also inducted are his father, the late Bob Haggerty Sr., and his brother, the late Bob Haggerty Jr.

All of the Haggerty club professionals served their respective clubs for many years. Bob Haggerty Sr. was the longtime head pro at The Edison Club, while Bob Haggerty Jr. was the head pro at Schenectady Municipal for three decades. Tom Haggerty continues to serve as the head pro at Glens Falls CC and is now in his 38th season.

Haggerty earned his PGA membership in September of 1981 after being named the head professional at Glens Falls CC in January of that year.

Serving his membership and the section in various capacities has always been Haggerty’s priority. He was a member of the section’s Nominating Committee from 1991-93 and served his first stint on the Board of Directors in 1985-86, when he was also a member of the Tournament Committee.

The pinnacle of his career was being named the section’s Golf Professional of the Year in 2006.

Haggerty was named the winner of the Bill Strausbaugh Award in 1988, and he won the Merchandiser of the Year Award for private clubs three times. He was also an honorary captain for the NENY PGA team that plays against the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association team in the Challenge Cup every year.

Born in Rexford, Haggerty grew up at The Edison Club and helped out his father in the shop. He was the No. 1 player on the standout Niskayuna High School golf team of the 1970s that went to the state tournament.

Haggerty graduated Niskayuna High School in 1970 and attended Miami-Dade College for a year before becoming an assistant pro at Glens Falls Country Club under head pro Al Stein Jr. Haggerty worked for Stein for eight years, and when Stein moved on to become part member of a golf course, Haggerty was named head pro.

“The thing I’m most proud of is my longevity,” said Haggerty. “Making sure I give 100 percent to my membership, and my service between teaching and running tournaments, is what I’m all about. I feel fortunate to be here at Glens Falls. My goal is always to give top service. We are in the happiness business.”

The Glens Falls CC membership showed their appreciation to Haggerty by sending him on a trip to Ireland for his 25th anniversary with the club in 1998.


Herb Moreland
PGA, Western Turnpike Golf Course

All-around athlete Herb Moreland, currently the Director of Golf at Western Turnpike Golf Course, has been one of the most talented and successful teachers and instructors in section history.

Although he picked up the sport of golf later in life than most of his peers, Moreland is a four-time winner of the section’s Teacher of the Year Award and was also a member of the National PGA Teaching Advisory Board from 1993 through 1996.

Many of Moreland’s ace students were or are currently female standouts. He mentors LPGA Tour members Moira Dunn and Kris Tamulis, as well as former Northeastern Women’s Golf Association standout Betsy Drambour, who was a runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Public Links Championship.

Among Moreland’s most noteworthy teaching accomplishments are coaching 45 club champions, 31 Division I scholarship athletes, three New York State Junior Girls champions, three NEWGA champions and an All-American woman and a men’s captain at Florida State University.

Moreland has been at Western Turnpike for 39 years, including 33 as either the head pro or Director of Golf.

He was instrumental in helping to hire the first NENY PGA Executive Director and served as the section’s Treasurer and Vice President from 1987 through 1990 He was also a longtime Board of Directors member.

Moreland won the Horton Smith Award in both 1986 and 1987. He was the Merchandiser of the Year for Public Courses in 1991.

During his playing days, Moreland also excelled. He was the NENY PGA Match Play champion in 1987, qualified for the National Club Professional Championship at PGA West in 1989 and also qualified for Regional CPC berths twice.

Moreland was a member of the NENY PGA Long Range Planning Board from 1990-1992 and also served on the Benevolent Fund, the Education Committee and the Special Events Committee.

Moreland was born in Albany, was a football and track star at Christian Brothers Academy and graduated from Central Connecticut State University before accepting a job as a non-member head pro at Western Turnpike GC.

2004 Inductees

Tom DeBerry
PGA, Normanside Country Club

One of the most popular golf professionals in the long history of the Northeastern New York PGA, Tom DeBerry served the section exceptionally well as an administrator, top player, instructor and mentor. And he did it all with class and humility.

DeBerry, the longtime head pro and Director of Golf at Normanside Country Club, died in 2018 after a year-long battle of pancreatic cancer.

DeBerry was born in Amsterdam and graduated from Siena College. He perfected his playing and teaching skills while serving as an assistant pro at Winding Brook Country Club, the now defunct Tall Timbers and Colonie Golf & Country Club before moving over to Normanside Country Club, where he worked and excelled for 28 seasons.

DeBerry’s talents crossed over to all facets of the game. He was named the Golf Professional of the Year in both 1996 and 1999. His strong administrative skills were helpful when he served as section president in 1990-91.

Among DeBerry’s numerous section awards were the Merchandiser of the Year for Private Clubs (1992 and 2000), the Bill Strausbaugh Club Relations Award (1989 and 1999) and the Junior Golf Leader Award (2008).

DeBerry left Normanside CC in 2009 to work for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division.

“For me, he was the consummate golf professional, who served the section as its president and was on the all committees. Everybody loved him,” said NENY PGA president Ron Ireland of Saratoga Golf Polo Club.

Town of Colonie Director of Golf/GM Noel Gebauer, also a PGA Board of Directors member, knew DeBerry as a friend and mentor. “He was important to me during my apprenticeship,” Gebauer said. “He didn’t just help his own assistants, but all the assistants.”

Gebauer learned much of how to be the right kind of golf professional from DeBerry. “He was a mentor who cared about everyone who had the PGA badge,” Gebauer said. “He was a great man. He was involved all the way across the board. He was even a mentor when I got involved with the PGA administration. He checked to see if I was thinking the right way, or if I was off my rocker.”

Rick Wolcott, head pro at Pioneer Hills after stints in the section with Mohawk Golf Club and Rolling Hills at Antlers, was one of DeBerry’s closest peers. “He did a lot for the section,” Wolcott said. “He was just a good person. I remember having a lot of discussions with him about jobs when I was at Mohawk and he was at Normanside. I enjoyed his company.”

2001 Inductees

Rick Pohle
PGA, Taconic Golf Club

An outstanding player known for his consistency and longevity while at Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass, Pohle was also a longtime instructor who coached the highly successful Williams College golf team for many seasons.

The Life Member of the PGA of America is currently a golf instructor and professional emeritus at the Arnold Palmer-designed Blue Bell Country Club in Blue Bell, PA. His son, former Massachusetts scholastic standout Joey Pohle, is the head pro.

Pohle, who has more than 40 years of PGA experience, was only the third head pro in the long history of Taconic Golf Club when he took over in 1984. Dick Baxter was that club’s first head pro from 1924-1962, and Rudy Goff followed from 1963-1983.

Pohle’s first PGA position was as the head professional at Freeport Country Club in Freeport, Maine. He became an assistant professional at the Brunswick Golf Club in Maine in 1976 and in 1977 accepted the position as head professional at Gorham Country Club in Gorham, Maine, where he stayed until accepting the position at Taconic GC.

Pohle was one of the most dominating players of his era, consistently placing among the Vardon Trophy leaders for low scoring average. He won the section’s Vardon Award three times. He won NENY PGA Player of the Year honors in both 1992 and 1993, when he captured the NENY PGA Stroke Play Championship, and he continued his exceptional play as a senior, winning NENY PGA Senior Player of the Year in 2006.

Pohle won the NENY PGA Senior Stroke Play three years in a row from 2004 through 2006. He also won the Senior Professional Championship six times, including four in a row from 2001 to 2004.

Among his most noteworthy section awards was winning the 1989 NENY PGA Teacher of the Year Award, the 2003 Roland Stafford Sportsmanship Award, and the 2005 Merchandiser of the Year Award for private clubs.

1999 Inductees

Jim Schouller
PGA, Stamford Golf Club

After a 30-year career as the head professional at Stamford Golf Club, Jim Schouller remains active by continuing to run a regional junior golf program that at one time drew more than 100 youngsters every year.

Schouller also helped out the section as a rules official for several years after retiring from Stamford.

A two-time section Match Play champion, Schouller’s playing and teaching career were top-notch. He was the Match Play runner-up five times and three times won the local qualifier for the New York State Open. Schouller won the now defunct Wiltwyck Open twice and also won the Berkshire County Golf Pro Championship.

He was born in Pittsfield, Mass., attended both Drury High School and McKeon High School and then graduated from North Adams State. In high school, he played basketball and baseball. He threw a no-hitter as a pitcher.

