Golf: Opportunities abound for kids

“School’s Out for Summer.”

“School’s Out for Summer.”

It was a popular Alice Cooper song way back in 1972 that only some of us old timers remember, but those lyrics also mean that many youngsters will be looking for something to do now that they have a lot of time on their hands.

How about either teaching them to play golf, or if they already know how to play, enroll them in one of the area’s several junior tours and special events?

For the beginning golfers age 4-15, the Northeastern New York PGA has a new “KidsPlay Golf” program. Cost is $90 per session. Students may sign up for single or multiple sessions. Teachers will provide individualized, progressive skills instruction.

Sessions at the NENYPGA headquarters at Town of Colonie Golf Course, are 1A (July 11, July 18 and July 25), 1B (July 12, July 19 and July 26), 2A (Aug. 1,

Aug. 8 and Aug. 15) and 2B (Aug. 2, Aug. 9 and Aug. 16). There will be instruction in putting, chipping, iron play, driving and golf etiquette. The program includes fun drills, contests, giveaways and supervised team scramble play on the golf course. Golf clubs and equipment are available to all students, including the new SNAG equipment specifically for new golfers. SNAG gear uses plastic color-coded handles to help with proper grip, and they have oversized golf club heads to be used with tennis balls instead of golf balls to shoot at special targets.

The NENYPGA’s Junior Golf Tour is already underway and will include the Gazette’s Newspaper in Education Capital District Junior Golf Championship at Schenectady Municipal on July 31.

Also on tap this summer will be the Drive, Chip and Putt local qualifier for juniors age 7-15. The top competitors can earn a spot in the next qualifying phases, with the last stop at Augusta National during next year’s Masters.

For more information, contact either NENYPGA executive director Traci Warner or tournament director Doug Evans at 438-8645.

Speaking of big junior events, the local qualifier for the New York State Elks Junior Championship will be held July 27 at 8 a.m. at The Edison Club. Sponsored by both the Rotterdam Elks Lodge No. 2157 and the Clifton Park Elks Lodge No. 2466, the local qualifier costs $20, including lunch.

Top players from the qualifier advance to the 60th annual New York State Elks Junior Championship Aug. 10. A practice round is included the day before the tournament, and parents of the competitors are encouraged to play as well. Cost at the state level is $50, and it includes meals.

After the state championship, local players can return to the Rotterdam Lodge for lunch, pictures and trophies.

Make checks out to The Edison Club and mail them to Elks Jr. Golf, PO Box 93, C/O Paul Ungerland, chairman, Rexford, NY 12148.


The New York State Golf Association elected five people into its Hall of Fame.

The second class of inductees includes amateur John Konsek, distinguished volunteer Thomas Reidy, famed course architect Donald Ross, who died in 1948, amateur Lancy Smith and amateur/club professional Samuel Urzetta, who died in 2011.

Konzek, from Buffalo, won three straight New York State Amateurs from 1958-60 and a New York State Junior Amateur crown in 1957. He won the Monroe Invitational in 1959 and 1964, was the Big 10 Championship medalist and an All-American at Purdue in 1958, 1959 and 1960. He was also a two-time U.S. Open participant.

Reidy, an Elmira native, was the NYSGA executive director from 1984-95 and its president from 2003-05.

Ross designed 600 golf courses, including local courses Glens Falls Country Club and The Sagamore Resort. He also designed Oak Hill Country Club and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977.

Smith won the New York State Women’s Amateur in 1966, 1969 and 1979, and she also captured the New York State Senior Women’s Amateur in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002. She competed in 15 U.S. Women’s Open Championships, was a Curtis Cup member five times and was the Curtis Cup captain in 1994.

Urzetta was a golfing legend in Rochester. He won the New York State Amateur in 1948, three Monroe Invitationals and then won the prestigious U.S. Amateur in 1950. A two-time Walker Cup team member, he later became head pro at the Country Club of Rochester from 1956-93.


u The Airway Meadows Golf Course’s annual Airway Cup will be played Saturday. It’s a partners match play tournament, and participants will be matched up with teams with similar handicaps. Call Airway Meadows at 792-4144.

u Stadium Golf Club will be holding a special for members of the military (with ID), policemen and firemen from

July 1-7. They will get $5 off their 18-hole rounds.

u Saratoga National Golf Club hosts the Northeastern Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America Member-Guest Monday. Cost for the better-ball-of-two event is $85 per person. There will be a 1 p.m. shotgun start. The event includes lunch, beverages and appetizers following golf. To register, send your name, company and handicap to [email protected]

u Local club pros will participate in the Ellis Medicine Pro-Am at Saratoga National on Monday before teaming up with many of the area’s top juniors in the Pro-Junior Championship Wednesday at Hiland Park.

u Catskill Golf Club hosts the next major for the area women, the Northeastern Women’s Golf Association’s Two-Person Scramble on Wednesday.

u Next up on the Eastern New York Golf Association schedule is a stop at the Town of Colonie Golf Course on Wednesday.


Keith Miller from Saratoga Springs collected his first hole-in-one with a 7-iron on the

140-yard fifth hole at Brookhaven Golf Course.

Also at Brookhaven, fellow Saratoga Springs resident Susan Waghorn aced the same hole with a fairway wood.

There were two holes-in-one at Saratoga Lake Golf Club. Bill Martin recorded his sixth career ace with a

7-iron on the 140-yard 14th hole, and Angelo Patalino holed out with a 9-iron on the same hole, played at 134 yards.


Jim Geiger eagled the third hole, and Sean Devine eagled the fifth hole at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.

Brandon Alois eagled the 16th hole while competing in the Sandbaggers league at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.

Categories: Sports

Leave a Reply