Willie MacFarlane
1975

William "Willie" MacFarlane was born in Scotland but came to America and eventually took a position as a club professional at Oak Ridge Golf Club in Tuckahoe, NY. In 1925 he won the U.S. Open at Worcester Country Club, needing a second eighteen-hole playoff to beat Bobby Jones by one stroke. MacFarlane won 21 times on what would have been considered the PGA Tour in those days. Among his most significant wins were triumphs in two Met Open Championships. He played in seven PGA Championships, going to the semifinals in his best finish and winning nearly 60% of the matches he played. MacFarlane beat two other greats of the game when he topped Johnny Farrell in a playoff at the 1930 Met Open at Fairview and beat Paul Runyan by a shot at the 1933 Met Open at Winged.

 

 

Jack Mackie
1963

Jack Mackie was one of the 6 members of the first organizational committee for the founding of the PGA of America. In 1916 he was elected to the Metropolitan PGA Executive Committee which then also gave him a seat on the National Executive Committee.  He then served as the National President the PGA of America (1919-1920)held several other elected offices finally transitioning to Treasurer from 1927-1939. This 23 years of service making him the longest serving officer in the Association’s history. He moved to New York beginning at Dunwoodie CC around 1906. In May 1917 he became the Professional at Inwood CC on Long Island where he finished out his career. At Inwood he hosted the 1921 PGA and 1923 US Open while also adding his architectural touches by redesigning several holes.
 


 

Tony Manero
1976

Tony Manero was born in New York, New York. He was an eight time winner on the PGA Tour and played on the victorious 1937 PGA Ryder Cup Team captained by Walter Hagen and contested in Southport England. Manero posted a 1-1 record in those matches. Manero played in 10 PGA Championships, 14 Masters, and 20 U.S. Opens. Of course he is best known for his 1936 triumph at Baltusrol when playing along side the steadying influence of Gene Sarazen, he fired a final round 67 and posted what at that time was the best score ever (282) in either a US Open or British Open Championship. That score also snatched victory away from the luckless Harry Cooper who had posted a record breaking score of 284 and was regarded as the certain winner. The Manero name was a fixture in Westchester where Tony served as the professional at Fairview Country Club.


 

Jack Mallon
1978

Few professionals had the impact on the image of the Metropolitan PGA the way that Jack Mallon did. He was the ultimate “gentleman pro,” and an incredible ambassador for the game and the association. His tenure in the Metropolitan PGA included head professional stints at three top area clubs; He started at Garden City Country Club, then moved to Cold Spring and finished his career at Wheatley Hills where he was beloved. As a teacher, his reputation was second to none and he had top amateurs and beginners coming to him for lessons from miles around. He got involved in the leadership of the Section and in 1960 succeeded Claude Harmon as President. His two year tenure along with Harmon’s one year helped usher in a new era of governance after more than three decades of John Inglis’ administration. Mallon also went on to become a Vice-President of the PGA of America, serving three years in that role of national involvement. Jack was a two-time selection as Metropolitan PGA Professional of the Year and was the very first Sam Snead Award winner for his contributions to the game and the Section. Mallon was not a player with a national resume, but was still among the area elite, boasting two back-to-back Long Island PGA Championships in 1953 and 1954.


 

Dave Marr
1980

Dave Marr followed the footsteps of his golf professional father, turning professional at age 19. A short time later, Marr took a job as an assistant club pro to Claude Harmon at Winged Foot Golf Club. He began playing regularly on the PGA Tour in 1960, and in that year earned his first professional win. A year later, he won his second and third PGA Tour events. He also won the Met PGA Championship in 1962 while playing out of Rockaway Hunting Club. Marr joined the elite of the golfing world in 1965 when he captured the coveted PGA Championship at Laurel Valley Golf Club, was named to the Ryder Cup team and was selected PGA Player of the Year. Marr served as a golf analyst for ABC from 1972 until 1991. He also established a golf course architectural and design firm in 1981, designing many courses in the greater Houston area. Marr was elected to the National Collegiate Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 1978. He was selected for the Gold Tee Award presented by the Met Golf Writers in 1990 and posthumously was selected as the 2001 recipient of the Met PGA’s Sam Snead Award for contributions to golf, the PGA and the Met Section.


 