Schouller’s first three years in the golf business was spent as a professional at Berkshire Hills Country Club.

One of his biggest thrills in golf was recording birdies on the final three holes at Carnoustie while playing in the Scotland Professional Championship. Schouller ended up finishing second to Larry Demers of Warwick Country Club. The prestigious competition included rounds at Turnberry, Royal Troon, St. Andrews and Carnoustie.

“I remember that was quite a day for me,” Schouller said. “Not too many people birdied 16, 17 and 18 at Carnoustie. It was a lot of fun.”

An avid outdoorsman, Schouller hiked and hunted to keep in shape throughout his long career. He was nicknamed “Red Man” for his habit of chewing tobacco for many years, but he gave that up decades ago.

“I still help out with our own junior program here at Stamford, as well as with several other junior tournaments throughout the area,” Schouller said. “I also enjoyed coming back and helping out the section as a rules official for many years. “

The affable Schouller won the section’s Roland Stafford Sportsmanship Award in back-to-back seasons (2002 and 2001).

He won the Senior Stroke Play Championship in 2000.

Roland Stafford
Stafford Golf Schools

Roland Stafford owned one of the most prolific and successful playing careers of any member in the Northeastern New York section, but he was also a magnificent instructor whose legacy of the Roland Stafford Golf School still survives today, run by his wife, Susan, and several other club professionals.

Stafford opened his golf school in 1981 in the Catskills. His unique vision of teaching coupled the tenants of music with golf fundamentals. Drawing analogies for his teaching technique to music was natural for Stafford, who earned a Masters Degree in music education. Rhythm and tempo were his major themes.

Stafford was named the NENY PGA Teacher of the Year twice, and the section honored him by naming one of their most prestigious awards, the Sportsmanship Award, after him.

His 50-year playing career included stints on both the PGA and the PGA Champions Tours. Amazingly, Stafford qualified for 26 major golf championships. He qualified for three USGA National Opens, five PGA Championships, five Senior PGA Championships and eight USGA Senior Open Championships.

Stafford held five course records at one time. He flourished in both regional and national events, wining the Cooperstown Seniors Open and the PGA Quarter Century Championship twice.

From 1960 to 1980, he played in 11 PGA Tour events, making the cut 10 times.

Stafford also won the Pennsylvania Open, the Tri-State PGA Championship thee times and the Tri-State Pro-Pro Championship five times. Other tournament victories included the U.S. Pro-Am Scratch Championship, the Grand Bahama International Open and the West Penn Open Championship.

He at one time held the all-time PGA Champions Tour record for consecutive eagles and also contributed his time to many section and regional positions, including serving on the executive board of the Tri-State PGA Section, where he also was secretary and president. Stafford served on the teaching panel at the PGA Business School.

Stafford won the NENY PGA Senior Stroke Play Championship in 1995.

Stafford was born in Brooklyn but attended South Glens Falls High School, where he played baseball. He earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern and his Masters in Music from the University of Arizona. He died in 2000.

Frank Stuhler
PGA, Antlers Country Club

One of many Stuhler brothers in the family golf business, where six Stuhlers became golf professionals, Frank Stuhler was a noted instructor whose focus on teaching junior players and women led to many future standout players, including his own daughters.

Stuhler was head pro at Rolling Hills at Antlers, then called Antlers Country Club, for more than two decades, beginning in 1953. During a strong playing career, both in the Northeastern New York PGA section and on the national PGA Tour, he flourished. He spent time on the national tour from 1935 to 1937, finishing fourth in the Los Angeles Open, fifth in the Western Open and third in the St. Paul Open.

Within the section, Stuhler’s most prestigious victory was the 1950 Stroke Play Championship. He won the Pro-Ladies Championship four times and also won the Pro-Pro, the Pro-Junior and the Pro-Am titles. He qualified for the U.S. Open 14 times, including 1952, when he finished sixth in national qualifying with a 36-hole total of 134.

His brother, Art, was both a section president and two-time Stroke Play champion.

Stuhler owned course records at Antlers, Loon Lake, Mt. Anthony Country Club, Westview, Fort Lauderdale, Idlewild and Hillcrest.

Born and educated in Jamaica, Long Island, Stuhler was the Hillcrest, L.I. Country Club caddie champ at age 12. He was the national caddie champion at age 15.

He began his pro career as an assistant pro at Harry Hix at the Arrow Brook, L.I. from 1930 to 1935. He became the head pro at Idlewood Country Club in 1935, playing the national tour during the winter months, and then served two years as the pro at North Shore Country Club.

Stuhler was a staff sergeant in the field artillery in the Pacific during World War II. He spent a year as the playing pro at Cedar Hill, N.J. before serving five years as the pro at Mt. Anthony CC in Bennington, Vt. before heading to Antlers.

“My father was an outstanding instructor,” said his daughter, Sara Jane (Stuhler) Rose, who went on to win two New York State Girls Amateur Championships and one NYS Women’s Amateur. “When he first taught me how to play, he would never let me touch a club until much later lessons. His strength was teaching juniors and women. His brothers, Art and George, were also great players, as was his sister, and both me and my sister were taught by my father.”

Stuhler suffered back problems later in his career and died prematurely of cancer in 1974 at the early age 60.

1998 Inductees

J. Peter Martin
PGA, Whiteface Resort & Golf Club

Author, historian, elite runner and longtime head pro at Whiteface Golf Course & Resort, J. Peter Martin followed the beat of a different drummer for most of his career.

Born in 1940, Martin graduated from Franklin Academy in Malone, where he played three years on the varsity golf team.

The talented and thoughtful Martin received his BA in English and his Masters degree in Psychology before receiving a Kellogg Fellowship and working toward his Doctorate for two years at the University of Colorado.

“While I was working on my thesis, I just didn’t like where it was going,” Martin said. “I didn’t want to get a teaching job at a university, so I took off for Florida, and I never looked back.”

Martin played some pro golf in Florida but eventually headed back to his roots in the North Country, where he landed the head pro job at Whiteface Golf Course & Resort in Lake Placid. He’s been there for 41 years. “It was a change in life, I guess,” Martin said. “But I grew up as a caddie, and I even spent many summers at a caddie camp. Golf was always in my blood. I kind of knew that eventually I would do something in the golf business.”

Martin also loves to write, and he’s authored three golf books, including a book on the life of Adirondack legend Craig Wood called “Craig Wood the Blonde Bomber: Native Son of Lake Placid.” Wood, a Lake Placid native, won the Masters and the U.S. Open in 1941 among his 27 professional victories.

Martin also wrote “Adirondack Golf Courses: Past and Present.”

“The thing I’m most proud of is being nice to people,” Martin said. “I enjoy teaching and the interaction. I also love the work of being a golf professional.”

Martin won numerous weekly NENY PGA golf events but found it challenging to travel from the North Country back to the Capital Region to play too often.

Martin has competed in 40 marathons as an elite runner and triathlete.

He’s also written for several golf publications on a regular basis down through the years.

Martin won the Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Courses twice, in 2010 and 2012.

1997 Inductees

Tom Smack
PGA, The Sagamore Resort Golf Club

With a whip-like golf swing similar to former PGA Tour World No. 1 Nick Price, Tom Smack, director of golf at The Sagamore Resort, was one of the top players in the Northeastern New York PGA for a couple of decades after moving here from the Mid-Atlantic section in the early 1980s. But he was also a terrific host, entertaining local club pros for a night or two at the Sagamore in Bolton Landing at the annual fall meeting.

Smack’s extremely fast golf swing helped him become one of the Capital Region’s longest hitters. He won Mid-Atlantic PGA Player of the Year in both 1974 and 1977 before coming to this section, but he kept his game in shape once here, winning the Stroke Play Championship (1987), the Match Play Championship (1989) and the Donald Ross Classic (2001).

Smack also qualified for the U.S. Senior Open twice, and won the now defunct Capital District Open, which drew both top pros and amateurs, on two occasions.

“I had a very rewarding playing career in the Northeast New York section,” Smack said. “Winning all those tournaments was important, but I was more proud of being named the section’s Professional of the Year in both 1997 and 2007. That meant more to me, because it reflected everything we achieved over the years by just doing he right thing. I was a member of the board of directors and served as an officer on many committees,” he said. “I tried to do everything I could to help the local PGA. “

Smack was a huge supporter of local charities. He and his wife, Angie, established a booster club golf tournament that raised more than $300,000 in scholarships for the Bolton School District over a 10-year span. “We made it a fantastic event,” Smack said. “There wasn’t much money in the school district back then, and Angie took the ball and ran with it. We had sponsors like Freihofer’s and Neil Golub with Price Chopper. It was amazing that the event did so much for that little community. There are some college kids that we helped who are now teachers all over the area,” Smack said.

