Jim Albus
1986

A native of Staten Island, Jim Albus was a gifted athlete and successful baseball player at Bucknell University. He came to golf late, turning professional at age 28. He began his club professional career at LaTourette on Staten Island before moving to Piping Rock Club in 1978. Jim dominated the local scene winning the Long Island Open, Long Island PGA, Dodge Open and Nissan Classic, New York State Open, two Met Opens and two Met PGA Championships. He also played in five US Opens and seven PGA National Championships. He was Met PGA Player of the Year in 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1988. While still serving Piping Rock, Jim launched his successful PGA Senior/Champions Tour career by winning the 1991 Senior Players Championship (a senior major) one of six tour victories. Albus was named the Met Section and the PGA of America’s Professional of the Year in 1990 and was the Sam Snead Award recipient in 2005.


Willie Anderson
1974

A Scottish immigrant to the United States who became the first golfer to win four U.S. Opens, with victories in 1901, 1903, 1904, and 1905. He is still the only man to win three consecutive titles, and only Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus have equaled his total of four championships. In the 14 straight Opens that he played, Anderson won four, was second once, third once, fourth twice, fifth three times, 11th twice and 15th once. Anderson was an original member of the PGA Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1975.


Jim Barnes
1974

Jim Barnes turned professional in 1906 and became known as "Long Jim" for his height of 6 feet 3 inches. Barnes won four majors including the very first PGA Championship at Siwanoy in 1916 as well as the 1919 PGA, the U.S. Open in 1921, and the British Open in 1925. Barnes' two PGA titles were the first in the event; there was no tournament in 1917 or 1918 because of World War I. His winning margin in the 1921 U.S. Open was nine strokes, a record which was not broken until the year 2000. Barnes was one of the most prolific tournament winners of the first few seasons of the PGA Tour, which was also founded in 1916. He won 21 times on the tour in total. In 1940, Barnes was honored as one of the 12 golfers to be inducted in the PGA's inaugural Hall of Fame. In 1989, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Barnes also worked in the Met Section including a stint as the professional of the now defunct Rockwood Hall Club in Tarrytown.


Herman Barron
1977

Herman Barron was born in Port Chester, New York. He was one of barely a dozen professional golfers who earned their living as touring professionals in the 1930s and 1940s. His first professional win came at the 1934 Philadelphia Open. He would go on to take the Met PGA Championship in 1937. On February 8, 1942, Barron became the first Jewish golfer to win an official PGA Tour event by winning the Western Open. During one three week stretch, he won the Philadelphia Inquirer Open, finished fourth in the U.S. Open, and won the All-American Championship at Tam O'Shanter in Chicago. He also won the 1954 Westchester Open and the 1963 Senior PGA Championship. Barron played on America's victorious 1947 Ryder Cup team. He then held the position of head professional at the Fenway Golf Club for 15 years. He is also enshrined in the Westchester Hall of Fame.


Gene Borek
1985

A 48-year member of the PGA of America and a Master PGA Professional, Gene Borek served the game, the Association and his memberships with unprecedented distinction. Gene was inducted into both the Westchester County and Yonkers Halls of Fame as well as one at the Metropolis Country Club where he served his final 25 years until his retirement in 2005. He not only was a former Met PGA Player of the Year but he also won almost every Section Award during his career. His list of achievements included three of the Met PGA’s highest honors – Professional of the Year in 1972, Teacher of the Year in 1996 and the Sam Snead Award in 2003. As a player he was perhaps best known for his course record 65 at Oakmont in the 1973 US Open (broken two days later by the Champion, Johnny Miller). No stranger to major championships, Gene played in a total of 11 PGA Championships, 10 US Opens, 10 PGA Senior Championships, 5 US Senior Opens and on 4 PGA Cup Teams. He won tournaments around the world but took special pride in the local titles he earned including three Met PGA Section Championships, three Long Island PGA’s, two Westchester PGA’s, two Long Island Opens, one Westchester Open and three MGA Senior Opens,. Gene also won the PGA National Stroke Play title (twice) and the PGA National Match Play Championship once. In addition to Metropolis he served the memberships of Sunningdale and Pine Hollow during his illustrious career.


Al Brosch
1977

Even in a Section as rich in playing talent as the Metropolitan PGA, perhaps no professional was as dominant a player as Al Brosch. The bespectacled and gentleman professional who served at Bethpage, Cherry Valley and Sands Point (where he ultimately finished his career), Brosch holds the record for both victory totals of the Long Island Open and the Metropolitan PGA Championships. He won his first Long Island Open in 1939 at Wheatley Hills before starting an incredible run in 1946 when he won his second LI Open title, and the first of six consecutive wins in that event. Even after his win in 1951 at Plandome, he was far from finished adding three more victories in 1953, 1956 and finally in 1959 at Rockville. Brosch was also a 6-time winner of the Met PGA Championship, dating from his first win in 1938 and including titles in 1941, 1947, 1950, 1952 and his final triumph in 1959. His 59 in a tour event at Breckenridge Park in San Antonio is another feat that has stood the test of time. Brosch was honored in 1975 as the Met Section’s second Sam Snead Award recipient for his contributions to golf, the PGA and the Met Section.


