Dave Semione is a familiar face at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. A stats guru who keeps track of birdies and bogeys for several of Muni’s most popular leagues, the 55-year-old Linton High School and SUNY Schenectady grad has also accomplished more than his share of accolades at his favorite course.
Semione is the league secretary for both the Van Vranken league and the C.W. Players league. A member of the Van Vranken league for 33 years, he’s been its secretary for 29 of those seasons. He’s not only won a league title in the VVL in five different decades, something done only twice in league history, but he’s also won three championships consecutively two different times. In all, he’s won the Van Vranken championship 16 times and the C.W. Players crown six times. He also played in the Mohawk Valley league for six seasons.
A former president of Schenectady’s Golf Advisory board for four years, Semione also helped create and then run the popular Tournament of Champions event, which pits all the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course champs against each other in a match-play event to cap the season every fall. He’s won the T of C twice during his 23-year run as event coordinator.
Additionally, Semione was president of the Schenectady traveling league for 10 years, and he’s become a well known figure in Muni’s many four-person charity/fund raising tournaments. Semione has been a member of a staggering 76 team tournament victories, most of them including good friend Mike Salvatore.
An all-around athlete in his youth, Semione competed in five sports — baseball, basketball, golf, bowling and soccer — during his scholastic career. He continued to excel at SUNY Schenectady as a pitcher in baseball, and he also made the bowling team for the Royals.
Semione didn’t pick up a golf club until his older brother, Lou, introduced him to the sport as a junior in high school.
“He told me to at least try it just for fun,” Semione said. “I liked it pretty much right from the start.”
A long hitter in his youth, two back surgeries and two more shoulder surgeries killed his long game.
“Now, my power game is out the window. Chipping and putting are my strengths now,” he said.
In his prime, Semione competed in the Schenectady Classic, formerly the Gazette Schenectady County Amateur, more than 20 times. His best finish was 23rd out of 160 players one year.
Among his notable achievements are 12 hole-out eagles from the fairway from between 50 and 135 yards, and three career rounds in the 60s. He shot a 67 at Briar Creek, at 69 at Kingsboro Golf Club in Gloversville and a 69 at Thousand Island Country Club near the Canadian border.
“I’ve never had a hole-in-one in all of these years, but I did come within eight inches on one attempt, six inches on another and four inches on still another. I’m still trying,” he said with a chuckle.
Semione recalled that his favorite golf moment was watching his brother score a rare double-eagle in the Schenectady Bob Haggerty Two-Man Classic.
“He hit a driver and a 6-iron that went right into the cup on the second hole. It was pretty exciting,” Semione said.
Although his own numbers swinging the clubs are impressive, Semione said he enjoys tracking other players’ statistics even more as a longtime league secretary.
“It keeps me busy,” he said. “It takes two to three hours of my time every week with all the stats, handicaps and schedules. I really enjoy it. I also like all the extra stuff, like putting out year-end tallies of all the players’ stats and averages,” Semione said.
Last weekend’s Schenectady Classic and Schenectady Women’s Classic were extremely well run, as usual, with a field of 110 players competing in the two divisions.
The women’s field grew to 30 players, up considerably from the last two seasons, while the men’s field not only continued to grow, but also drew an extremely competitive field that was loaded with many players on the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association point list.
It was quite an exciting finish, with Paul Pratico holding off Kyle Adams and Lance Hope for his record-tying eighth title in the men’s division.
Laura Couch of Mohawk Golf Club needed a career-best, even-par 72 in the final round to secure the crown in the women’s division.
Hats off to Schenectady Municipal Golf Course head pro Matt Daley and his staff for helping to put on one of the best events in local golf.
NYS WOMEN’S AMATEUR DRAWS LOCAL FIELD
The Capital Region will be well represented when the 91st NYS Women’s Amateur Championship and the 12th NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship are held Monday and Tuesday at Teugega Country Club in Rome.