Very recognizable in the Capital Region because of his media-savvy events, Smack appeared regularly with WNYT sports anchor Rodger Wyland to give televised golf tips every summer.

Smack, who worked in the section for longer than a quarter-century, spent the final four years of his career at the Top of the World Golf Club in Lake George before retiring in 2013 and moving to Annapolis, Md., to be closer to his son, daughter and grandchildren.

Clem Rafferty
PGA, Wyantenuck Country Club

Longtime Wyantenuck Country Club head pro Clement “Clem” Rafferty, nicknamed the “King of Swing,” not only served his membership exceedingly well for more than four decades but also developed one of the strongest junior programs in the country at a time when caddies began to be replaced by motorized carts.

Rafferty was born in Housatonic, Mass. on March 18, 1909. He began his golf career as a 10-year-old caddie at Stockbridge Country Club. He became an unofficial assistant pro at Stockbridge CC and later graduated from the former Searles High School in 1928.

Rafferty served as head pro Dick May’s assistant pro at Lennox Golf Club, but when Jack White was hired as the new Stockbridge CC head pro, Rafferty returned to Stockbridge to be White’s assistant, where he remained until there was an opening for a new head pro at Wyantenuck.

He was a staff sergeant during World War II and received both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his bravery. In 1944, he was hit by a 20 mm shell that splintered his right foot and badly damaged his left. A long series of operations followed.

Rafferty, who learned the fundamentals of the golf swing from legendary instructor Earnest Jones, began his long association with Wyantenuck CC in 1934 and continued to serve as the head pro until 1975. He married the former Helen Foley in 1944, and they were together for 56 years before she died in 2000. Rafferty died at age 94 on Jan. 24, 2004.

With the disappearance of caddies at Wyantenuck CC in the mid-1960s, a much-needed source of outstanding future golfers was becoming a challenge. Rafferty’s passion for building a successful junior golf program filled a necessary void.

Rafferty began a junior program for players age 6 to 16. He laid out a six-hole course to the south of the 12th fairway, which is currently used for practice. The holes varied in length, but none were longer than 50 yards. Greens were about six feet in diameter, with regular cups and flags. Rafferty utilized plastic balls and cut-down clubs.

Rafferty supplied each junior with a written explanation of the rules, a list/definition of golf terms and a detailed description of golf etiquette.

Every Friday, Rafferty held a golf clinic for 50 or so juniors. They were encouraged to play on their own from Monday through Thursday. Rafferty also set up elaborate father-son and mother-daughter matches, as well as regular matches with adult club members. He began inter-club matches with teams from the Country Club of Pittsfield, Sharon Country Club and other clubs at Norfolk and Litchfield, Conn.

Rafferty coached the Searles High School team and also coached Wyantenuck’s caddie team, which included future European Seniors Tour member Chick Evans.

During his retirement years, Rafferty gave lessons in Santo Dominco, Dominican Republic.

1996 Inductees

Henry “Hap” Duval
PGA, Stamford Golf Course

Henry “Hap” Duval was not only the anchor root for one of the Capital Region’s most exceptional golfing family trees, but he reportedly gave more lessons than any club pro in local history.

The Schenectady native was born in 1908 and served as the longtime head pro at the now defunct Stanford Heights Golf Club, which was located where the current Mohawk Mall is now in Niskayuna. He died in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1990.

Hap Duval also was the head pro at Shaker Ridge Country Club and Little Falls Country Club. He also gave lessons at Thunderbird Driving Range and at Hillcrest Golf Club in his later years before moving to Florida.

Hap Duval famously split his time between his job with the Postal Service, where he worked every weekday until almost noon, and his head pro duties in golf. Both of his sons, Bob and Jim, went on to become pro golfers themselves.

Bob Duval had a distinguished amateur career that included winning the Gazette Men’s County Amateur and the New York State Junior Amateur. He attended Florida State and then became first an assistant pro and later the head pro at Timuquance Country Club for 17 years. He later played on the PGA Champions Tour and won on that tour the same day that his son, David, won on the regular PGA Tour.

Jim Duval was the longtime head pro at Mission Valley in Florida. David Duval, Hap Duval’s grandson, was born in Jacksonville and eventually became the No. 1-ranked player on the PGA Tour. He won the British Open and once shot a 59.

All the Duvals were known as exceptionally long hitters, something that Hap Duval inspired and instilled in all of the family members.

“Dad taught me how to play by just playing with me,” Bob Duval said. “There weren’t any formal lessons. He told me to hit it as far as I could, and then go chase it. He said we could always learn to hit it straight later on.”

Hap Duval was both a quarter-century and life member of the PGA. He frequently gave group lessons to 30 or 40 people at one time.

“My dad treated everyone so great all the time,” Bob Duval said. “I’ve been all over the country on the Senior Tour, and I keep finding people who said they took lessons from my dad.”

“Hap was a fun guy to be around. Everyone liked Hap,” said former Daily Gazette sports editor Jack Hugerich, who along with Bob Haggerty Sr. of The Edison Club, Jim Thomson of Mohawk Golf Club and Armand Farina of Schenectady Municipal made the initial plans for the long-running Schenectady County Amateur Tournament.

Hap Duval made Stanford the place to be for local golf enthusiasts. “Stanford was like a family course,” Hugerich added. “People would go there on a Saturday morning and play at 8 a.m. They would still be here at midnight. Someone would say, ‘Let’s have a putting contest.’ So they would put their cars around the green and turn on the lights.”

“He was very outgoing and a nice dresser,” recalled former Mohawk GC head pro John Maurycy. “He loved people. I’d say he had a million and one friends. He was a marvelous player, with great character. I think he really loved people.”

Rick Wright
PGA, The Edison Club

Longtime head pro at The Edison Club, Rick Wright was the ultimate administrator and mentor who left a mark on the section in numerous ways.

Wright was so adept as an administrator that he served two different terms, stretching over five years, as president of the NENY PGA. He also served as a member of the National PGA Board of Directors for four years.

As a mentor, Wright developed and taught more than 10 of his assistant professionals, who went on to become head professionals in their own right.

During his 28-year run at The Edison Club, he initiated the Capital Region’s most successful Junior Golf Day, which drew more than 250 youngsters each year. Wright, with help from numerous other assistant pros from throughout the section, not only taught the youngsters how to drive, chip, pitch and putt, but also about golf rules and etiquette. He handed out a golf club to each participant in the clinic, and a gigantic lunch was served to all.

“I love to see the junior golfers coming up through the ranks,” Wright said. “I’ve been able to watch them grow up through the years as a member of this club. They’ve become mature players, and then they’ve moved on.”

Wright’s fully stocked pro shop was also one of the largest in the Capital Region. “I’ve never been scared to do business,” Wright said. “I try to offer the best possible merchandise to my members. If we don’t have it, I can usually get it.”

For the first 13 years of his run at The Edison Club, he was also the club’s general manager.

Wright learned his trade as an assistant pro at Glens Falls Country Club in the mid-1960s. He went on to share ownership of a golf course in East Amherst, near Buffalo. Later, he was the head pro at a course near Utica, as well as the general manager at another course in Webster.

Wright was honored to be inducted into The Edison Club Hall of Fame, and he also was named one of the early captains for the NENY PGA team in the Challenge Cup against amateurs from the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association.

Wright currently splits his time between Florida and working over the summer months at Northway Golf Center.

1995 Inductees

Bob Haggerty, Jr.
PGA, Schenectady Municipal Golf Course

Longtime Schenectady Municipal Golf Course head pro Bob Haggerty Jr. was a dynamo, both performing his magic on the links and telling jokes and stories in his cozy pro shop, decorated with numerous pictures of his idle, the legendary Arnold Palmer.

Haggerty was the head pro at Schenectady Municipal for 37 years, and he was known as an extraordinary player who loved to teach junior golfers. He was also an excellent mentor, who sent assistants like Paul Jaycox, Matt Daley and Brian Damon on to head pro positions of their own.