Jim McLean
2013

Jim McLean’s career as a golf professional has very strong ties to the Met Section. Jim taught at Westchester from 1975 – 1979, was the Head Pro at Sunningdale from 1979 – 1982, was the Head Pro at Quaker Ridge from 1983-1987, and returned in 1988 after a one year stint in California to spend 5 years as Director of Golf at Sleepy Hollow. Jim is probably best known for his research on the golf swing and his work on The X-Factor, which describes in detail, body motions, body angles and body positions. The X-Factor and Y-Factor are just a few terms Jim has coined in over 3 decades of golf research. Jim has produced videos and authored books that were long time best sellers in their respective categories. Jim’s knowledge and expertise developed into an international brand as he became the owner of the Jim McLean Golf Schools which include: Doral Golf Resort, PGA WEST, La Quinta Resort, Texas Golf Center, Mayakoba Resort, Golf Santander, Red Ledges, and Miami Beach Golf Club. Jim’s professional achievements and awards are many, and include participation on several National PGA Committees. He has been an instruction editor for Golf Digest, The Golf Channel, Golf Magazine, and Golf Illustrated. McLean has led over 50 national teaching and playing workshops for the PGA of America and has been the featured speaker at 6 PGA Teaching Summits. Jim has taught more than 100 PGA Tour, LPGA and Senior PGA Tour players including: Dana Quigley, Hal Sutton, Brad Faxon, Tom Kite, Sergio Garcia, Lenny Mattiace, Curtis Strange, Bernhard Langer, Cristie Kerr, Blaine McCallister, Ben Crenshaw, Jerry Pate, Gary Player, Liselotte Neuman, Peter Jacobsen & Steve Elkington. Jim was honored by the Met PGA as the 1986 Teacher of the Year, and the 1987 Horton Smith Award. Perhaps McLean’s crowning award was being selected for the coveted PGA National Teacher of the Year in 1994. Jim was an All-American at the University of Houston and his playing achievements include being one of the few people to qualify for the US Junior, the US Amateur (4 times) the US Open (2 times) and the US Senior Open. McLean made the cut in the Masters. Jim won the Northwest Open and was a 3 time winner of the Pacific Northwest Amateur. Jim qualified for the PGA Professional National Championship ten times. Jim was also named 1st alternate to the US World Cup Team in 1972. He played on the PGA Tour during the winter of 1982. In the Met Section, Jim won the 1987 Westchester PGA Championship, is twice a winner of the Met PGA Pro-Pro and Pro-Assistant, and was runner-up at the Met PGA Championship 1993.


 

Gil McNally
2008

For 32 years Gil McNally served as the head professional at Garden City Golf Club following a short stint as the head professional at Deepdale GC. Gil McNally held the reigns of the Section Presidency in the mid-'80's during one of the more progressive periods in Section history. During his tenure, the Section inaugurated the Squire Cup Matches and also established a Women’s Metropolitan Open Championship through a sponsorship that Gil arranged. He was also involved with a search for a homesite and/or teaching facility that came to fruition in 2001 with the advent of the Section’s involvement in the First Tee. These initiatives are still thriving and celebrate the diversity of programming in the Met Section A two time winner of the Section's Professional of the Year Award (1984 and 1989), Gil was also the Bill Strausbaugh employment award recipient in 1985 as well as being named the Teacher of the Year in 1991. In 2007, Gil was named the 34th recipient of the prestigious Sam Snead Award for contributions to golf, the PGA and the Met Section.


 

Bill Mehlhorn
1976

Bill Mehlhorn won 20 times on the PGA Tour, but did not win a major championship. Only a handful of golfers have won more often on the PGA Tour without claiming a major. His best finish was runner-up to Walter Hagen at the 1925 PGA Championship. In all, Mehlhorn played in 12 PGA Championships during his career. He also was a member of the very first, formal Ryder Cup team, captained by Walter Hagen that won the inaugural matches by a score of 9 1/2 to 2 1/2 at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts. While serving as professional at Fenimore Golf Club, Mehlhorn won the 1929 Met Open contested at Lido Golf Club posting a 3 stroke margin over Wiffy Cox. Hailing from Texas, Mehlhorn often wore cowboy hats on the course and was nicknamed "Wild Bill".


 

Eddie Merrins
2013

Affectionately known as “The Little Pro,” Eddie Merrins is one of the most accomplished and decorated golf professionals in the annals of the PGA. After starting his career at Merion Golf Club, Merrins moved to New York where he was elected to PGA Membership and spent a year as a teaching professional at Westchester Country Club and two years as the head professional at Rockaway Hunting Club on Long Island. During that tenure he won both the 1961 Metropolitan PGA Championship and the 1961 Long Island Open. An outstanding collegiate golfer at LSU, Merrins won the SEC title twice (in 1953 and ’54) and was the NCAA runner-up in 1952. As a professional he competed in over 200 PGA Tour events, 8 USGA Open Championships, 6 PGA Championships, 2 British Opens and 6 PGA Club Professional Championships. In 1962, Merrins was named the head professional at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, where he still serves as Professional Emeritus to this day. In addition to his professional duties, he also served as the UCLA Men’s Golf Coach from 1975-1989 where he helped develop 16 All-Americans, including 2 NCAA Players of the Year, Corey Pavin and Duffy Waldorf. Merrins guided the team to a #1 ranking, an NCAA National Championship, three PAC 10 Championships and earned PAC 10 Coach of the Year honors three times as well. While he was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 2009, it is just one of many honors and Halls of Fame that he has been elected into including the Southern California PGA, NCAA Coaches, UCLA Athletic, Mississippi Sports, Southern California Golf, California Golf Writers, LSU Athletic and the World Golf Teachers Halls of Fame.