Jack Burke
1979

Jack Burke, Jr. turned professional in 1940. After serving four years with the Marines during World War II, he resumed his career in golf as a teaching professional in New Jersey. That was followed by a position as an assistant at Winged Foot Golf Club, where he was mentored by Claude Harmon. Burke eventually went on to become the head professional at Metropolis Country Club. He won the Met Open in 1949 at Metropolis, beating Gene Sarazen. Burke notched two lopsided victories in the 1951 Ryder Cup matches and was subsequently selected for the 1953, 1955, 1957, and 1959 teams. Burke won 16 PGA Tour events in his career, including the 1956 Masters and PGA Championship. He won the Vardon Trophy in 1952, a season in which he won four straight Tour events and was selected PGA Tour Player of the Year four years later in 1956. Jack Burke became the fifth recipient of the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000.


Frank Cardi
1983

Known more for his leadership qualities, Frank Cardi’s golf accomplishments date back to his teen and college years. He won the Ohio Amateur at age 18, and attended Ohio State where he captained their golf team and won the 1954 Big Ten Championship. In the Met Section he was a strong player (runner-up in the LIPGA three times) but quickly became involved in governance. He held every office on the Section level, including the Presidency from 1966-1968 while serving as the head professional at Rockaway Hunting Club. From there he moved to Apawamis Club in Rye and during his tenure there became more and more involved in National PGA politics. He campaigned for President of the Association in 1972 (eventually withdrawing) but was elected to office in 1974 and served as an Officer through 1982, including two years as President in 1979 and 1980 and his final two years as Honorary President. Cardi’s greatest accomplishments included expanding playing opportunities, improving the educational programs and finalizing the plans for PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. He was the Met PGA Professional of the Year in 1968, the Horton Smith Nominee in 1974 and the Sam Snead Award recipient in 1983.


Pat Cici
1988

Pat Cici began his golf career as most professionals did in the 20’s and 30’s as a caddy, first at Salisbury and eventually at Meadow Brook. He became an assistant at Meadow Brook in 1940 before moving back to Salisbury Links as their head professional for a decade starting in 1941. Cici later eventually owned his own range and was the head professional at both Lido and Cedar Brook. Known for his long driving, Cici was a solid player with wins in both the Long Island Open in 1941 and the LIPGA in 1947 and 1949. He was also runner-up in the LIPGA 3 times and the Met PGA once (to Al Brosch in 1947). Pat also amassed an impressive record of service to the PGA, golf and the community. He was on both the Section and National Rules Committees, was President of the Long Island Chapter and the Metropolitan PGA Section, served on a number of Committees and was honored by the Nassau Heart Association for his leadership in their charitable efforts.


Bill Collins
1981

Bill Collins won four PGA Tour events between 1959 and 1962. He was a member of the victorious 1961 Ryder Cup team at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in England. In 1965, he became the head professional at a new private club in Westchester, Brae Burn Country Club and remained there for 16 years. Collins won the Met PGA Championship in 1956 and then almost two decades later won again at Meadow Brook Club in 1975. That feat stands today as the greatest time between multiple championships in the tournament’s storied history. During his highly respected tenure at Brae Burn, Collins also served on the Met PGA Board of Governors and as the Section’s Tournament Chairman. He joined the Senior PGA Tour in 1982 and won the Greater Syracuse Senior's Pro Golf Classic in


Harry Cooper
1975

Jim Turnesa was born in New York City. He was one of seven famous golfing brothers; Phil, Frank, Joe, Mike, Doug, Jim, and Willie. All but Willie turned professional and Jim was the only one to win a major, the 1952 PGA Championship, besting Chick Harbert 1 up at Big Spring CC in Louisville, Kentucky. He had previously lost to Sam Snead in the 1942 PGA Championship final. Jim Turnesa played in a total of 23 PGA Championships and 16 US Opens, his best showing being a 3rd place finish in 1948 at Riviera. He won one other PGA Tour event, the 1951 Reading Open. Turnesa played on the 1953 Ryder Cup team where he won his singles match in Wentworth, England against Peter Alliss. He also won the 1959 Met Open Championship, beating Shelley Mayfield by a stroke at Woodmere Club. Among his professional posts in the Met Section were stints at Briar Hall in Westchester and Mill River on Long Island.


Wiffy Cox
1976

Like so many of the professionals of the era, Wilfred "Wiffy" Cox got his start as a caddie at Westchester County Courses, taking advantage of early morning and late evening playing opportunities. Cox’s PGA Tour record includes nine victories. He played in more than 20 Majors including 5 PGA Championships and 11 US Opens, with his best major finish a tie for third at the 1934 US Open and a 12th place finish in the 1937 Masters. He was a member of the 1931 Ryder Cup team that beat the Brits at Scioto in Ohio. Cox had a perfect 2 & 0 record, winning both at foursomes and singles in what was then a two-day event Cox was the head professional at Dyker Beach Golf Course from 1921 to 1935 before moving to the head professional’s job at Congressional Country Club.


Tom Creavy
1976

Tom Creavy was born in Tuckahoe, New York. The son of a carpenter and one of seven children, Creavy learned golf as a caddie and first worked as a professional at Bonie Briar in the Met Section. A fierce match play opponent, and somewhat a child prodigy, Creavy topped US Open champion Johnny Farrell in the quarterfinals of the Met PGA Championship at age 17 at Farrell’s home course, Quaker Ridge. He won the 1931 PGA Championship at Wannamoisett Country Club at age 20. He played in 11 major championships, including the inaugural Masters in 1934. Creavy was also the head professional at the Albany Country Club and Saratoga Spa. Creavy was also a respected teacher whose pupils later in his career included Tommy Aaron.