Haggerty, who died in 2006 at age 62, graduated from Niskayuna High School, and he served in the U.S. Navy as a Seabee. He is one of three Haggerty family members in the Hall of Fame. His father, Bob Haggerty Sr., had a long run as the head pro at The Edison Club, while Tom Haggerty, his brother, continues his long run as head pro at Glens Falls Country Club.

During his extended tenure at Schenectady Municipal, Haggerty helped run the popular Schenectady County Amateur Golf Championship, and he later started the Schenectady Two-Man Classic, which was named after him upon his death.

A longtime member of the NENY PGA Board of Directors, Haggerty won numerous sectional events, including the 1973 Stroke Play Championship, the 1994 Senior Stroke Play Championship and the Match Play Championship (1972, 1973, 1976, 1980).

Haggerty served as honorary captain of the NENY PGA team in the annual Challenge Cup matches against the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association.

According to Daley, the current head pro at Schenectady Municipal, Haggerty got a special bonus concerning his lifelong admiration of Palmer during the 2002 Capital District Skins Game at Mohawk Golf Club, when pros Blaine McCallister and Ed Fiori set up a special meeting with the King, the event’s featured player.

“ The best part of the whole thing, though was when Blaine and Ed Fiori set up a meet and greet for Bobby with Arnold Palmer,” said Daley in describing the event. “During the Skins Game, they lowered the ropes and let Bobby walk through. Bobby extended his hand toward Arnold, and Mr. Palmer gave Bobby a giant hug, like they had been friends forever. Mr. Palmer pulled Bobby aside, and they talked privately for about 10-15 minutes. If anyone had a dry eye, they weren’t paying attention, because it was an incredibly emotional moment,” Daley said.

James Hutchins
PGA, Onteora Golf Club

Former section president James “Hutch” Hutchins was a golf professional for 50 years at Woodstock Country Club and Onteora Club, respectively. He died at age 94 in Sarasota, Fla., in 2013.

Hutchins was born in Pensacola, N.C. in 1918. His family moved to Woodstock when he was 10 years old, and he attended Kingston High School, where he discovered that he had a tremendous aptitude for golf.

Like many of his ancestors, who came to the colonies on the Mayflower, Hutchins was extremely patriotic. When World War II broke out, Hutchins joined the 82nd Airbourne division and served throughout the war.

Hutchins played golf professionally for four years after the war and then became the head pro at Woodstock Country Club, where he served for 31 years.

Hutchins retired from Woodstock in 1980, but then he became affiliated with the Onteora Club, where he served as its club professional until 2000.

Hutchins was the NENY PGA President from 1963 to 1964.

Among his favorite memories during his tenure was playing numerous exhibition matches with the legendary Gene Sarazen from 1956 to 1965.

Buried in Woodstock Cemetery, Hutchins was commemorated with a tree planted in his honor. A tournament, the annual “Hutch Cup” was named in his honor.

George Pulver
PGA, Saratoga Golf & Polo Club

George Pulver is perhaps best known for being LPGA Tour standout Dottie Pepper’s first instructor when she was just 15 years old, but he also was a longtime club professional at several local courses and also helped design numerous Capital Region facilities.

Pulver was a founding member of the Northeastern New York PGA in 1927, and he was also a founding member of the Northeastern Golf Superintendents Association. As was the case in his era, many head pros also served as course superintendents at their clubs.

Pulver was extremely influential in the Saratoga Springs golfing region. He served long stints as the head professional at both McGregor Links Country Club, from 1924 to 1962, and at Saratoga Golf & Polo Club from 1933 to 1972.

He designed the first nine holes at Saratoga Spa State Park Golf Course, and also designed Brookhaven Golf Course. He made major architectural alterations to the nine-hole Battenkill Country Club.

Pulver’s career highlight as a player occurred in 1932, when he defeated reigning PGA champion Tom Creavy in a sudden death playoff to capture the Northeastern New York Open at Albany Country Club. He also qualified for the PGA Championship in 1927 at Cedar Crest CC (Dallas, TX) and 1933 at Blue Mound CC (Milwaukee, WI).

The McGregor Links Foundation annually provides the George J. Pulver Scholar/Athlete Award to an outstanding Saratoga Springs High School female and male graduate.

Madelyn Pulver Jennings, Pulver’s daughter, said her father and Pepper had a strong relationship. “Dottie first played with my mom, and when she passed away she asked my dad for golf lessons,” Jennings told the Saratogian. “I told her to ask him, and he was delighted and spent the next few years until his death helping her.

“Dottie had a notebook of letters with psychological advice on her game,” Jennings said. “She still has the notebook, and still talks about that notebook in interviews.”

In a 2000 interview with Peter Kessler on Golf Talk Live, Pepper said that Pulver’s coaching and teaching techniques helped her to maintain balance both physically in her game and emotionally in her life.

Pulver died in 1986, when Pepper was a junior at Furman. He was still coaching Pepper at age 87, and she had to tell him where the golf ball landed at the practice range, because he couldn’t see very well at the time.

1993 Inductees

Harvey Bostic, Sr.
PGA, Wiltwyck Golf Club

Longtime Wiltwyck Golf Club head professional Harvey Bostic (1974-2000) didn’t turn pro until he was 40 years old, but he made up for lost time and very quickly became one of the top players in the section.

The PGA Lifetime Member continues to play and occasionally returns to the Capital Region to compete in senior division events.

Born in 1935 in the Bronx, Bostic’s family moved to Kingston when he was 4 years old. He was the No. 1 player on the Kingston High School golf team and remembers playing the likes of Bob Haggerty and Tom Haggerty at The Edison Club in numerous junior and scholastic tournaments.

After high school, Bostic joined the Navy and didn’t play golf for four years. When he returned from the service, he remained an amateur for 17 years.

“I had a great amateur career,” Bostic said. “I won most of the events at Wiltwyck Golf Club, and I also won the County Amateur, the Kingston Invitational, the Hudson River Invitational and the Eastern New York Golf Association Championship. The tournament I remember the most as an amateur was winning the John R. Williams at Oak Hill in 1973.”

When Bostic finally turned pro, it took him a while to adjust, but he quickly became one of the section’s top players. “My first year, I won the U.S. Open local qualifier. Growing up, I always liked to play the course, not the player. I figured if I could shoot 3-under-par, I could beat anybody,” Bostic said.

Bostic tried to perfect all aspects of his game, but his strength was with the driver. “To win, I felt you really couldn’t have any glaring weaknesses, but I was a great driver of the ball,” Bostic said. “I could really hit the old persimmon drivers and keep the ball in the fairway. I was also one of the longest players off the tee at the time.”

Bostic made the cut in nearly all the New York State Opens he competed in. He played in the PGA Winter Series while in Florida during the off season, and he played in several national PGA events over the years but failed to make the cut.

His greatest memory was playing in the Senior PGA Championship with his son, Harvey Jr., on the bag. Bostic made the cut and played in the group right behind Arnold Palmer.

Bostic served several terms on the NENY PGA Board of Directors. He won the Merchandiser of the Year Award for private clubs in 1989. He was the honorary team captain for the professionals in the annual Challenge Cup against the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association at Mohawk Golf Club in 2011.

He won more than his share of major events in the section. He won the Stroke Play Championship in 1984 and 1986, and he won the Senior Stroke Play Championship in 1988, 1993 and 1999.

John Marich
PGA, Massena Country Club

A legend in the Adirondack region of the section, John Marich was the head professional at Massena Country Club for 23 years and also was a club professional at Tupper Lake Golf Club, Potsdam Country Club, Whiteface Inn, Plattsburgh Air Force Base and Crawford’s Notch Resort in New Hampshire.

Marich died of a stroke at age 73 in 2008.

Born in 1935 in Ogdensburg, Marich graduated from Bolles Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., and attended both St. Lawrence University and Clarkson College in Potsdam before embarking on a pro golf career.

He competed on the Far East Asian Golf Tour during the 1970s and played against some of the world’s top players of the time, including Jim Albus, Peter Thompson, David Graham, Orville Moody and Tommy Aaron. Marich won the 1969 Mount Shadows Match Play in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the 1970 Hong Kong Pro-Am a the Royal Hong King Golf Club.

Marich then embarked on a career as a golf professional-associate cruise director with the Holland American Cruise Lines and the Norwegian American Cruise Lines. He played golf in more than 40 countries worldwide and presented golf exhibitions in Africa, India and the Far East.

