Former Cobleskill Golf & Country Club head pro Dal Daily used to dominate the Northeastern New York PGA the way Hiland Golf Club assistant pro Scott Berliner, the six-time section Player of the Year, does currently. But the popular player and instructor moved back home to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to teach 11 years ago.
Daily, 57, flourished out west, but when he heard of an opening near his old stomping grounds at Windham Country Club in the Catskills, he made some inquiries. He ended up landing the job as the new Windham Country Club head pro this spring, and it didn’t take him long to fit right in again with the local pros.
Although giving up lots of years — and yardage off the tee — to the younger players in the section, he’s been finishing near the top of the standings. He finally broke through with his first victory since coming back to New York when he won the 2017 Senior Professional Championship last week at Ballston Spa Country Club. Daily advances to the PGA Senior Professional National Championship at Desert Mountain Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.
“It feels great not only to be back in the NENY PGA, but also to finally win a tournament back here,” Daily said. “Now, I’m playing in senior events with players like Peter Gerard, Jim Jeffers, Glenn Davis and Brian Lowe. They are the same guys I played with when I was in the section originally, only they are all a little older.
“I left Cobleskill in 2006. Although I’ve qualified for the National Club Pro Championship [the former name of the Professional Championship] four times in the last six years, I don’t think I ever won the qualifier before,” he said. “Four years ago, I got the chance to play in the PGA Championship, and I played in the same group with Kenny Perry and Gene Sauers. Perry out drove me by 70 yards. But the Professional Championship is the biggest event for all club pros, and I’ll never forget that experience.”
Daily originally moved to New York in 1989. He spent 11 years at the Roland Stafford School near Catskill and then eight more at Cobleskill G&CC, where he won four NENY PGA Stroke Play Championships and five Player of the Year accolades. He was also influential in helping to start the Gazette Challenge Cup, which pitted the local club pros against the top amateurs from the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association.
“Coming back to Windham CC has been fantastic. We’ve done so much here at the course to improve things. We even put the original first hole back in front of the clubhouse like it used to be,” he said. “Originally, I was going to spend half the year in New York and the other half of the year out west, but I want my sons to go to school here, so I’ve decided I’m going to move to New York full-time. I’ve spent one-third of my life in New York, and I love it. Windham CC is like a second home to me.”
While Daily shot back-to-back 72s for a 144 total to win the local Senior Professional Championship, Hiland Golf Club head pro Jim Jeffers was second with a 74-71-145. He also advances to Scottsdale.
Jeffers, the former head pro at Eagle Crest Golf Club, as well as a former assistant at The Edison Club and Pinehaven CC, is an Albany native who owns numerous course records in this area. He’s also won three NENY PGA Stroke Play titles and one Player of the Year award, but an injury kept him out of action all of last season. Apparently, he’s back to full strength.
The New York State Women’s Senior & Super Senior Amateur Championship will be held Monday and Tuesday at Corning Country Club. Mary Sicard of Queensbury Country Club is the defending champion.
Chuck Kuiber (79), Bob Donohue (82) and Tony Daiute (87) each shot their age at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.
At the 62nd Annual New York State Elks Junior Golf Tournament hosted by Orchard Creek Golf Club, Wyatt Pasarski of Rotterdam was second with a 76 in the boys’ 17-18 division, Logan Kerr, son of Mohawk Golf Club head pro Jeremy Kerr, represented the Rotterdam Elks and shot a 75 for second place in the boys’ 15-16 division and John Grant of Rotterdam was second in the boys’ 12-14 division with an 89.
Mohawk River Country Club & Chateau hosts the next Eastern New York Golf Association tournament on Wednesday.
Sarah Simson registered a hole-in-one on the 175-yard 25th hole with her driver at The Edison Club.
At Fairways of Halfmoon, Richard Strawbridge aced the fifth hole with a 9-iron.
Mike Drake eagled the second hole at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course while competing in the C.W. Payers league.
Paul Quivey also eagled the second hole at Schenectady Muni by holing out with a wedge from 85 yards.
At Briar Creek in the D&L league, Phil Sollecito eagled the 15th hole.
At Amsterdam Municipal, Brett Noonan (No. 3), Greg Semione (No. 3) and Dan Noonan (No. 17) recorded eagles.
Clyde Driggers eagled the par-4 12th hole with a sand wedge at Mechanicville Golf Club.
At Orchard Creek, Ben Smith eagled the 16th hole while playing in the Foremen league.