Bobby Cruickshank
1976

Bobby Cruickshank first rose to prominence in reaching the semi-finals of the 1922 and 1923 PGA Championship, losing both times to eventual champion Gene Sarazen. In 1923, Cruickshank also lost in a playoff at Inwood Country Club in the US Open to Bobby Jones, a win that helped catapult Jones to a legendary career. He was also the runner-up in the 1932 U.S. Open. Cruickshank won 17 PGA Tour events and finished 16 times in in the top-10 at major championships in his career. Cruickshank was runner-up in the qualifying at the very first Metropolitan PGA Championship and went on to lose in the semifinals while playing out of the Progress Club in Westchester. His greatest year was 1927, when he won the Los Angeles and Texas Opens and finished as the leading money winner for the year. He last won on tour in 1936.


Jimmy Demaret
1976

Jimmy Demaret won 31 PGA Tour events in a long career between 1935 and 1957 and was the first three-time winner of the Masters. In perhaps his best year, Demaret won the Masters, the Vardon Trophy and was leading money winner in 1947. During his outstanding career he played in 13 PGA Championships at Match Play winning 63% of his matches, never lost a Ryder Cup match and played in 17 US Opens with a runner-up finish in 1948 his highest finish. Demaret played on three Ryder Cup teams: 1947, 1949, and 1951 and totaled 24 Masters Championship appearances. Demaret was affiliated with The Concord Resort and represented them extremely well in regional events. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1983. In 2000, he was ranked as the 20th greatest golfer of all time by Golf Digest magazine.


Clarence Doser
1981

Clarence Doser was born in Rochester, New York in 1909. He grew up near the Rochester Country Club where his uncle and Walter Hagen were the co-professionals. In 1925 Doser turned pro and became a PGA member at age 16. He was a PGA member for more than 70 years. In 1937 he came to Philadelphia as the assistant at the Merion Cricket Club where he stayed for three years. Doser played in 21 PGA Championships, 19 U.S. Opens and three Masters Championships. When the PGA Championship was still played at match play he made it to the semi finals once and the quarterfinals once. Doser won the Western New York PGA Section Championship four times, the Metropolitan Section PGA Championship three times and the Middle Atlantic PGA Section Championship twice. Because of the strength of the field his three Met Section titles were considered the equivalent of wins on the PGA Tour at that time. Doser finished his career at Scarsdale and is a member of all three of those PGA Sections Halls of Fame.


Johnny Farrell
1975

Johnny Farrell was born in White Plains, New York and turned professional in 1922. In 1928, Farrell won the U.S. Open. He tied with amateur Bobby Jones after the regulation 72 holes, at the Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago, and won a 36-hole playoff by one stroke. He was voted the 1927 and 1928 Best Golf Professional in the United States, after a winning streak of six consecutive tournaments, on his road to a total of 22 career PGA Tour wins in addition to winning the Westchester Open and Met Open. He played for the United States in the first three Ryder Cups: 1927, 1929, and 1931. Farrell was the head professional at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club from 1919-1930 and later became the head professional at nearby Baltusrol in New Jersey.


Mike Fetchick
1980

Mike Fetchick was born in Yonkers, New York. He turned pro in 1950 and joined the PGA Tour in 1952. He won the 1956 Western Open at The Presidio in San Francisco in an 18-hole playoff over Doug Ford, Jay Hebert and Don January. Then considered a major championship, the Western Open was eventually demoted in status but clearly, Fetchick’s victory was a triumph among the top names in golf. He also boasted a top 15 finish at the 1957 U.S. Open at Inverness Club. After his club professional career, Fetchick joined the Senior Tour and holds their Champions Tour record for the oldest winner (63 years of age when he won the Hilton Head Seniors International in 1985), and the longest time between his last PGA Tour victory and his first Champions Tour victory: 28 years, 9 months and 27 days. Even during his Senior playing career, Fetchick continued to call Dix Hills home and was often found at Glen Head Country Club where he had served as their head professional.


Doug Ford
1975

Doug Ford was born in West Haven, Connecticut. He turned professional in 1949 and won for the first time in 1952. His first major was the 1955 PGA Championship and that victory helped him become that season's PGA Player of the Year. In 1957, he holed out from a buried lie in a bunker on the final hole to come from behind and beat Sam Snead by three strokes at The Masters. Ford had 19 PGA Tour wins and played on four Ryder Cup teams: 1955, 1957, 1959, and 1961. He also won four Met PGA Championships, two Westchester Opens and a Met Open. He was inducted into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame in 1972 and he was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. Ford was also elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010. When he won the Met Open in 1956, Ford was at Putnam CC and after stints at Tam O’Shanter and Vernon Hills, wound up his career as the head professional at the Spook Rock Golf Course when it first opened in the late 60’s.


Ed Furgol
1981

Ed Furgol was born in New York Mills, New York. He won six times on the PGA Tour including one major championship, the 1954 U.S. Open at Baltusrol Country Club. Furgol played in 21 U.S. Opens, 16 Masters, and 13 PGA Championships (7 at Match Play and 6 at Stroke Play). In the Match Play Championships of the PGA, Furgol won almost 60% of his matches and went to the semifinals in his best showing while in his later years he still competed in six PGA’s at stroke play with a tie for 13th in 1964 his highlight. He also played on the losing 1957 Ryder Cup team at Lindrick Golf Club in Yorkshire, England and drew the unenviable task of having to face the British Captain, Dai Rees in the event’s singles competition.