Marich married Cathy Ashley Sharpe in 1993. He also became a certified greenskeeper and was a founding member of the Adirondack Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Despite long trips from the North Country down to the Capital Region, where most of the section events were played, Marich was named the NENY PGA Senior Golf Professional of the Year in 1989, 1991 and 1992. He chaired several committees, including the junior golf committee, and in 1989 was given the National PGA Award for his outstanding contributions to the section’s Junior Golf Program. He won the section’s Golf Leader Award in 1990.

March served on the PGA National Committee for National Golf Day for eight years and chaired the sectional Hall of Fame Committee.

He was inducted into the Massena High School Hall of Fame in 1995 for his athletic accomplishments.

At the time of his death, Marich was employed as a security guard by Guardsmark Security at Alcoa.

1992 Inductees

Ralph Montoya
PGA, Dinsmore Golf Course

Born in Cuba, Ralph Montoya’s incredible journey to the United States has resulted in an extremely long PGA career, which included stints as the head pro at both Normanside Country Club and Dinsmore Golf Club. In his mid 80s, he still gives lessons at Fishkill Golf Course and Driving Range.

Montoya’s birth certificate states that he was born in 1935, but he was actually born in 1932. There was a delay in announcing his correct birth date while in Cuba.

Through a San Antonio golf pro named Buck Luce, Montoya was discovered playing golf in Cuba. He was able to get a Visa to come to the U.S. in 1956, but he only stayed for six months before having to return to Cuba, where he waited tables and gave some golf lessons.

Eventually, Montoya was able to return to the U.S. with the help of Luce. He was hired for $35 a week to be the pro at Sands Point, where he played with and gave lessons to many celebrities, including the late singing crooner Perry Cuomo. He also played in an exhibition with the great teaching pro Claude Harmon, who almost offered him a job at Winged Foot.

Montoya had four children by the time he played on the PGA Tour during the winter of 1959. He later worked two jobs as an assistant pro on Long Island before becoming both the head pro and the course superintendent at the 9-hole Mohawk Valley Country Club near Utica.

In 1970, Montoya landed the job as head pro at Normanside Country Club, where he worked for 12 seasons. From there, with the help of longtime Wolferts Roost CC head pro Bob Smith, he was appointed head pro at Dinsmore Golf Club, where he worked for 20 years.

“They had no golf carts when I first came there,” Montoya said. “Eventually, I was able to get two or three carts, and then I built up to 20 carts, and eventually to 40 by the time I was done there,” he said. “We did very well.”

Montoya played numerous tournaments on the PGA Tour, including one major, the 1979 PGA Championship.

Montoya won the section’s Merchandiser of the Year Award for public courses in 1989, but his real strength was his playing ability. He won the Stroke Play Championship in both 1978 and 1982. He captured the Senior Stroke Play in 1987. Montoya won the Match Play Championship in both 1975 and 1986.

1991 Inductees

Stewart Smith
PGA, Van Schaick Island Country Club

Smith was best known for his longtime service as the head professional at Van Schaick Island Country Club in Cohoes, but he was also the head professional at The Edison Club and at Pinehaven Country Club. He began his golf career as an assistant professional at Mohawk Golf Club.

Smith was born in Schenectady in 1938. He attended Nott Terrace High School and was a three-year varsity performer on the golf team. His best memory of that period was a match against rival Mont Pleasant, when all the players except one broke par. “We had a bunch of great players in that era, including Art Hemker. Even though we lost the match, it was quite the spectacle with almost everybody breaking par,” Smith said.

He went on to excel at Siena College in Loudonville, where he won the conference championship as a junior.

During his amateur career, Smith was one of the top players in the Capital Region. He won the Schenectady County Amateur twice.

After graduating from Siena, Smith started his professional golf career as an assistant at Mohawk Golf Club, but he entered the Army the next year.

After returning from the service, Smith served as the head professional at The Edison Club for five years and then held the same position at Pinehaven Country Club for five more years before accepting the position as head pro at Van Schaick Island CC from 1982 to 2000.

Smith retired in 2000, but then moved to Connecticut and became an assistant at Torrington CC, where’s been for the last 18 years.

“I’ve kept busy over the years,” said Smith, who is also in his 35th season as a basketball official. “I would say my strength as a player was always my tee shots. I was seldom out of the fairway, and it’s the same to this day.”

Smith was the Golf Professional of the Year in 1977. He won the Bill Strausbaugh Award in 1993 and captured the Senior Stroke Play Championship in 1996.

1990 Inductees

Rudy Goff
PGA, Taconic Golf Club

At the time he was hired in 1963, Rudy Goff was only the second head professional in the long history of the Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass. An exceptional player and coach, Goff’s claim to fame was as the head coach of the highly successful Williams College golf team.

He died at the young age of 55 from lymphoma in 1990.

Goff served as the Taconic GC head pro  until 1983. Dick Baxter was the club’s original head professional and served from 1924 to 1962. Rick Pohle followed Goff in 1984, and the current head pro is Josh Hillman.

Just like Pohle who succeeded him, Goff was also the head coach of the Williams College golf team from 1964 to 1983. He compiled an impressive record of 219 victories, 78 losses and one tie. His teams won the New England Intercollegiate Championships in 1964, 1971 and 1981.

Goff won the Greater Johnstown (Pa.) Junior Championship when he was 18 years old. He qualified for and competed in four PGA Championships in 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1975.

He won the section’s Stroke Play Championship in 1974.

Goff left his position as head professional and his coaching duties to devote himself to his two retail stores in Williamstown, Goff’s Sports and The Williams Shop, before he died.

Goff was born in Johnstown (Pa.). He joined the PGA after graduating from high school in 1954. He was the head pro at Stockbridge Golf Club for three years before his tenure at Taconic GC/Williams College.

Goff won seven Berkshire County professional tournaments.

At the time he was hired in 1963, Rudy Goff was only the second head professional in the long history of the Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass. An exceptional player and coach, Goff’s claim to fame was as the head coach of the highly successful Williams College golf team.

He died at the young age of 55 from lymphoma in 1990.

Goff served as the Taconic GC head pro  until 1983. Dick Baxter was the club’s original head professional and served from 1924 to 1962. Rick Pohle followed Goff in 1984, and the current head pro is Josh Hillman.

Just like Pohle who succeeded him, Goff was also the head coach of the Williams College golf team from 1964 to 1983. He compiled an impressive record of 219 victories, 78 losses and one tie. His teams won the New England Intercollegiate Championships in 194, 1971 and 1981.

Goff won the Greater Johnstown (Pa.) Junior Championship when he was 18 years old. He qualified for and competed in four PGA Championships in 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1975.

1985 Inductees

Ed Bosse
PGA, Colonie Country Club

Ed Bosse was the head pro at Colonie Golf & Country Club for 28 years, but he continued to make an impact on the Northeastern New York PGA for more than two decades after he retired.

When Bosse died at age 88 in 2013, he had stretched his impressive resume to include all facets of his profession. He was an exceptional player and teacher, but he also dabbled in course design. He and fellow NENY PGA Hall of Famer Bob Smith of Wolferts Roost Country Club redesigned Albany Municipal Golf Course into the current Capital Hills at Albany in 1991.

“It’s a testament for how much love he had for the PGA itself and the members, and the camaraderie,” NENY PGA executive Tracie Warner told the Times Union. “He loved being around the guys, and it kept him alive.”

Bosse was president of the NENY PGA in 1979-1980, won the section’s Stroke Play Championship in 1971 and was the Professional of the Year in 1982.

He was born in Lancaster, N.Y. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he graduated from SUNY Cortland, where he both played and coached golf, football and basketball. He was inducted into the SUNY Cortland Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.

Bosse was an excellent player. He competed on the PGA Tour for several seasons and teed it up in three PGA Championships. Before he became the head pro at Colonie G&CC in 1964, he was an assistant pro at Delray CC and Binghamton CC.

While at Colonie G&CC, he helped the club make the transition from its old location near Wolf Road in Colonie to its present location in Voorheesville.

Even after he retired as a head pro, Bosse served the section as a volunteer rules official.

“He was always as supportive as anybody could hope for someone to follow,” Frank Mellet, current Colonie G&CC head pro and fellow Hall of Fame member, told the Times Union. Mellet took over for Bosse in 1991.

A huge proponent of junior golf, Bosse was a PGA member for 55 years.