There are 69 players in the combined field. The NYS Women’s Amateur division will play 54 holes. After the first round, that field will be cut in half, plus anyone within 10 strokes of the lead. The remaining competitors will play 36 holes the second day. The NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur division, for women 25 years of age and older, will play 36 holes without a cut.
Notable local women in the field are 65-year-old Mary Jo Kelly of Wolferts Roost CC, who is a former NYS Women’s Amateur champion, a six-time NEWGA victor, a 30-time club champ at the Roost and a multiple winner of the Gazette Women’s Amateur Championship; former NYS Senior Women’s Amateur winner Sue Kahler of Ballston Spa CC, who also has two NEWGA victories, two NYS Mixed Team victories and a couple of Gazette Women’s Amateur crowns to her credit; three-time NEWGA champ and former Schenectady Women’s Classic winner Pat Mayne of Western Turnpike; former Schenectady Women’s Classic winner Mary Scatena of Pinehaven CC; former NEWGA champ Karen Feldman of Olde Kinderhook; and defending NEWGA titlist Rachel Barlette of Shaker Ridge CC.
Other locals competing include Rudder Hulce (NYSGA eClub-Capital District), Debra DiMaggio (Ballston Spa CC), Kathy Harkins (Ballston Spa CC), Heidi Harkins (Ballston Spa CC),Megan Bowman (Capital Hills at Albany), Abigail Laime (Ballston Spa CC), local junior standout Nicole Criscone (Eagle Crest GC), University at Albany product Madison Walker (NYSGA eClub-Capital District), Amber Pennington (Wiltwyck Golf Club), Mary Gersec (Wiltwyck Golf Club), Laura Rentz (Olde Kinderhook), Isabella Diaz (NYSGA eClub-Capital District), Schuyler Lorette (Burden Lake CC) and Mollie Thomas (NYSGA eClub-Capital District).
Guilderland native Bob Royak has enjoyed a tremendous month of golf. The 59-year-old resident of Alpharetta, Georgia first won the Georgia Mid-Amateur and the National Senior Hall of Fame Championship during the last two weeks before earning one of five spots in Monday’s qualifier at the Firestone Country Club’s Fazio Course for the Senior Open Championship to be held July 22-25 at Sunningdale Golf Club in Berkshire, England. Royak not only won the 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship but also has a pair of top-10 finishes at the British Amateur Championship.
Former assistant pro Chris Bentrovato, who sat out last season because of the pandemic and staff restrictions, returns to Schenectady Municipal Golf Course beginning Sunday.
Leatherstocking Golf Club in Cooperstown hosts the NENY PGA Pro Classic No. 3 Monday.
Colonie Golf & Country Club entertains the local qualifier for the NYS Men’s Amateur Golf Championship on July 6.
The next NEWGA event will be the Four-Person Team Play Championship at McGregor Links CC July 7.
The seventh annual Tom Donato Memorial Golf Tournament is set for Aug. 29 at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. Entry fee is $125 for the four-person scramble and includes 18 holes with cart, hot dog and beers at the turn, a lunch buffet, a free T-shirt, several prizes and a 50/50 raffle. For more information, call Tommy Donato at 518-788-0771.
Dwight Hadley aced the 23rd hole with a 5-wood at The Edison Club.
Bruce McLean used a 6-iron for his hole-in-one on the 173-yard ninth hole at Airway Meadows Golf Club.
Walt Jaskot holed out for an eagle with a 9-iron from 110 yards on the 575-yard par-5 14th hole at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course while playing in the Maqua Major league.
Also at Schenectady Municipal, Dave Graham Sr. eagled the par-5 12th hole, Ceferino Alcaide recorded his first eagle by nailing a wedge shot from 102 yards out on the par-5 second hole and Tim Ferrara eagled the par-5 16th hole while competing in the CYC Realty league.
Clyde Driggers holed out with a lob wedge on the par-4 third hole for an eagle at Mechanicville Golf Club.
Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected].
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