Claude Harmon
1977

Claude Harmon was serving as the head professional at Winged Foot Golf Club when he became the last club professional to claim a major championship, winning the 1948 Masters Tournament. In 1959, he was also hired as the head professional at Thunderbird Country Club where he served for the remainder of his career while retaining his position at Winged Foot until his retirement in 1977. In 1959 Harmon turned in an incredible feat placing third in the U.S. Open, while serving as the host professional at Winged Foot. Harmon is a two time Met PGA Champion and a six time Westchester Open Champion. The Harmon Family was honored by the Golf Writers as the Family of the Year in 1969 while Harmon was named the Sam Snead Award recipient for the Met PGA in 1982 for his contributions to golf, the PGA and the Met Section. A former President of the Met PGA, Claude was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 2009.


Michael Hebron
2008

Smithtown Landing’s Mike Hebron is one of the few PGA Professionals to have won two National Awards. In 1990 Hebron was named the PGA of America’s Horton Smith Award recipient for his contributions to PGA education and then a year later, Hebron was named the PGA Teacher of the Year. On the Section level in addition to multiple Horton Smith and Teacher of the Year honors, Hebron was the first Public Course Met PGA Merchandiser of the Year, the first Met PGA Junior Golf Leader Award and the 1982 Met PGA Professional of the Year. Hebron inaugurated the Met PGA’s Junior Championship (now called the Met PGA Junior Classic) and the National PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit. After more than 40 years at Smithtown, Hebron is still active hosting the Junior Classic and is a sponsor for the Met PGA (with their women’s events) and the LIGA. Hebron was also named the 2010 San Snead Award recipient for his contributions to golf, the PGA and the Met Section.


Bobby Heins
2010

Bobby Heins is one of those unique professionals who may qualify for consideration both as a player and for his years of Section service while leading Old Oaks Country Club as their head professional for over a quarter of a century. During that time he has held every Met PGA office except the Presidency and earned the Bill Strausbaugh Award three times (1997, ’98, 2002) for his work with employment and club relations. He also has been honored as the Teacher of the Year in 2008 and was named the 2000 Metropolitan PGA Professional of the Year. His playing record includes career victories in the 2008 and ’09 MGA Senior Open, 2009 and 2001 Met PGA Senior Match Play and the 2008 Met PGA Seniors Championship. He is still competitive outside the senior circles and is a 6-time Westchester Open Champion, two-time Met Open winner and the 1990 NY State Open and Westchester PGA titleholder. He also won the Dodge Open and Nissan Classic. He has twice earned Met PGA Player of the Year honors (1983 and 1990) and is a 6-time Met PGA Senior Player of the Year. He has played in 3 PGA Championships, making 1 cut and 4 PGA Senior Championships, surviving the cut in three of those events.


Ben Hogan
1974

Ben Hogan is perhaps most notable for his profound influence on the golf swing theory and his legendary ball-striking ability, for which he continues to remain renowned. Hogan became a professional golfer more than six months shy of his eighteenth birthday. Despite finishing 13th on the money list in 1938, Hogan had to take an assistant pro’s job, and was hired that year by Century Country Club. He remained at Century and continued to refine his game until 1941. Between the years of 1938 through 1959, Hogan won 63 professional golf tournaments despite his career being interrupted in its prime by World War II and later on a near-fatal car accident. His nine career professional major championships tie him for fourth all-time. Hogan played on two U.S. Ryder Cup teams, 1947 and 1951, and captained the team three times, 1947, 1949, and 1967. Hogan won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average three times: 1940, 1941, and 1948 and won the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of the year in the United States. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974. In 1976, Ben Hogan was voted the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. A special room is dedicated to Hogan's career, comeback, and accomplishments at the United States Golf Association Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History.


Jock Hutchinson
1974

Jack "Jock" Hutchison moved to the United States from Scotland and became a U.S. citizen in 1920. He won two major championships, the 1920 PGA Championship and the 1921 Open Championship at St. Andrews. In his career, Hutchison played in seven PGA Championships and boasted an incredible 74% winning percentage in those match play years. In 1937, Hutchison won the inaugural PGA Seniors' Championship at Augusta National Golf Club by an impressive 8 strokes, and in 1947 he won that event for a second time at PGA National at Dunedin. In fact, only five players in the history of the golf world’s oldest senior major, have won more than Hutchison (Sam Snead won 6 times, Hale Irwin 4 times and three others three times). In fact, Hutchison was runner-up three other times losing in playoffs in 1940, ’46 and ’51). Hutchison was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2010.


John Inglis
1979

John Inglis was slight of stature but had an incredible role in the development and evolution of the Metropolitan PGA Section. Inglis was a charter member of the PGA as well as the Golf Course Superintendents Association. He served as the head professional at Fairview Country Club for over 50 years and was the President of the Metropolitan PGA for over 30 years, from 1928 until 1959. While Inglis was noted more for his administrative skills and leadership than his playing, he mentored and helped shape the future of a number of great players in the Met Section including the seven Turnesa brothers, Johnny Farrell and Tony Manero.


Bob Joyce
1999

For over 25 years the head professional at Southampton Golf Club, Bob has served every Section office including the Presidency. He was the District Director and member of the PGA's Executive Committee from 1989 to 1991 during which time he chaired committees that included employment and tournaments. In 1996, Bob ran for PGA Secretary, an office won by Jack Connelly of Philadelphia. His campaign and his entire legacy as a leader was driven by his passion for teaching, playing and promoting the game of golf. Bob was also a mentor to a number of professionals who learned the game on the East End of Long Island, including former PGA Club Professional Player of the Year Bruce Zabriski and current head professionals Tom Holdsworth and Dave Gosiewski. Bob was the 1980 Metropolitan PGA Professional of the Year and in 1993 was nominated by the Section as their Teacher of the Year. He also won the 1992 Sam Snead Award for contributions to golf, the PGA and the Met Section.