 

William A. Mitchell
1998

One of the most popular and most decorated members of the Met Section prior to his untimely death in 1997, this former Met PGA President was responsible for the Section's successful travel events to a variety of venues in the US and internationally. Mitchell was universally loved and was a fixture at PGA National Meetings and one of the Section’s most effective delegates. He was instrumental in the development of the Playing Ability test and National PGA Junior Championship. He served on the PGA’s Board of Control as well as on a number of committees and task forces. Billy was twice the Met PGA's Professional of the Year ('79 and '83) and twice the Strausbaugh recipient ('81 & '82) before winning the National Award in 1996 when he was renominated for that honor the fifth time. He was also selected as the 1996 recipient of the Sam Snead Award for his contributions to golf, the PGA and the Met Section.


 

Joe Moresco
1988

Joe Moresco’s career spans more than 5 decades including more than 40 years at The Woodmere Club as their head professional. A native of Staten Island, Moresco returned home from four years at Notre Dame with a major in English, and that year claimed the Staten Island Amateur Championship title. After a stint in the army, he turned professional and took a job at River Oaks in Texas. That opened a door for him at Winged Foot where he worked for Claude Harmon in 1960 before being hired at Woodmere in 1961. Moresco blended great playing skills with a passion for teaching. Those qualities also embodied his philosophy while serving almost every office in the Met PGA hierarchy as well as a three-year stint as a PGA of America Vice-President in 1981-1984. Moresco was President of the Met PGA in 1969 and 1970 and was the Section’s Professional of the Year in 1971, the Horton Smith Nominee in 1976, Teacher of the Year in 1992 and the Sam Snead Award recipient in 1999. Joe qualified for a number of National Championships, including 4 US Opens and won the LIPGA in 1961, when he was named Long Island’s PGA Player of the Year. He has continued to stay active as a player and still teaches back in Texas.


 

Tom Nieporte
1983

Tom Nieporte turned pro in 1953 after a successful college career at Ohio State University and played full-time on the PGA Tour for five years. In those days, however he only traveled with the Tour when he was not working as a club professional. Nieporte moved from an assistants post at Siwanoy to become the head professional at Piping Rock Club from 1963-1978, and from 1979 until his retirement in 2005, he was the head man at Winged Foot Golf Club. He won three PGA Tour events. The biggest win of his career came in 1967 at the Bob Hope Desert Classic where the Championship Trophy was presented to Nieporte by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Bob Hope. His best finish in a major was T5 at the 1964 PGA Championship. Nieporte was the 1966 Met Open Champion and he won the Met PGA Championship in 1971. He was the 1996 Met PGA Professional of the Year and the 2004 Bill Strausbaugh Award recipient in the Met Section that qualified him to win the National PGA Award in 2005. Tom and his family were named Family of the Year by the Met Golf Writers in 1997.


 

Jack Patroni
1979

Jack Patroni was a fixture at Apawamis Club where he served as their head professional and became a mentor to a number of successful club professionals and playing professionals. Among the young assistants that were touched by Patroni’s wisdom and guidance were Miller Barber, Terry Wilcox, Jerry Coats and his eventual successor, Frank Cardi. Patroni qualified for a number of US Open and PGA Championships but some of his best performances came in his later years in the PGA Senior Championship. He played in 8 of the oldest senior majors, making 5 cuts, finishing in the top 25 three times and boasting a tie for 6th in his best finish in 1958. His record locally was also strong and included runner up finishes in the Met PGA, the Westchester PGA and Westchester Open. His greatest accomplishment, however, was his victory in the 1964 Met Open at Briar Hall when he won the Championship over Al Feminelli and Wes Ellis, at the age of 57, the oldest Met Open Champion ever.

 

Jerry Pittman
2018

Originally from Oklahoma, Jerry turned professional after a successful college career at SMU. He played the PGA Tour for several years in the early 1960's, with a tie for 5th at the New Orleans Open his best finish. Coming to the Met Section as an assistant at Westchester CC, he promptly won the Met PGA and the Met Open in 1965, establishing himself as a top player. In 1968, now the head professional at The Creek Club, he put together an astonishing performance. At the Masters, he shot 282, 6 under, and finished tied for 7th, only five shots back of the winner. At the US Open, he returned 285 and again finished tied for 7th, this time one shot clear of five major champions, including Snead, Casper, and Stockton. At the PGA Championship at Pecan Valley he finished tied for 37th. Sensing the moment, he entered the British Open, went over and qualified, but missed the cut at Carnoustie. For good measure, he added the 1968 Met Open and Long Island Open. At the Met Open, he and runner up Jimmy Wright produced 14 birdies between them in an epic final round. In 1973, he was selected as the head professional at Seminole, also serving as head professional at The Creek and Saucon Valley for a number of years. In those roles, he would mentor and guide hundreds of assistant professionals and staff, including future National PGA Professional of the Year honoree Tom Henderson. While serving on the Met PGA Board of Directors, he was the Co-Chairman of the Membership Committee, and helped originate the written exam and oral interview, at that time the final hurdles for election to PGA membership. A consummate professional, "Pitt" as he was known to his pals and rivals, exemplified the highest levels of teaching, playing, and service. His feat of playing in all four major championships in the same year as a full-time club professional has never been done before or since.

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