NENY PGA recognizes Bob Weiner with Distinguished Service Award

Long-time Daily Gazette golf columnist Bob Weiner has been named the first recipient of the NENY PGA's Doug Evans Distinguished Service Award. 

Long-time Daily Gazette golf columnist Bob Weiner has been named the first recipient of the NENY PGA's Doug Evans Distinguished Service Award.


SCHENECTADY – Long-time Daily Gazette golf columnist Bob Weiner was playing in a tournament at Saratoga National sponsored by the Northeastern New York PGA a few years ago, and one of his drives went out of bounds.

He wasn’t sure where to take a legal drop. But, as always, Doug Evans was there, at your service.

“I’m trying to figure out what to do,” Weiner recalled on Wednesday afternoon. “He drives up, he’s got a smile on his face and says, ‘Sooo, what’s up there, Bob?’ He said, ‘Look, the rules are supposed to help you, and my job is to try to help you get the best out of this situation as you can. And I know, Bob, you don’t want to go against the rules.’

“Then two holes later, I hit it out of bounds again, and who’s there but Doug Evans. This time, I kind of knew what to do.”

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Evans, who died at the age of 53 in 2020, was deeply devoted to his job as the NENY PGA’s tournament director and assistant executive director of the Northeastern New York PGA, so it was fitting for the organization to name its inaugural Distinguished Service Award after him.

Equally fitting, the NENY PGA selected Weiner, who helped organize a variety of Gazette-sponsored tournaments along with his writing duties, to be the first recipient of this award.

Weiner will accept it on Thursday at the annual NENY PGA banquet at Albany Country Club.

“Bob is well-regarded and well-liked in the golf community, which is a winning combination,” Gazette Editor Miles Reed said. “He doesn’t just cover the players and the tournaments. He writes about the whole community, both public and private, and he does it with aplomb.”

“Bob Weiner is the pre-eminent golf writer in the Capital Region,” Gazette Sports Editor Ken Schott said. “His weekly ‘Down the Fairway’ column is a must-read for Capital Region golfers. Nothing gets by him. Bob is deserving of this honor by the NENY PGA. Congratulations to Bob.”

Weiner started writing ‘Down the Fairway’ in 1988.

The sports editor at the time, Butch Walker, informed Weiner that, along with column and tournament coverage responsibilities, helping to run the Gazette-sponsored tournaments, which included the County Amateur, Senior Am, Women’s Am and junior event, came with the job.

“Butch said, ‘We run four tournaments, and you have to help out with them,’” Weiner said. “I said, ‘Butch, no problem.’”

Besides that, Weiner was also instrumental in bringing the Challenge Cup, which pits the NENY PGA pros against Capital Region amateurs in a Ryder Cup-style format, to the local schedule.

He was approached by Cobleskill Golf & Country Club head pro Dal Daily with the idea of  resurrecting the old Smith Cup, named for long-time Wolferts Roost pro Bob Smith.

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“We went to the Gazette powers that be, and they got it done,” Weiner said.

For the last five years, Weiner has served as the honorary captain of the amateur team.

He had won the NENY PGA’s journalism award three times, but the Distinguished Service Award carries extra meaning, Weiner said, because of what it signifies, but also because of who it’s named for.

“He was tremendous. He knew all the rules, the whole works,” Weiner said. “Really fun guy, a very dry sense of humor. Everybody loved him. And he really was responsible for expanding the PGA’s junior program to where it’s incredible now, with about 20 events for the kids. And they all loved him, too.

“[Amsterdam Municipal head pro] Kevin Canale called me and said, ‘Bob, I’ve got a surprise for you. It’s one of the best things that I’ve ever had to do.’ It was really cool. For me to be up for that award, and for it to be named after Doug, is just fantastic. That adds a lot, because to know Doug the way I did, and every single pro admired him so much, that award is fantastic. He was one of a kind, and to win this award, named after him, was just really, really exceptional.”

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