Tri-County Golf Association administrator Peter Spitalny, a solid amateur player for decades and a part-owner of Colonie G&CC, reflected on the passing of his good friend. “I took my first golf lesson from him literally 50 years ago,” Spitalny told the Times Union. “Good guy. Perfect gentleman. Never a nasty thing to say about anybody.”

Bosse won the section’s Horton Smith Award in 1980 and the Bill Strausbaugh Award in 1984.

1982 Inductees

Armand Farina
PGA, Van Patton Golf Course

Perhaps no section golf professional enjoyed as much national success on the PGA Tour as Armand Farina, who worked at numerous Capital Region courses, including as the head pro at both Schenectady Municipal Golf Course and Van Patten Golf Course.

Farina was the dominant player of his time in NENY PGA section events, winning five NENY PGA Stroke Play Championships and six Woodstock Open titles. He once shot a nine-hole score of 29 during a Woodstock Open title run.

But Farina also made his mark on the PGA Tour against the likes of Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Jimmy Demeret. He tied for fourth in the San Francisco Open, won his first-round match in the 1948 PGA Championship, which then had a match-play format, and finished in the money in numerous majors, including the 1946, 1948 and 1957 PGA Championships, as well as the 1953 U.S. Open.

Farina set a nine-hole PGA Tour record of seven-under-par 28 during the 1950 Rio Grade Open in Harlingen, Texas. He also finished in the money at the Empire State Open (seventh), Pensacola Open (eighth) and Durham Open (15th).

Farina, inducted into the Schenectady City School District Hall of Fame in 2011, was a legendary scholastic golfer at Nott Terrace in Schenectady. He led the golf team to unbeaten seasons in both 1935 and 1936, and his team also won the District Championship both seasons. He was the medalist in the 1935 District Interscholastic Championship.

He began his golf professional career as an assistant pro at both Western Turnpike Golf Club and Shaker Ridge Country Club. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Farina became both the head pro and course superintendent at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course from 1945 to 1966.

Farina helped design Van Patten Golf Club and Ballston Spa Country Club. He eventually became head pro at Van Patten.

Longtime Mohawk Golf Club head pro John Maurycy marveled at Farina’s abilities. “When he played on the PGA Tour, he was playing against the best in the country. He was very competitive. He was not just playing for the heck of it,” Maurycy said.

“Armand would shoot 65 in practice at Muny all the time while getting ready to play a PGA Tournament. It was very easy for him. He was always down the center and on the green. Armand was a great role model. He swung the same way. He walked slow. He didn’t hit the ball a tremendous distance, but he was very straight, and was always a great fairway woods player,” Maurycy said.

Milon Marusic
PGA, Wolferts Roost Country Club

Known as an outstanding player with plenty of PGA Tour experience, the late Milan Marusic has the distinction of being inducted into both the NENY PGA and Gateway PGA Halls of Fame.

Born in 1915 in Herkimer, Marusic caddied at Mohawk Valley Country Club during the 1930s and eventually became a pro.

As an assistant pro at Wolferts Roost Country Club, Marusic flourished. He won the Stroke Play Championship in three straight seasons from 1947 through 1949.

Yet his brother, Frank, told the Observer-Dispatch of Utica that Milan “was as surprised as anyone else,” to be chosen for NENY PGA Hall of Fame induction.

Marusic spent two full seasons on the PGA Tour and also dabbled many other years, from 1947 to 1965. In 1950, his first-round 64 in the Savannah Open led Tommy Bolt and two others by four shots.

He played full-time on the PGA Tour in both 1952 and 1953, combining for four top-10s, 16 top-25s and 50 cuts made.

In total, Marusic played 136 PGA Tour events, finishing in the top-10 12 times and the top-25 40 times. His total career earnings were $16,305.

Marusic later spent 25 years as the head professional at Algonquin Country Club in St. Louis, retiring in 1981. While there, he won the National PGA Seniors Championship.

Marusic was the Gateway PGA Senior Stroke Play champion and Senior Player of the Year in 1979.

While competing in the PGA Winter Championships at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Marusic won the Senior Stroke Play Championship for the 70-89 age group in 1987.

Robert Mix
PGA, Albany Country Club

Bob Mix, who died in 2011 at the age of 81, served as head pro at Albany Country Club from 1959 to 1980. While there, he oversaw the transition from the club’s old grounds, located on the site of the current University at Albany campus between Western Avenue and Washington Avenue in Albany, to its present site off of Wormer Road in Voorheesville.

Born in Somerville, Mass., Mix was raised in Cambridge, Mass. The U.S. Army veteran was a member of the PGA of America for 55 years.

Mix also served a long tenure as the golf professional at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Clearwater, Fla.

A three-time NENY PGA Stroke Play champion in 1960, 1968 and 1969, Smith served as the NENY PGA president from 1975 through 1978.

Mix was the NENY PGA Professional of the Year twice.

Mix also was a member of the Oyster Harbors Club.

A strong proponent of junior golf, Mix was an excellent teacher. One of the Capital Region’s major junior golf tournaments was named after him, and one of the NENY PGA’s junior golf tournaments still bears his name.

In his later years, Mix became an advocate for numerous charity organizations. After moving back to East Sandwich, Mass., Mix volunteered for the Francis Quimet Scholarship Fund, where he was a two-time Chair Person of the Year for the State of Massachusetts. He also served on the Strokes Survivor and Caregiver Group at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital of Cape Cod, the Cape AIDS Ministry and the Ministry and Sandwich Council on Aging.

Mix also served on the Golf Committee for the Town of Sandwich for the acquisition of Sandwich Hollows.

He was an honorary captain for the NENY PGA team that played against the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association in the annual Challenge Cup, a match-play event competed at various courses in the Capital Region.

Bob Smith
PGA, Wolferts Roost Country Club

Affable and laid-back Bob Smith was one of the few section members who served in national offices for the PGA of America, but he was most proud of his long association with Wolferts Roost Country Club and his tireless work for the NENY PGA section.

Smith, a three-time NENY PGA Professional of the Year, was associated with Wolferts Roost Country Club for five decades. It’s no wonder that the club remembered him by naming one of its roads after him and erecting a statue in his honor.

Born in 1927, Smith began a long association with the Roost when he became an assistant professional there in 1953. He served four seasons before being named head professional in 1957. Smith was the head pro at the Roost for 34 years before retiring, but even after he retired, he became an honorary member of the club until he died in 2002.

Smith was best known for his administrative and teaching skills, as well as for his knowledge of the game’s rules. He was the secretary/treasurer of the NENY PGA in 1954 and became its president from 1970 through 1972. Smith became the Vice President of the PGA of America from 1981-1983.

Smith was a NENY PGA District Director from 1981 through 1983.

While at the Roost, he was the founder and trustee of the club’s Caddie Scholarship Program.

Smith received numerous sectional honors. He won the Horton Smith Award in 1974 and received the Bill Strausbaugh Award in 1982. Smith won the Merchandiser of the Year for Private Clubs in 1979

One of Smith’s proudest accomplishments was helping Colonie Golf & Country Club head pro Ed Bosse in redesigning Albany Municipal Golf Course into Capital Hills at Albany in 1987.

Smith was influential in overseeing an annual Challenge Match between the local club pros and the top Capital Region amateurs. The two-day, match-play event was held at Wolferts Roost from 1976 through 1989, and it was eventually named the Bob Smith Cup. Based on Smith’s original idea, a similar match-play event, called the Gazette Challenge Cup, was initiated in 2005.

From 1981 through 1983, Smith was a rules official for 12 national championships, including three PGA Championships and one Ryder Cup match.

1981 Inductees

Alex Sinclair
PGA, Schuyler Meadows Club

A consummate professional known for his distinguished attire, Sinclair was a traditionalist who served as head professional at two of the section’s most prestigious clubs, Mohawk Golf Club and at Schuyler Meadows Club. His peers said he had an old-school swing and old-school appearance.

Sinclair was one of the most proficient players of his era. He qualified for the PGA Championship six times and was a three-time local qualifier for the U.S. Open. At one time, he owned the course record at Mohawk Golf Club, first with a 65, and later with a 64.

He won the section’s Stroke Play Championship four times, in 1956, 1959, 1961 and 1965. Sinclair kept his game in top form later in life and also won the section’s Senior Stroke Play Championship at the age of 69.

“He was a dapper guy,” said fellow Hall of Famer Al Stein of Glens Falls Country Club. “He was a great player. He was an old-school Scottish player. He was always down the middle and on the green. Nothing fancy. He hit the ball very well.”

