For the next couple of months we will be making changes, and updating this newsletter in attempt to create an online page in which we are able to update daily if needed. At the end of the day, our goal is for the newsletter to be somewhere our members come for updates they may have missed in the weekly e-Updates!


Met PGA Members Excel in PGA Winter Championships Senior Stroke Play

The PGA Winter Championships continued in Port St. Lucie with the PGA Senior Stroke Play Championship at PGA Golf Club. The PGA Stroke Play is separated into two divisions: 60-and-older and 50-59 years of age. Unsurprisingly, Metropolitan PGA professionals littered the leaderboards.
In the 50-59 division, Tam O’Shanter head professional Mark Brown continued to make a name for himself on the PGA of America’s senior circuit. Two consecutive rounds of 72 on the Ryder Course enabled Mark to finish one shot back, and win the 50-54 age group. After appearances in the U.S. Senior Open and Senior PGA Championship in 2017, Mark Brown is a name to watch for 2018 PGA Professional Senior Player of the Year. Good friends Mike Diffley, Pelham, and Jack Druga, Shinnecock Hills, finished inside the top ten of the PGA Senior Stroke Play’s 55-59 division. Diffley shot 74-72 to finish in a tie for fifth while Druga shot 74-73 to finish tied for seventh. The 60-and-older division featured a plethora of high finishes across the board in various divisions. Life Member Charlie Bolling won the 60-64 division after shooting 71-68 on the Wanamaker Course. He was joined in the top five by Deepdale director of golf and 2017 PGA Professional of the Year Darrell Kestner. Kestner carded a 73-71 to finish in a tie for fourth. Former Glen Oaks head professional Tom “Sweet Swinging” Joyce shot 76-78 to finish fourth in the 75-79 division while his brother Bob Joyce, Southampton, shot 74-77 to win the 80-84 division. That is Bob’s second victory of the season following his triumph at Wheatley Hills in the Super Senior Treiber Memorial Tournament of Champions. Click to Read More

Kestner and Quinlivan Bring Senior Junior Trophy Back to Long Island

Metropolitan PGA professionals continue to take home hardware down in Port St. Lucie, Florida at the PGA Winter Championships. Darrell Kestner, Deepdale Director of Golf and 2017 PGA Professional of the Year, teamed with Sean Quinlivan, Piping Rock Head Professional, to win the PGA Senior Junior PGA Championship at PGA Golf Club.
This was the first time the two men teamed for an event, but it clearly should not be the last. Kestner and Quinlivan combined to shoot 19-under par and win by a shot. As they mentioned afterwards it was an unexpected victory, “we thought we might miss by one or two,” Kestner stated. They did not miss and we are sure both men hope it is one that will kickstart a strong 2018 season for them. Defending champions Mark Brown, Tam O’Shanter, and Matt Dobyns, Fresh Meadow, shot a blistering 10-under par 62 in the final round to push themselves into a tie for fourth. They were joined in the top ten by Winged Foot’s Adam Rainaud who teamed Mike San Filippo to finish tied for eighth and Trump Westchester’s Christopher Marinaro who partnered with John Nieporte to finish in a tie for tenth. The PGA Winter Championships are conducted by the PGA of America and presented by Golf Advisor and Prime Sport. The next event scheduled is the Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship on January 28-30, 2018 at PGA Golf Club. Click here for event information. Click to Read More

PGA WORKS Golf Management University Scholarship Program

The PGA of America recently announced the new PGA WORKS Golf Management University Scholarship Program. The program is designed to recruit and assist students from diverse backgrounds in their intent to pursue PGA of America Membership. The Scholarship awards $8,000 each for up to five (5) students pursuing a PGA Golf Management University Program degree.
Applicants must be high school seniors, high school graduates or current undergraduates planning to enroll in, or are already enrolled in, fulltime undergraduate study at one of the 18 accredited PGA Golf Management Universities for the entire 2018-19 academic year. Qualified applicants must be pursuing a PGA Golf Management University Program degree with the intent to pursue PGA of America Membership. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations, unusual personal or family circumstances, an outside appraisal, and demonstrated active participation in the game of golf. To increase diversity and inclusiveness in PGA of America Membership, preference will be given to people of color and women. • To learn more and apply, visit • Applications must be submitted on or before February 28, 2018. For a more in-depth article at, click here Click to Read More