Mike Joyce
2009

The long time Huntington Country Club head professional followed an outstanding career locally with an impressive decade on the PGA Senior Tour. Joyce won the 1981 Treiber Memorial, the 1982 Long Island Open and the 1983 Long Island PGA Championship. Prior to moving onto the Senior Tour, he captured another LIPGA title in 1988 and the 1989 Met PGA Seniors Championship. His Senior Tour career was launched in 1989, but really thrived in 1991 through 1996 when he averaged almost 20 events a year including his two most successful seasons, 1992 and 1993 when he played 29 and 36 events respectively. In 1992 he became a first time winner on the Senior PGA Tour at the GTE Northwest Classic. That year included 4 top 10 finishes and he followed that in 1993 with two more top 10’s. Michael served as head professional at Huntington for 26 years before moving full time to the Senior Tour in the early 90’s.


Tom Joyce
2008

A former Met PGA Player of the Year and the Glen Oaks head professional for more than 20 years, Tom Joyce has been one of the most consistent performers in the history of the Met Section. His 20 appearances in the National Club Pro Championship ranks him first among all professionals while his 67 rounds is the fourth highest in history. A titleholder in the Met PGA Assistants Championship, Long Island Open, Westchester Open, Met PGA Seniors Open and Seniors Championship as well as being a 3 time runner-up in the Met Open, Tom became one of the finest playing senior club professionals in the nation. Since 1990, his first year of eligibility in the Senior Club Pro Championship, Tom won in 1990 and '91, was runner-up in 1993 and '96, finished 4th in 1994 and tied for 19th in 1995. He has also competed in 4 National PGA Championships and 9 Senior PGA Championships with his best showing coming in 1991 when he finished in a tie for 14th. Tom is the youngest of the professional golfing Joyce bothers.


Darrell Kestner
2010

One of the most popular and successful professionals in Met PGA history, Darrell Kestner has enjoyed success as both a player and a teacher as well as holding one of the area’s most prestigious positions – Director of Golf at Deepdale Golf Club. Darrell was selected the 1997 Met PGA Teacher of the Year and renominated several times for this award on a national basis. He has been honored twice as the National PGA’s Senior Club Professional Player of the Year (2004 and ’05) and won the Met PGA Player of the Year Award 3-times (1994, ’95 and 2003). Among his other career victories are five Met PGA titles, three Met Open Championships, two New York State Opens, the 1994 Dodge Open, three LIPGA’s, two Westchester PGA’s, and two LI Opens. He also won both the Met PGA Assistants Championship and Head Pro title. Nationally he won the 1996 National Club Pro Championship and is a two-time winner of the National Assistants Championship as well as a Hogan Tour stop in the Charley Pride Golf Fiesta. As a senior he has been equally as dominating with four Senior Player of the Year Awards for the Met PGA (2004, ’05, ’08, ‘10) as well as holding every Senior area title. Other top finishes and accomplishments include a tie for 5th in the National Sr. PGA Professional Championship, T-32nd in the 2004 U.S. Senior Open, T-13th at the 2004 Master Card Classic and T-18th at the 2004 SBC Classic on the Champions Tour. Darrell has qualified for eight U.S. Opens & nine PGA Championships, as well as five Senior PGA Championships and one PGA Cup Team.


Willie Klein
2007

For 32 years from 1925 until 1957, Willie Klein served the membership of Wheatley Hills as their head professional. He was a 3 time winner of the Long Island Open including the inaugural in 1922 and then successfully defended that title in 1923. In 1932 he captured the Metropolitan PGA Championship as well. But it was in national championships that his record is perhaps most remarkable. He qualified for 7 National PGA Championships and held a 3-6 record in this match play format. He also qualified for 11 United States Open Championships, making a remarkable 10 cuts and recorded two top 25 finishes. His top finish was a tie for 9th in the 1926 US Open. The New York State Golf Association which was the last of the State associations to be launched in 1923 held their inaugural Open Championship at Onondaga in 1928 and gained notoriety by having Willie Klein as their first champion.


Ted Kroll
1979

Ted Kroll was born in New Hartford, New York. He served in the United States Army during World War II and earned three Purple Hearts after being wounded four times. He began a 34 year PGA Tour career in 1949. He won nine times on the tour, including three wins in 1956, when he topped the money list. That same year he lost the final of the PGA Championship. Kroll played in a total of 16 PGA Championships, 8 at match play and 8 at stroke play, that included a 4th place finish in 1961. He also finished in the top 10 at the US Open in six out of seven years and competed in 14 US Open Championships in total. He also played in 3 Senior Opens (best finish T-8th in 1980) and 17 PGA Senior Championships (with six top 25 finishes). Kroll played on three Ryder Cup teams: 1953, 1955, and 1957, and though he only played in 4 matches, won three times. After his playing career, Kroll succeeded Ron Letellier as the head professional at Cold Spring Country Club.


