Down the Fairway: Top 10 Golfing Moments in the Capital Region

Despite one of the wettest summers in recent memory, the Capital Region has enjoyed a few fabulous months of top-level golfing moments and notable accomplishments.

Here is the list of the top 10 longtime scribes.

1. A native of Gloversville and Amsterdam businessman, Lance Orcutt purchases the 27-hole Van Patten Golf Club in Clifton Park and plans to make a number of major changes to it, including a major overhaul by famed architect from Rees Jones course and the possibility of integrating an 18-hole frame. Classes. Orcutt will install a new drainage and irrigation system and purchase new carts with a GPS system. He has already hired a new executive chef for the property’s Vista restaurant.

2. Dan Russo, of Hagaman, 63, not only won his second NYS Senior Men’s Amateur Golf Championship, but he also qualified for the prestigious US Senior Amateur and secured a spot in match play. He won 19 major championships in the Capital Region, including 9 CRAGA Stroke Play titles, and he competed in 13 USGA National Championships.

3. Paul Pratico, 60, tied Jim Mueller for most Schenectady Classic wins with his eighth at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. The former pro who also has a senior NYS male amateur title on his resume shot a three-day total of 216 pairs.

4. Relatively Unknown Lucas Sirois of Connecticut won the Schenectady Senior Classic by four strokes over Pratico for his first victory in a local major tournament. He totaled 3 under par of 141 over two days and was stable throughout the course, especially with his excellent ball hitting.

5. Heidi Harkins of Ballston Spa CC, a former Siena College girls basketball star, successfully battled nerves to win her first Northeastern Women’s Golf Association Championship at Colony Golf & Country Club.

6- par nine and three birdies on his last four holes at Pinehaven CC. The first-ever Section II Women’s Individual Champion has had an exceptional summer competing in the prestigious US Girls’ Junior Championship and the PGA Junior Championship. She is a former National Drive, Chip & Putt finalist at Augusta National Golf Club.

7. The Capital Region has hosted three New York State Golf Association events with the NYS Men’s Amateur at Schuyler Meadows Club, the NYS Women’s Senior & Super Senior Championship at Pinehaven CC and the NYS Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Shaker Ridge CC. It was a great showcase for the best players in the state on some of our local course gems. Locals were competitive in all three events.

8. Scott Berliner, 46, pro assistant at Saratoga Spa Golf Course, saw his incredible NENY PGA Stroke Play championship run end at 10 in a row by pro chef Eric Mabee from CC Pittsfield to CC Troy in May , but the Berliner bounced back to win two more majors, the Donald Ross Classic and the NENY PGA Professional Championship, where he was an exceptional 13 under par for two days at Hiland Park CC.

9. AJ Cavotta, the former Saratoga Springs High School star who this spring won the NEC Conference Second Team and Northeastern Conference Rookie of the Year honors for Southern New Hampshire University, s ‘qualifies for both the US Open sectional competition and the NYS Open at Bethpage State Park on Long Island. He also won the Saratoga County Amateur.

10. Mary Jo Kelly of Wolferts Roost CC won the NYS Women’s Super Senior Amateur Golf Championship by two strokes in her first event in this age group at Pinehaven CC. Kelly is a former NYS Women’s Amateur titlist, six-time NEWGA Champion, multiple-time Women’s Amateur Gazette winner, and 30-time Roost Club Champion. She was also one of the best ball players in the Capital Region along with her longtime partner Elaine Sauers.


Scott Warren, the 51-year-old CEO of Pinehaven CC, will be stepping down at the end of the season to open his own business, an indoor golf studio called SimGOLF located at 1451 State Highway 5S in Amsterdam.

Warren aims to open the facility, which will include five simulators and a small restoration operation, in early November.

The graduate of Guilderland High School began his career as a pro assistant at Pinehaven CC. He became the head pro in 1999 and became club manager in 2015. He was also the former assistant coach of women’s basketball at Guilderland for five years and has been a golf coach at the College of Saint Rose since 2012. He will continue in this direction. position.

“I’ll miss everything about Pinehaven CC,” said Warren. “I have been at Pinehaven CC since 1996, and in many ways I grew up there and spent most of my adult life. I have had incredible experiences. During my time there we have hosted several state championships and had a great opportunity to host a professional event with this year’s Twin Bridges Championship. We also celebrated our 50th anniversary at the club. I was fortunate that there were so many members out there who treated me so well and were so generous to me and my family. I appreciate them very much and I will miss them.