PGA of America Compensation Survey

The 2018 PGA Compensation Survey went “live” on on January 16th. PGA Professionals are encouraged to complete this survey before March 31st so we can continue to provide PGA members and apprentices with the best available compensation data. The survey can be accessed by clicking here
The PGA Compensation Survey helps provide PGA Professionals with key compensation data that is valid and meaningful. This survey provides key information to assist with performance evaluations, contract renewals, staff budgeting and other employer/employee interactions. This allows PGA Professionals and their employers to know where they stand on the compensation scale in comparison with other Professionals. Members can receive up to two MSR credits by completing the survey by the deadline. MSR credit is automatically applied upon completion of the survey with a summary the survey responses for your records. Click to Read More

MSR Cycle Ends This June

The current MSR cycle ends as of June 15, 2018. All members who are required to earn MSR credits need to fulfil their complete requirements by June 15, 2018; this includes both categories of PGA Required and Total. Failure to meet the full and complete requirements by June 15, 2018, will result in the Member being transferred to Class F as of July 1, 2018.
Members will remain as Class F until they earn the deficit requirements of the previous period and an amount equal to these requirements in the new period. Class F members who do not satisfy these requirements by the end of the cycle in which they were transferred to Class F shall be terminated from membership. Refer to Article VIII, Section 3 of the PGA Constitution and Bylaws for more details. Click to Read More

VALIC Announced as New PGA Retirement Plus Administrator

The PGA of America responded to member feedback generated by the annual survey on the Golf Retirement Plus Plan by conducting a thorough evaluation of both the current and potentially new plan administrators for the program. The PGA of America invited top retirement fund providers to participate, including the incumbent, Mercer Consumer. As a result, the PGA Board of Directors has authorized a change in the plan administrator to The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company (“VALIC”).
VALIC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIG, with a proven track record of more than 60 years and 1.8 million current participants. VALIC was chosen because its institutional variable annuity program will significantly enhance Member benefits. In addition, VALIC’s historical average plan returns have outperformed the incumbent over both the last 3- and 5- year periods. Among the benefits Golf Retirement Plus Plan participants will receive as part of this new plan: • State-of-the-art financial education, tools, and calculators • Access to a broad array of investment options, along with continued access to a fixed return account option • A dedicated advisor - team as well as easy access to in-person consultations with financial advisors • A robust website for your use in monitoring and managing your retirement savings • Cost savings in your new plans, with a reduction in the overall administrative fees The official transition to VALIC will occur in the 2nd Quarter of 2018. PGA HQ will provide more details to you in the coming months about the transition, its timing, and appropriate VALIC contact information. For those members attending the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla, the VALIC Team will be on site where they will present information to you regarding the new program and provide you with an opportunity to meet some of the individuals working on the PGA Golf Retirement Plus Program account. In addition to having a dedicated information booth within the PGA Member Business Center, located on the 4th floor of the Orange County Convention Center, VALIC will host two, one-hour informational sessions, where Members will be able to meet with their team, and ask questions about the program. During this time, VALIC will not be able to review your individual GRP account. However, they can discuss the timing, specifics and benefits of this new program. The general informational sessions are open to all Members and will take place on: Wednesday, Jan. 24th from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Orange County Convention Center Room 414B, Thursday, Jan. 25th from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Orange County Convention Center Room 414B. Click to Read More

