Oppedisano maintains tradition at Skidmore

For most club professionals, teaching the game is almost as fun as playing it.

For most club professionals, teaching the game is almost as fun as playing it. That’s why it’s no surprise that Tom Oppedisano’s first year as the head golf coach at Skidmore College has been smooth and successful. Sort of like a tap-in putt.

“I like it at Skidmore,” said Oppedisano, the 46-year-old former head pro who has worked at numerous area courses, including stints at Orchard Creek and McGregor Links Country Club. “We really have a solid team, and the school has been incredibly supportive. I think the transition here has been extremely smooth. We recently won a big tournament [the NYU Invitational] and we also finished sixth at another major event. We are gaining momentum for this weekend’s Tim Brown Invitational [held at Ballston Spa Country Club] and the upcoming Liberty League Championship.”

Skidmore’s golf program has long been among the best in the nation at the NCAA Division III level, and Oppedisano admitted to feeling a little bit of pressure when he accepted the head coaching position after serving the school previously as both an assistant and later as interim coach.

“Skidmore has been to the NCAA Tournament in 28 of the last 29 years,” he said. “There are very high expectations for this program. Tim Brown established an incredible golf program here for many years, and now it’s my job to keep it going.”

To help push the Thoroughbreds to an even higher level, Oppedisano added Scott Berliner and Anders Mattson to his staff. Berliner has been the most dominant player on the Northeastern New York PGA tour for close to a decade, and Mattson is a nationally honored teacher who works out of Saratoga National Golf Club.

“Fortunately, since I grew up in the Capital Region, I’ve established plenty of contacts around the area,” Oppedisano said. “Getting both Scott and Anders to help me has been a huge boost. We also have established arrangements at several area courses like Saratoga National, Saratoga Spa State Park, McGregor and Ballston Spa Country Club. We also have use of a former racquetball court as a hitting room. We have numerous places for our student-athletes to play and practice. All of our facilities are excellent.”

When Oppedisano took over the program this season, he made it clear what his priorities are.

“I told all the parents, as well as the recruits, that the No. 1 priority is education, and that golf was next. School is the foundation, and golf can enhance it for life. Our guys have embraced that concept, and so has our community,” he said.

“Tim Brown established a culture of winning golf here, and in the last few years, the program wasn’t quite where he left it. But we’ve changed the culture and everybody has bought in.”

An excellent player in his own right, Oppedisano started his golf career at Ballston Spa Country Club. He graduated from Clemson in 1992 and spent a year on the Tommy Armour Tour.

Later, he worked at Woodlake Country Club in Lakewood, N.J., and the Commonwealth National Golf Club in Horsham, Pa. After long stints as the head pro at both Orchard Creek and McGregor Links, he served as the director of marketing and membership at The Edison Club before accepting the position at Skidmore.

Oppedisano admitted that his job description has changed slightly now that he is a fulltime coach

“The duties of a club pro are demanding, and the expectations are incredible,” he said. “To be a successful PGA pro, you have to be able to teach, run the pro shop and be a good administrator, just to name a few. But fortunately, all those skills are easily transferred to this position. My experience as a club pro has been a real asset to me. My tasks are not necessarily easier here as a coach, but it is easier to manage my time and focus on the team and the players.”

Oppedisano and his wife, Time Warner Cable news weather anchor Heather Morrison, have two children, and both are afflicted with autism. The Oppedisano family has been instrumental in raising awareness of the disease, and they are involved with numerous fundraisers.

After the spring season is over, Oppedisano plans to give lessons at Saratoga Spa State Park. For more information, call him at 881-5525.


Tim Manwaring, a senior from Keene, New Hampshire, won the individual title at last week’s NYU Invitational. Others on a balanced roster include junior Teddy Badenhausen, sophomore Denis Biglin, junior Mitchell Campbell, sophomore Charlie Goldberg, freshman Damien Hammond, freshman Jacob Hempel and junior Mackenzie Nelson.


The 26th annual ALS Memorial Open, one of the largest charity events in the Capital Region, will be played June 29 at Van Patten Golf Course. Last year’s tournament raised a tournament-record $150,000 for St. Peter’s ALS Regional Center. There will be two squads: 7 a.m. (108 maximum golfers) and noon (200 maximum golfers). Entry fee will be $165 per player or $660 per foursome. Contact Scott Daly (339-0491) or Luke Michaels (899-6311) for more information.

Don’t forget to report holes-in-one-one and eagles. Email them to me with name, contact information, course and hole played, with yardage, club used and any other pertinent information.

Categories: -Sports-

Leave a Reply