Ron Letellier
1982

In a career cut tragically short by cancer, Ron Letellier certainly left his mark on the Met Section. With forearms like Popeye and an easygoing style that masked his love to compete, Ron had a brief but impressive playing career. He won the 1971 Met Open Championship at Fresh Meadow Country Club and was runner-up twice at that prestigious event including 1967 when Jerry Courville Sr. topped five area club professionals at Winged Foot (West) and again in 1972 when Don Massengale prevented him from successfully defending his title in a playoff at Stanwich Club. Letellier also qualified for two PGA Championships, making the cut both times. It was at the National Club Pro Championship that he really left his mark. In four events, he enjoyed three top 20 finishes including being tied for 2nd in 1971 to the winner, Sam Snead, and was 4th in 1974 and tied for 17th in 1975. He also played on the victorious 1975 PGA Cup Team in Pinehurst and was 2-0-1. Letellier was the Section Treasurer in the early 70’s while at North Hills Country Club. Shortly after that he moved to Cold Spring CC and was named the Met PGA Professional of the Year in 1976. He was also named the National PGA Professional of the Year in 1976, one of only two Met PGA professionals to win the association’s highest honor.


Carl Lohren
1990

One of the most proficient players ever in the Met Section, Carl Lohren’s small stature belied his gigantic competitive strength and technical knowledge. The University of Maryland product was perhaps better known as a teacher and an author for his book entitled “One Move to Better Golf.” The forward of the book was written by Deane Beman, a student, former PGA and Senior Tour winner and long-time PGA Tour Commissioner. Carl loved to teach and gave seminars around the world and at 14 National PGA Teaching Workshops and Seminars. He was a speaker at both the first PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit in 1988 and at the very first European Teaching Summit in Rome in 1990. His prowess earned him Metropolitan PGA Teacher of the Year honors in 1989 as well as the Horton Smith nomination for the Met Section for educational contributions in 1982. As a player Carl Lohren enjoyed a number of successes including wins at the 1968 New York State PGA and at the 1984 Long Island PGA Championship. He qualified for three US Opens, 1 US Senior Open (he tied for 39th) and 10 National Club Professional Championships. He qualified to play on the PGA Senior (now Champions) Tour in 1990 after a top six finish in the qualifying tournament. Carl was inducted into the Glen Cove Hall of Fame in 1985.


 

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.

Paul Runyan
1998

Paul Runyan started out as a caddie and then an apprentice at a golf course in his hometown in Arkansas, before turning pro at age 17. He became an assistant pro to Craig Wood at Forest Hills Golf Club in White Plains in 1931 and later was named head professional at Metropolis Country Club. In 1934, Runyan defeated Wood in a playoff in the title match, to win the first of his two PGA Championships. Of Runyan's 29 career PGA Tour wins, 16 of them came in 1933 and 1934. His nine wins in 1933 make him one of only seven golfers to win nine or more times in one year on the PGA Tour. Runyan won the PGA Tour money title in 1934, and was a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1933 and 1935. He won the Met PGA Championship three times (1931, 1935, 1936) and the Met Open in 1934. Runyan won the PGA again in 1938 defeating Sam Snead 8 and 7. He maintained his game as a after turning 50, winning the PGA Seniors Championship in 1961 and again in 1962. Runyan was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990. In addition, he is a member of the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Hall of Fame. He received the Harvey Penick Lifetime Teaching Award and the PGA of America Distinguished Service Award and in 1991 was honored by the Met PGA with their Sam Snead Award.


Gene Sarazen
1974

Gene Sarazen was born in Harrison, New York and began caddying at age ten at local golf clubs, took up golf himself, and gradually developed his skills; he was essentially self-taught. Sarazen took a series of club professional jobs in the New York area from his mid-teens, and worked hard on his game. Among the clubs he enjoyed affiliation with in the Met area were Fresh Meadow and Brooklawn. Sarazen won his first major championships — the 1922 U.S. Open and PGA Championship — at age 20. The winner of 39 PGA Tournaments, Sarazen, known as The Squire, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1974. He was the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 1932, and won the PGA Tour's first Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. He played on the first six U.S. Ryder Cup teams: 1927, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, and 1937. He won the Met Open in 1925 and the Met PGA Championship in 1927, 1928, and 1938. Sarazen invented the modern sand wedge in 1930. The Met PGA established the Squire Cup Matches in the ‘80’s in his honor.


Craig Shankland
2013

A native of Leeds, England, Craig Shankland’s rise to prominence as a teacher followed years of service to the game, the Association and to the Met Section. The son of a famous English teaching professional, Bill Shankland (who worked with Bobby Locke, Henry Cotton, Kel Nagle and Tony Jacklin among others) and the brother of fellow PGA Member Dale Shankland, Craig was obviously a product of golfing genes. He was elected to PGA Membership in 1962 while at Canoe Brook in New Jersey. After a short stint in Illinois, Craig returned to the Met area and served as the head professional at Rye Golf Club, followed by Middle Bay Country Club and then finally Fairview Country Club. It was during his tenure at Middle Bay that he became immersed in the governance of the Met PGA, following Bob Watson as President. His tenure was filled with accomplishments. During his administration the Met PGA published a high gloss Newsletter to improve communications, established an Employment & Club Relations Committee that Craig chaired for several years, initiated the first semblance of the Junior Tour, identified new major sponsors for the Section Championship and tournament program, refined the membership process and created an Assistants Association to provide playing and educational opportunities for the area’s assistant professionals. An outstanding player in his own right, Shankland won the 1969 PGA Championship at Wee Burn and was a role model for the complete professional who excelled as a teacher, player, merchandiser, manager and promoter. His success in the Met Section preceded most of the PGA’s Annual Awards but he is one of only two Met PGA Professionals to ever be recognized as the Section’s Professional of the Year in back to back years in 1974 and again in 1975. His playing record also includes playing in 7 major championships (four PGA’s, two British Opens and one US Open). In 1985 Shankland purchased Ocean Palm Country Club in Ormond Beach and quickly established himself as one of the game’s premier teachers. He won the North Florida PGA Teacher of the Year Award four times (1996, ’97, ’99 and 2001) in addition to being named the Horton Smith nominee in 1994. Now in his 70’s Craig is still listed among the top 25 teachers in Golf Digest, and has enjoyed that distinction in Golf Magazine as well. He served as Vice-Chair for the 1998 and 2000 Teaching & Coaching Summits, was part of the PGA Teaching Manual and GPTP Training Program Committees and received the Association’s ultimate instructional honor when he was named PGA Teacher of the Year in 2001.