PGA Member Golf Access at Lost City Golf Club

Leo McMahon, former GM at Lawrence Yacht & Country Club, has taken on a new position as GM of the Lost City Golf Club in Atlantis, Florida. Leo has created two programs designed specifically for PGA Golf Professionals that work at private clubs in the northern sections of the USA and Canada.
Complimentary Membership-They offer complimentary memberships to PGA golf professionals that are employed at private clubs in the northern sections of the USA and Canada. These complimentary memberships (golf, carts and range privileges) are limited in number but a great opportunity to practice and entertain members while helping Lost City showcase their club. Winter Member-Guest Championship-In addition to offering memberships, Lost City has created a Member-Guest program, providing private clubs from northern USA sections and Canada the opportunity to conduct a winter member-guest tournament in South Florida during the months of January, February & March. The price is $100 per player and includes golf, cart, range and dinner. The field is limited to groups of 36 to 72 players. The dates we have available are limited in number. Anyone interested should contact Leo McMahon at Click to Read More

Stephani Gains Half Century Status—Gatta Joins Quarter Century Club

PGA Life Member Don Stephani of East Patchogue on earning status as a Half Century PGA Member. Woodmere Head Professional John Gatta joined the Quarter Century Club in January. Congratulations to both of these fine Met PGA professionals on their accomplishments!

Met PGA Staff Member Earns PAT Examiner Certification

Congratulations to Kevin Rodine on his recertification as a PAT Examiner. This is an often-overlooked role, yet so critical to the path to PGA membership.


2017 Met PGA Winter Education Series are ON!

Our 8th year of the Met PGA Winter Education Series began at Harbor Links GC on January 11th with a presentation from James Hong called "Change-up That Tired Old Junior Program."
The upcoming events are: Utilizing Technology In Instruction, February 1st at Sleepy Hollow, Improving Through Nutrition and Fitness, February 8th, at Golf & Body, Interactive Lesson and Club Fitting, February 22nd, Location TBA and more to come. Registration can be found by clicking hereclicking here. PGA Members will receive 2 PGA Required MSR credits in education when they attend any Met PGA Winter Education Series program. We do ask that everyone register for the programs in advance as there are often space limitations or changes in schedules that can only be communicated effectively to those who are pre-registered. Click to Read More

Met PGA Special Awards Nomination Deadline is Jan 15

As the PGA of America National Awards presentations have been moved up to the Annual Meeting, so has the deadline for our Section nominations. We are asking all of our members to take a moment and submit candidates for consideration of our 2018 Special Awards.
The selections are made by the Past-Presidents and any information that you can include on a nomination form that will help them evaluate the candidate will be tremendously helpful Please take a minute to submit nominations for 2018. The deadline to submit is January 15th. Click here for the form and more information. Click to Read More

PGA Merchandise Show and Met PGA Partner’s Program

All of our Met PGA Partners are important to us twelve months a year, but the winter is a critical time for us to preserve and develop relationships. There is no better opportunity than the PGA Merchandise show to express your thanks for their support. We will be supplying all members with Partner information, representatives and booth locations later this month.

PGA Merchandise Show Schedule and MSR Opportunities

This year’s PGA Merchandise Show events are as follows: Demo Day & Instructional Workshop Tuesday January 23rd at Orange County National Golf Center, PGA Show Exhibits & Education Conference January 24th – 26th at Orange County Convention Center. Please visit to see information and scheduling for the wide variety of special events, educational offerings, and MSR opportunities taking place throughout the week. Also of note is the annual AGM Retail Conference on Tuesday January 23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. This year’s conference will again feature the popular Retail Roundtable discussions along with breakout sessions on various retail related topics that you will find pertinent to your business. There are 8 PGA Required MSR credits available for attending the entire event. Click to Read More