Dick Bogdan, a local clubmaker who dealt with Sinclair from time to time, agreed with Stein. “He was a suave looking guy,” Bogdan recalled. “He reminded me of (former U.S. Open winner) Lloyd Mangrum because of his looks and his smooth swing.”

Sinclair was born in Thurso, Scotland, but his family moved to the United States and settled in Pennsylvania when he was 7 years old. He began his golf career as an assistant pro at Riverside Golf Course in Reading, Pa., and he later was an assistant at Blue Ridge Country Club in Harrisburg, Pa.

Sinclair served three years in the Army Signal Corps during World War II.

Sinclair was an assistant pro for longtime Mohawk Golf Club head pro Jim Thomson and eventually took over as head pro for Thomson, serving in that position from 1957 through 1972. He was only the fifth head pro in Mohawk GC’s history. Sinclair later became head pro at Schuyler Meadows for 13 years. When he was semi-retired, Sinclair was a teaching pro at Mill Road Acres in Latham, and he spent his winters teaching golf at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel in Clearwater, Fla.

The lifetime member of the Northeastern New York PGA was inducted in 1981. He died at age 93 in Crystal River, Fla., in 2013.

1980 Inductees

Alex Gerlak
PGA, Twaalfskill Golf Course

No bio.

William Gressick
Catskill Golf Club

A jack-of-all-trades who excelled at playing, teaching and administering to both his various club members and section colleagues, Bill Gressick wore many hats – and wore them well – during a long and successful career.

Gressick reached the pinnacle of his profession by serving as the NENY PGA President and longtime treasurer (secretary). He was also the de facto executive director for many seasons when the section did not have an official one. Officially, he was the section’s executive director from 1984 through 1987. He went on to become District I Director.

Born on June 17, 1915 in Stirling, Scotland, Gressick was the son of longtime head pro William Wood Gressick. He died on May 18, 2008, at age 92, at the Huntington Rehab & Therapy Facility in Rockledge, Florida.

Gressick’s father was also golf professional for many years at several Catskill Mountain clubs, including the Tannersville Club, which was his summer home for 35 years. The elder Gressick also served as the head professional at Ballston Spa Country Club.

Bill Gressick Jr. was the first head professional at Pleasant View Golf Course, from 1968 to 1983. Now called Thunderhart at Sunny Hill, there is a plaque dedicated to Gressick on the par-4 fifth hole.

Both before and after his stint at Pleasant View GC, Gressick was the longtime pro at Catskill Country Club, later called Catskill Golf Club.

He returned to the Sunny Hill Resort later in life and lived there with his wife for several decades. He helped design another nine holes at Thunderhart and also was a consultant in the pro shop.

Gressick was named Professional of the Year three times, in 1966, 1972 and 1979. He won the Horton Smith Award in 1970.

Gressick also earned the Merchandiser of the Year Award for private clubs in 1979.

He served as the section President from 1967 to 1969 and was the District 1 Director from 1990 to 1992.

He was a longtime Mason and was a member of the Masonic Diamond Thistle Lodge in Terrytown.

Alex McIntyre
PGA, The Edison Club

Former section president Alex B. McIntyre was the first golf professional at The Edison Club, and he also served as its course superintendent. According to Northeast Golf Course Superintendents archives, he was also one of the original board members of that association and helped tutor others in both professions.

Born in Dumbarton, Scotland, McIntyre was well known for his thick brogue, baggy plus fours and his direct but courteous manners to a group of members that never dealt with a club professional previously.

He was known to be an outstanding instructor and helped the club establish playing rules, as well as originate an official handicapping system.

McIntyre was regarded as an exceptional player, and he competed with the legendary stars of the day, including Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan.

According to The Edison Club’s official “Centennial Book,” McIntyre helped usher in a new era at the club and was extremely courteous, especially while managing the pro shop.

“The early golfers of The Edison Club focused on the need to establish an official USGA Handicap. These were GE engineers after all! Scores were presented to the pro shop at the end of each day’s play. Mr. McIntyre is willing to help you in a surprising number of ways,” mentioned one of the club’s early publications.

McIntyre served in his position from 1927 to 1950. Upon his retirement, he was granted guest privileges for life in recognition for his long and effective service to the club.

McIntyre was inducted into The Edison Club Hall of Fame in 1985.

He was the NENY PGA President in 1937.

1979 Inductees

George Ramsden
PGA, Shaker Ridge Country Club

Both the head pro and the course superintendent at Shaker Ridge Country Club, George Ramsden was not only a two-time Professional of the Year and section president but also served as the president of the Northeast Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Ramsden was born on Long Island and worked several golf jobs there until moving up to the Albany Area, where he served as Shaker Ridge CC’s head pro and golf superintendent from 1950 to 1975. He also ran the clubhouse for two years as its general manager. Ramsden died in 1979 at age 69.

He designed and helped build Shaker Ridge’s “inner nine”, which was sort of like an executive course within the Shaker Ridge layout, giving the course 27 holes at one time.

Ramsden was the NENY PGA Professional of the Year in both 1965 and 1974. He served as the section’s president from 1964 to 1966.

He was a mentor to many assistant professionals who went on to become head pros themselves, including former head pros John Maurycy of Mohawk Golf Club and Chas Conrad at Shaker Ridge CC, who served nearly 40 years in that capacity.

“I knew George for about 20 years,” Conrad said. “I started working for him as an 8-year-old caddie and kept working for him as the caddie master, as an assistant greens worker and later as an assistant pro.”

Conrad said that Ramsden was definitely an old-school pro. “Put it this way, George was a former Army sergeant and he ran Shaker Ridge CC just like an Army sergeant. George was tough,” Conrad said. “The members were actually afraid of him. He was tough, but he was also fair. He taught me everything I know about the business. In fact, that’s how I learned how to play. When I was just a young caddie, I would shag balls for him and his student. George would keep me right there at his side and ask me questions about the swing.”

Ramsden caddied for the legendary Gene Sarazen several times, and later, Ramsden hosted Sarazen and Bobby Jones III at Shaker Ridge CC for numerous events, when the young Conrad would caddie for them at Ramsden’s bequest.

“Ramsden was a solid player. He would shoot around 75 to 80 most of the time, and sometimes, he would shoot around par,” Conrad said. “But he was a very good instructor.”

“George was tough, but he was a straight shooter,” Maurycy recalled. “It was a great experience working for George, because you learned everything about the game, and you also learned about working out on the course. He built that par-3 course they had over there in the early years, and he was involved in just about everything going on there.”

The club named one of its most prestigious events the George Ramsden Memorial, a club tournament still alive today.

R.A. “Hike” Tyrell
PGA, Saranac Golf Club

As only the second head professional in the history of Saranac Lake Golf Club, R.A. “Hike” Tyrell became a symbol for the club, as he actually lived on the grounds for almost his entire life.

Tyrell was appointed the head professional in 1926 and lived with his wife Valeda in the farmhouse across from the golf club on the Sara-Placid highway until 1984.

Born in 1902, Tyrell learned the game as a caddie in Lake Placid. He played golf, track and baseball at Lake Placid High School, where he graduated from in 1920.

His first position in the golf business was as the golf pro at Ruisseaumont Hotel Golf Course on Old Military Road in Lake Placid. He left there to play the Southern Pro Tour in 1926.

While competing in a Southern Pro event in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Tyrell met a contingent of Saranac Lake golfers who also served on a greens committee at the club. He had already submitted an application to the club in hopes of becoming the head pro, and after a successful day on the course, he was offered the job at Saranac Lake on the spot. His contract was drawn up on the back of a dinner menu. He won 11 out of the 13 tournaments on the Adirondack Circuit that first season at Saranac Lake Golf Club.

Tyrell held numerous course records, including the Ruisseamont course record with a 65, the Saranac Lake Club record with a 64 and the Ausable Forks course record with a 62.

He regularly competed with CraigWood and Arnold Palmer when they came to the Adirondacks to play. He won four NENY PGA Senior Championships and was a member of the Golf Course Superintendents of America.

Tyrell helped coach the Saranac Lake High School golf team and provided free after school lessons to the students. The course named its new clubhouse, built in the early 1970s, after him.

Tyrell was also known as an outstanding bowler during the winters.

He died on March 29, 1985 at the age of 83.