Alex Smith
1975

Alex Smith was a member of a famous Scottish golfing family. His brother Willie won the U.S. Open in 1899, and Alex won it in both 1906 and 1910. Like many British professionals of his era he spent much of his adult life working as a club professional in the United States. He won the 1906 U.S. Open at the Onwentsia Club in Illinois, and the 1910 U.S. Open at the Philadelphia Cricket Club when he won a three man playoff against American John McDermott and another of his own brothers, Macdonald Smith. Alex Smith played in eighteen U.S. Opens in total and accumulated eleven top ten finishes. He also played in 8 PGA Championships, winning over 50% of his matches in those events. Smith also won the Met Open four times, including the inaugural Met Open in 2005 when the Nassau Country Club professional beat Willie Anderson in a playoff at Fox Hills.


Jimmy Thomson
1976

Jimmy Thomson was born in North Berwick, the son of pro golfer Wilfred Thomson. His cousin Jack White won the 1904 Open Championship. In 1921 his father Wilfred was appointed pro at The Country Club of Virginia. The following year Jimmy sailed to the U.S. with his mother and sister. Thomson finished second in the 1935 US Open and in the 1936 PGA Championship. In all, Thomson played in 17 US Opens and 14 PGA Championships. He was also known for his personal life as a celebrity having appeared in the movie “The Caddy” with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin and was also featured in “Shoot Yourself Some Golf” with Ronald Reagan. He was married to silent film star Viola Dana from 1930 to 1945.


Jim Turnesa
1975

Jim Turnesa was born in New York City. He was one of seven famous golfing brothers; Phil, Frank, Joe, Mike, Doug, Jim, and Willie. All but Willie turned professional and Jim was the only one to win a major, the 1952 PGA Championship, besting Chick Harbert 1 up at Big Spring CC in Louisville, Kentucky. He had previously lost to Sam Snead in the 1942 PGA Championship final. Jim Turnesa played in a total of 23 PGA Championships and 16 US Opens, his best showing being a 3rd place finish in 1948 at Riviera. He won one other PGA Tour event, the 1951 Reading Open. Turnesa played on the 1953 Ryder Cup team where he won his singles match in Wentworth, England against Peter Alliss. He also won the 1959 Met Open Championship, beating Shelley Mayfield by a stroke at Woodmere Club. Among his professional posts in the Met Section were stints at Briar Hall in Westchester and Mill River on Long Island.


Joe Turnesa
1975

Joe Turnesa, another of the famous Turnesa family made his impact on the Metropolitan PGA in the very first Championship in 1926 when he won that title and is the first to have his name engraved in the J.J. Lannin Trophy. In that inaugural Met PGA, Turnesa tied for 7th in the 36-hole qualifying then ousted Joe Sylvester in the finals at Salisbury. He worked his way up from the caddy yard to become the professional at Fairview Country Club (in Westchester) as well as at Rockville on Long Island. He finished second to Walter Hagen in the 1927 PGA Championship at Cedar Crest CC in Dallas. He was a member of the first two U.S. Ryder Cup teams of 1927 and 1929. Joe Turnesa played in 7 PGA Championships, 17 Masters, and 14 US Opens, including his best finish in 1926 when he was runner-up to Bobby Jones at Scioto in the first year the USGA played 36 holes on the final day. Joe Turnesa added the 1930 Met PGA title to his ’26 crown.


Mike Turnesa
1978

Mike Turnesa was another of the famed Turnesa family who’s life and career revolved around golf. Turnesa's first job in golf came in the pro shop at the Metropolis Country Club. He then became assistant professional at Inwood in the late 1920s before being named "playing professional" representing Fairview in 1931. Mike continued to play the tour circuit for more than 18 years, winning six times, before settling down at Knollwood Country Club. He won the 1933 and 1941 Westchester Opens, and the 1949 Metropolitan PGA at Ardsley. He is certainly best known for having finished second to Ben Hogan in both the 1948 PGA Championship and the 1942 Hale America Tournament, the war-time substitute for the U.S. Open. Mike also played in the inaugural Masters Tournament in 1934 along with his brother Joe. Mike Turnesa was the 1963 Met PGA Professional of the Year and the 1986 Sam Snead Award recipient. Turnesa's son, Michael is a professional at Rockville Links (where Joe Turnesa also served) while his grandson, Marc Turnesa, has won on the Nationwide Tour and the PGA Tour.