“I can’t wait to make new golf friends and meet new people. I am also delighted to invite my friends and Pinehaven CC members to come and see me and my new business. I will be able to offer them a unique experience.

While Warren was the Head Pro, he owned the pro shop dealership, managed golf operations, ran tournaments, and attended educational programs. When he became General Manager his duties shifted to coordinating and recruiting outings and new members, managing the budget, overseeing club and pool operations, and updating the club’s website. club.


Local Section II high school students begin the golf sections on Tuesday with the BCD Class Tournament at Fairways of Halfmoon and Wednesday with the Class A Tournament, also at Fairways of Halfmoon. State qualifiers continue at Fairways of Halfmoon from October 16-17.

The local girls will compete in their section tournament in all divisions on October 12 at the McGregor Links Country Club.


Justin Hearley, pro assistant at Normanside CC, teamed up with Don DeNyse, another Christian Brothers Academy graduate, to shoot 11 under par over 27 holes to win the Bill Moll Memorial Triple Play Tournament on Monday at Eagle Crest Golf Club. Each nine holes used a different team format.

Hales Mills CC is hosting the Spackler’s Impossible Pin Tournament on Sunday at 10 a.m. The registration fee is $ 55 for non-members and $ 45 for members. The team’s total handicap for the four-a-side scramble must be at least 40. Entry fees include hot dogs on the turn, chili and burgers after golf. Call the pro shop at 518-733-4622 for more information.

Eagle Crest GC will be hosting its 31st Annual Scramblemania on Friday at noon. Cost is $ 95 per player and includes golf, cart, beer, soda, pie, and chili all day during play, appetizers, dinner, and post-tournament dessert. There will be gross and net prizes per team, as well as a set of skins. The team handicap will be based on 10 percent of the total team handicap. All players must have established verifiable handicaps to be eligible for the net prizes.

Briar Creek Golf Course hosts its October-Fest Friday. The cost for the four-person scramble is $ 75 and includes golf, cart, lunch and a buffet dinner after the tournament. Beer and soda will also be included. There will be a continental breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by a shotgun departure at 10 a.m. Dial 518-355-6145 to reserve your spot.

University of Albany sophomore Amber Thornton broke women’s golf team records for a score of 18 holes (66) and a total of 54 holes (210) en route to claim the individual title at the Princeton Invitational this week. The Great Danes finished fifth as a team.

The Bob Haggerty two-man championship at the Schenectady municipal golf course is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday with an entry fee of $ 150 per person. The entrance fee includes a cart, lunch on the first day and dinner on the second day. Call Schenectady Municipal at 518-381-3155 for more information.

The 23rd annual Airway Meadows Golf Club Oktoberfest is scheduled for Sunday. The registration fee for the four-party scramble will be $ 120 for non-members. There will be a minimum of 72 players and a maximum of 144, with competition divided into three or four flights, depending on the number of entries. Entrance fees include golf, cart, lunch on the turn, beer, wine, and soda from noon and a steak and chicken dinner afterwards. Call 518-792-4144 for more information.

Berliner (see Top 10 Season Highlights above) won the NENY PGA Assistants Match Play Championship by beating Albany CC’s Andrew Daily 6 & 4 in the final at Wyantenuck CC. Dal Daily completed a sweep of the senior NENY PGA majors by defeating Tom Oppedisano of Skidmore College 3 & 2 in the Senior Match Play final. Local club pros take part in their last major event with their Tour Championship on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Country Club in Pittsfield. The Rolex Player of the Year will be designated there.


Matt Sypniewski used a pitching wedge for his ace on the 141-yard fifth hole at Stadium Golf Club.

At the Country Club in Troy, Dennis Gagnon recorded his first hole-in-one on the 129-yard second hole with a 5-hybrid.

Rit Lackey used a 6 iron for his ace on the 13th hole, and Mike Brown recorded a hole-in-one on the 17th hole at the Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.

UAlbany’s Thornton has been on a hot streak lately. She also recorded her second career hole-in-one on the 10th hole at Wolferts Roost Country Club in a practice round.

Evan Spoth of Shenendehowa High School collected his first career ace on the 13th hole at Edison Club with a 5 iron in a Suburban Council game with Shaker.

Contact Bob Weiner at [email protected]

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