PGA’s Club Pro Series Leaderboard Again Packed with Met Section Names

Fields were strong again this year and the level of competition on the PGA’s Club Pro Tournament Series presented by GOLF ADVISOR and was outstanding. As we have come to anticipate, the Met Section representation proved formidable with a number of high finishes in individual events and in total money won. The PGA Tournament Series recently completed its six tournament schedule during the month of December. As usual, Metropolitan PGA professional dotted the field each tournament highlighted by a number of standout finishers.
Event #1 featured a quartet of Met PGA professionals in the Top 10. Westchester Country Club’s Danny Balin added to his win tally in 2017 with a one shot victory over past PGA Professional Championship winners Rod Perry and Rich Berberian. Balin buried a tricky 5-foot par putt on the 18th hole of the Dye Course at PGA Golf Club to capture the victory and get his PGA Tournament Series schedule off to a dream start. He was joined in the top 10 by Inwood’s Kyle Higgins (6th), Piping Rock’s JD Guiney (T-7th) and Tam O’Shanter’s Josh Rackley (T-7th). Danny Balin continued his torrid play in Event #2 at the Dye Course at PGA Golf Club. After a stretch of four birdies in five holes on the back nine in Round 2 propelled him to the lead, an untimely three putt at #17 forced Balin to settle for second place.
Josh Rackley finished in the top ten (8th) for the second consecutive event while defending Met PGA Champion Frank Bensel, Century Country Club, finished T-9th. Frank Bensel improved upon his play in Event #2 with an impressive 2nd place finish at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Event #3 of the PGA Tournament Series. The Century assistant showed the steely determination he has become known for in his effort to catch eventual champion Daniel Iceman in windy conditions. Old Oaks’ John DiPilato finished in the top ten (T-8th) as well. After a year adapting to his new role as first assistant at the Westchester club, DiPilato is looking to prove he can play with the best the Met PGA has to offer. Event #4 of the PGA Tournament Series was held at the Ryder Course at PGA Golf Club. Two different Met PGA names inserted themselves to the top of the leaderboard. Todd Larson, Round Hill Club, has quietly established himself as an elite player within the Section in three short years. That play is translating to the national stage. Larson posted shot a first round 69 to help finish T-10th. Joining him in that position on the leaderboard was Fairview Country Club head professional Shaun Powers. The Met PGA prides itself on the playing quality of its professionals. Larson and Powers are just two examples of how deep that ability runs. The PGA Tournament Series returned to the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club for Event #5. Naturally, Frank Bensel returned himself to the top of the leaderboard. Bensel once again fell agonizingly short of the winner’s circle, but the surefire Met PGA Hall of Famer could take solace in his dynamic play. The Century assistant was joined in the top ten by a Winged Foot duo - Adam Rainaud (T-2nd) and Mike Ballo (T-6th) – and Josh Rackley (T-6th). Event #6, and the final event of the PGA Tournament Series, was contested at the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club. Once again, two of the best Met PGA professionals sat inside the top ten. Danny Balin tallied his second second-place finish of the series. The finish ensured Balin would earn top honors as the PGA Tournament Series money leader. He was once again joined by Josh Rackley. The Tam O’Shanter assistant professional finished inside the top ten of a PGA Tournament Series event for the fourth time in 2017. Congratulations to all Met PGA professionals on a well-played PGA Tournament Series. We are looking forward to continued success at the PGA Winter Championships!
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We regret to inform you of the passing of Jim Thompson. A fifteen year PGA member, "JT" was the head professional at Hamlet, Calverton Links, and Crab Meadow, before spending a number of seasons teaching at Oyster Bay. Jim was a very competitive player in the section and his name will forever be etched on the trophy as a Treiber Memorial champion.

Employment Update

Congratulations to Tyler Jaramillo and Jim McCann. Tyler, former assistant under Greg Bisconti and Saint Andrew’s GC, was recently named head golf professional at Seawane. Jim leaves Dave Fusco and Patriot Hills after his appointment as head professional at Spook Rock. Click Here to visit the dedicated “Employment Listing” section of the web site as new opportunities are posted as soon as we are notified. Several positions have been posted in the past few weeks.

Busljeta and Fallon Earn Certifications

Boris Busljeta of GolfTec in White Plains recently completed his certification in Teaching & Coaching, while Brian Fallon of Westchester CC is now Certified in Golf Operations. Congratulations to all these PGA Professionals on their accomplishments that less the 7% the membership has attained!

Welcoming a New Addition

The Scheffing family has announced the birth of Sarah Mae Scheffing. Born December 28, 2017 at 5:30am weighing 7lbs and 20" long. Congratulations from all of us in the Metropolitan Section!

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