1978 Inductees

Tom Creavy
PGA, Saratoga Spa Country Club

The only national major champion in section history, Creavy was known for his phenomenal short game. He served as the head professional at both Albany Country Club and Saratoga Spa State Park Golf Course. He died at age 68 in 1979 in Delray Beach, Florida.

Creavy was born in Tuckahoe and learned the game as a caddie at Siwanoy Country Club. He turned professional in 1928.

On the PGA Tour, Creavy played in 11 major championships, including the first Masters in 1934.

His claim to fame was winning the 1931 PGA Championship at Wannamoisett Country Club at the age of 20. The PGA Championship had a match-play format back then, and he defeated legendary Gene Sarazen 5 & 3 in the semifinals before beating Denny Shute 2 & 1 in the finals.

The legendary Bobby Jones refereed the title match and told Creavy, “It was one of the finest matches I think that was ever played,” according to the Albany Times Union.

Recurring back problems and spinal meningitis in 1943 shortened his playing career. He was tied for eighth in the 1934 U.S. Open and tied for 25th in the 1934 Masters. He competed in the U.S. Open five times.

Creavy owned a 10-2 career record in PGA Championship matches, and his winning percentage was one of the best in history.

“In those days, golf was not as big as it is now, but what he did was fantastic,” the late Colonie G&CC head pro Ed Bosse told the Albany Times Union in a piece about Creavy. “He played in all the events back then.”

Creavy won the San Francisco Match Play open in 1932 and set what was then a U.S. Open scoring record with a final-round 66 in 1933.

He gave lessons to many Capital Region standouts, including the late Gail Sykes-Clayton, and he also gave a tip to PGA Champions Tour standout Tommy Aaron.

Sports Illustrated called Creavy “the most obscure major champion of the modern era.”

Creavy was the head professional at Albany Country Club in 1931 and served as the head pro at both Saratoga Spa State Park Golf Course and the Saratoga Spa Executive Course from 1963 to 1974.

In his later years, he wintered in Delray Beach, Fla., and returned to give lessons at McGregor Links CC in the summer.

John Gaucas
PGA, Van Schaick Island Country Club

Fun-loving John Gaucas was a popular and long-serving head pro at Van Schaick Island Country Club in Cohoes. A solid player who rarely missed a NENY PGA section event, Gaucas served both the section and the national PGA in numerous capacities.

The Albany native was head pro at VSI CC from 1949 to 1974, when he died of complications from diabetes. He previously was the head pro at Western Turnpike Golf Course in 1947.

Gaucas was the brother of longtime Times Union political reporter Betty Flood.

During his playing career, Gaucas was named the NENY PGA Professional of the Year four times: 1953, 1955, 1958 and 1963.

He was the section’s longtime secretary (treasurer) and became the NENY PGA president in 1955. Gaucas later became the District 1 Director from 1972 to 1974.

On the national level, Gaucas moved up the ladder in the PGA Seniors from second vice president, to first vice president and eventually to president.

Although Gaucas rarely missed competing in a section event when he was younger, his playing career took a severe turn when his diabetes forced him to have his left leg amputated below the knee at St. Peter’s hospital in 1962. He was out of action for almost a year.

But Gaucas staged an amazing comeback in 1963, when he was able to shoot 76 on his own ball during a pro-pro at Glens Falls Country Club. The next year, he finished fourth with a 79 in an event at Taconic Golf Club, quite an achievement while playing with a prosthetic leg.

“John Gaucas was a fun guy to play with,” said former Mohawk Golf Club head pro John Maurycy, another Hall of Famer who used to play with Gaucas quite often. “He would always shoot between 72 and 75, and he was a pretty solid player. I remember we always would go to his favorite diner after a tournament, and he would ask the waitress what the pie of the day was. When she brought him a slice, he would say, ‘Wait a minute, I said I wanted the whole pie.”

Stewart Smith, also a former head pro at VSI CC and a fellow HOF member, remembers Gaucas fondly. “I remember that he had that diabetes, lost his leg, and was still playing even after that,” Smith said. “He was in poor health at the end of his career, but he did a lot for our section, first as the secretary and president, and later as a District I Director. I know he was also heavily involved with the PGA Seniors, as well.”

Gaucas is memorialized on a sundial at Van Schaick Island CC.

Eddie Schultz
PGA, Country Club of Troy

Country Club of Troy’s Eddie Schultz was a pioneer in the game who not only was in on the ground floor of the original PGA but also continued to excel in all facets of his profession. He was as an exceptional player, teacher, manager and leader. He even was a masterful course superintendent.

Known as “The Giant Killer” because he defeated legends like Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagen and Tommy Armour in numerous matches throughout his career, Schultz was born in Albany in 1899 and became the CC of Troy’s first head professional in 1927.

Schultz was a dominant player, both in the NENY PGA section and on the national scene. He participated in the U.S. Open eight times and qualified for 10 consecutive PGA Championships, reaching the semifinals in 1935.

Schultz teamed up with Willie Rapp of Colonie to defeat Hagen and Armour in an exhibition match in 1925.

In 1929, Schultz ventured out on the winter PGA Tour and finished in the top-20 on several occasions. He defeated Sarazen twice in Florida matches.

In 1930, Schultz won an outstanding eight out of 11 NENY PGA tournaments.

CC of Troy members are perhaps most proud of Schultz’s magnificent course-record 63 (-8) that he carded on July l2, 1935 during sectional qualifying for the PGA Championship. He followed that super effort with a 68 that same afternoon.

Schultz began his golf career at the age of 11 as a caddie at Colonie Country Club. He won his first tournament at age 14 and then at age 19 became the assistant pro at Cobble Hill Country Club in Elizabethtown. He became the head pro the next year. He then was hired as head pro at Van Schaick Island Country Club at age 26 before moving over to the CC of Troy, where he served for more than four decades.

Known for his accurate short game, Schultz set course records at the CC of Troy, Rutland, Catskill and Colonie CC – all in the same season.

He was president of the NENY PGA seven times and served as national vice president of the PGA of America from 1944 through 1947. Schultz won the Stroke Play Championship several times and captured the section’s Senior Stroke Play Championship three times.

Jim Thomson
PGA, Mohawk Golf Club

One of the most influential promoters, pioneers and course architects in section history, Thomson served as both the head pro and the greens superintendent at Mohawk Golf Club for 50 years, from 1918 to 1968.

Not only did Thomson help design and shape Mohawk Golf Club during his half-century there, but he also helped design and build numerous other Capital Region golf facilities, including Ballston Spa Country Club, Catskill Golf Club, Colonie Golf & Country Club’s original location, Pinehaven Country Club, Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, Shaker Ridge Country Club and Western Turnpike Golf Course.

Thomson was born in North Berwick, Scotland, but his family moved to the United States when he was a youngster. Before beginning his long tenure at Mohawk Golf Club, Thomson worked as an assistant pro at Merion Club in Philadelphia and at Yahnundasis Golf Club in Utica before a six-year run as head professional at Little Falls Country Club.

Most of the major changes to the Mohawk Golf Club course and layout occurred during Thomson’s historic run. He re-sculpted the second hole, redesigned the famous par-3 “Punchbowl” 15th hole and reworked the par-4 eighth hole, as well. Thomson and Mohawk members planted 1,200 pine trees to create Redmond Grove on the left side of the fourth fairway.

Thomson also designed and oversaw the construction of Mohawk’s 9-hole Wee Course, an extremely short layout for beginners.

Thomson was one of three Northeastern New York PGA members in the original PGA of America organizational meeting of 1916 and was influential when this section broke away from the Metropolitan PGA in 1926.

Thomson helped keep the old Mohawk Invitation Tournament, which drew elite scratch amateurs to the course, in the national spotlight for decades. During his annual winter months in Florida, he taught and rubbed elbows with celebrities, including millionaire philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Sr. and humorist Will Rogers. He also was a friend to pro golfers such as LPGA pioneers Babe Didrickson Zaharias and Patty Berg as well as British Open champion Jim Barnes.

In 1934, Thomson was awarded a membership at Mohawk Golf Club, something unheard of at the time for club professionals.

At his retirement dinner in 1968, Thomson was presented with a Lincoln Continental automobile, and the first hole was dedicated to him, with a plague behind the first tee. The president of the PGA, Leo Fraser, attended the celebration, and Thomson was named a lifetime consultant to the course with lifetime use of the Wee House, where he lived with his wife, Florence, during golf seasons since the 1930s.