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Alex Watson
1964

A native of Carnoustie, Scotland, Alex saw action in World War I and emigrated to NY in 1925, becoming the assistant at Mt.Kisco CC and then head professional at the old Hudson River CC in Yonkers. He finished T 32nd in the 1931 US Open and played in the PGA Championship and the US Open numerous times. Becoming the head professional at Leewood GC in 1945, he finished 3rd in the PGA Seniors in 1946 and was one of the original committee members that created the PGA Winter Activities program in 1952. He held the course record of 65 at Leewood and 59 at Hudson River, and served as the Tournament Chairman for over 10 years for the Westchester PGA . A courtly and distinguished professional, he was beloved by his peers and the Leewood members, where a monument stands to this day on the first tee, inscribed "The spirit of this amiable Scot will live on in those who play here". He was elected to the Hall of Fame in October 1964, after his passing in 1963, the Leewood professional for 18 years.


 

Bob Watson
1984

The ultimate “club golf professional,” Bob Watson had it all. He was a fine player, a talented teacher, an enthusiastic mentor, a wonderful communicator and an outstanding leader. Watson served several of the area clubs, including Metropolis, Ardsley, Wykagyl and Westchester Country Club. It was during his tenure at Wykagyl that Watson helped shape the Met Section’s history. He became the President of the Metropolitan PGA in 1970 and served a 3-year term. During that time, the Section established an office, hired full-time staff and started its own Trade Show. Watson was a proponent of the importance of playing and teaching, skills he demonstrated as a winner of the Met Open in 1958, the Westchester Open, the Westchester PGA and the Met PGA Seniors (twice). He also played internationally and claimed victories in both the Panama Open and Colombian Open. Watson was the Metropolitan PGA Professional of the Year in 1970 and was recognized for his educational contributions with the Section’s Horton Smith Award in 1977.


 

Craig Wood
1974

Craig Wood was born in Lake Placid, New York. Despite his total of 21 PGA Tour wins, Wood spent most of his career being known as a runner-up. For a considerable time, he was the only player ever to lose all of golf’s major championships in extra holes. He overcame this in noteworthy fashion, winning the 1941 Masters Tournament and becoming its first wire-to-wire champion. He would total 25 Masters Championship appearances by the end of his career. He followed his Masters success by winning the 45th U.S. Open at The Colonial Club. This was the first time someone had successfully captured the first two major championships of the year. Wood was a member of three Ryder Cup teams (1931, 1933, 1935). He won the Met Open in 1940 and the Met PGA Championship in 1942. Craig Wood was the professional at Winged Foot from 1939 to 1945. He was elected to the PGA Hall of Fame in 1956 and the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008.


 

Jimmy Wright
1982

Jimmy Wright was born in Arkansas and started caddying at a local golf course when he was 12. In 1957, he won the State High School Championship. After an All-American career at Oklahoma State, he played the PGA Tour part-time in 1962 and 1963. After a short stint in the National Guard, Wright resumed his golf career and was selected for the number one assistant position at Winged Foot Golf Club where he worked under Claude Harmon. Wright was at Winged Foot from 1964 until the fall of 1965 when he was selected as the Head Professional of the Inwood Country Club. His position at Inwood afforded him the opportunity to play part-time on the PGA Tour, making 48 starts between 1968 and 1972. After a decade at Inwood, Wright moved to Westchester and replaced Herman Barron as the head golf professional at Fenway Golf Club. He held this position from 1976 to 1988. Wright was a 7-time Metropolitan PGA Player of the Year (1969, 1972–1976, 1980), he won four Met PGA Championships (1972, 1974, 1976, 1980) and he won the 1969 Met Open. He played 21 major championships with a best finish of 4th place at the 1969 PGA at NCR in Dayton. Wright also represented the USA on 3 PGA Cup Teams.


 

Bruce Zabriski
2013

Bruce Zabriski played on the European Tour from 1985 until 1987, and joined the PGA Tour in 1988, after earning his Tour card through qualifying school. He played in five Hogan Tour events in 1991 where he recorded three top-10 finishes including a win at the Ben Hogan Panama City Beach Classic. He rejoined the PGA Tour the following year, again earning his card through qualifying school. Zabriski joined the club pro ranks as an assistant golf professional at Winged Foot Golf Club from 1993 to 1995 and then at Westchester Country Club from 1995 to 1997. He became the head professional at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1998 and then moved to the Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 2002 where he was the Director of Golf. He then transitioned to a position as Membership Development Director at the Mayacoo Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida before returning to Westchester Country Club as a teaching professional in 2012. Bruce’s playing achievements are second to few. He has won 22 events in the New York metropolitan area including: 1984 New York State Open, 1985 Bacardi Classic and Long Island Open, 1986 Bacardi Classic, 1989 Nissan Classic, Dodge Open, and Long Island Open, 1990 Dodge Open and Long Island PGA Championship, 1991 Long Island Open and Long Island PGA Championship, 1993 Dodge Open, Long Island Open, Long Island PGA Championship, and Met Open Championship, 1995 Westchester Open and Westchester PGA Championship, 1996 Met Open Championship and Metropolitan PGA Championship, 1997 Westchester Open and Westchester PGA Championship, 1998 Westchester Open, 2007 MGA Senior Open Championship, and 2012 Met PGA Senior Championship. On the national stage, Zabriski won the PGA Professional National Championship in 1997 and the PGA Assistant Professional Championship in 1995. Bruce was named the National PGA Player of the Year a record five times (1991, ‘94, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98) and earned the Metropolitan PGA Player of the Year five times (1989, ‘91, ‘93, ‘96, ‘97). Zabriski was a contestant in 11 major championships: 1986, ’91 and ’98 US Opens, 1986 British Open, and 1994, ’95, ’97, ’98, ’99, ’01, ’02 PGA Championships. Bruce also played in the Senior PGA Championship and the U.S. Senior Open in 2008.

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