CNY PGA Golf Professional Joe Tesori honored as a 2017 PGA of America Hall of Fame Inductee



The 2017 class, to be honored Nov. 2, at the PGA’s 101st Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, features Gary Player, Renee Powell, Michael Schultz, George Henry Schneiter, Joe Tesori, Mickey Wright and Lew Worsham.


“The PGA of America takes great pride in welcoming this exceptional class into the PGA Hall of Fame. They represent some of the most significant contributors to our Association and to the game of golf,” said PGA of America President Paul Levy. “This class captured many of the prize jewels of our sport; stood strong against social injustice; inspired junior players and future professionals; gave hope to military Veterans; and whose on-course success left an indelible mark in our sport. Their names will be inscribed among those who have made golf the greatest game.”


A closer glance of the 2017 PGA Hall of Fame inductee Joe Tesori: Click Here


Back to Back to Back Assistant PGA Professional Champion



Seven Oaks Golf Course was a true test for our Central New York Assistant Professionals on September 1st, with sustained winds of 15-20 mph and course conditions playing very firm and fast.


Ryan McGinnis, Player Development Coordinator of the CNY PGA Section, was able to eclipse the field of twenty-four to take home his third consecutive title since becoming eligible to participate.  After finishing the first round at -2(70) and carrying an 8 shot lead into the afternoon, McGinnis finished the day at even par 144 and beat the field by thirteen strokes!


McGinnis secures a trip to the 41st National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship November 9th-12th at the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.


A 5-hole playoff ensued to determine our alternates after Zach Meade, Daniel Molter, Kevin McCarthy and Justin Nishimoto all tied for second with a total score of 157.  Nishimoto captured the 1st alternate over McCarthy while Molter secured the 3rd spot.


When asked about his performance, McGinnis said “I was happy with how I played. I was able to control my ball flight the entire day, which allowed me to hit as many greens as I could”.


McGinnis will head down to Port St. Lucie with a little extra motivation after being tied for 2nd at the National Championship and playing in the final group during the 3rd round last year.


“I was able to take my experience from last year and turn it into a situation that I could learn from. I believe when I am in the same situation this year I will be able to handle it differently. My goal is to go down there and win, and that is what I plan to do”.

Dennis Colligan Wins the 2017 CNY PGA Professional Championship




Cazenovia Golf Club’s Dennis Collagan defeated four-time champion Kevin Savage by two strokes to repeat as Central New York PGA Section Champion at Shenendoah Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort Casino on Aug. 22nd. The 55th annual tournament was presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and Omega.


Clinging to a one-stroke lead, Colligan drained a 30-foot putt for eagle on the final hole to clinch his second straight and third overall Section crown against Savage, of Timber Banks, who finished with a birdie on 18.


“I knew if I could at least get it close then Kevin would have to make his for the tie,” Colligan said. “Fortunately I had the right speed and the right line and put it in the cup.”


Colligan, the first round leader, carded a 1-under-par 71 in the final round following a 4-under 68 in the first round. He finished the tournament at 5-under 139 to earn $3,500 for first. This is Colligan’s second major of the year as he won the Golf Max/Golf Pride Central New York Open in May.  


“We have four majors and try to attempt to prepare for those four are my goal throughout the summer,” said Colligan, who is celebrating his 20th season at Cazenovia GC. “With work and lessons and wife and kids, it’s hard. But thanks to them, I can get out and play on Sundays. Also to my members who are very supportive.”    


Savage pulled even with Colligan at the turn then took a one-stroke lead with a birdie on 10. But an unpredictable wind over the final six holes created problems for both golfers. Colligan took the lead for good on No. 15 by making par after Savage double-bogeyed the hole.    


“The wind went every direction,” Savage said. “It never stayed in the same direction. I started hitting some poor shots and paid the price.”


“As we got to the back nine the wind started blowing pretty good out here and it made it harder,” said Colligan, who won in 2016 at Seven Oaks and 2010 at Shenendoah. “I had to grind it out, it was a battle.”


Although Savage came up short in the battle of former champions, he earned a berth in the 2018 PGA Professional Championship June 17-20th at Bayonet Black Horse in Seaside California. Savage, four time Section Champ(’95, ’04, ’14 & ’15) earned $2,725 with his runner-up finish.


Besides Colligan and Savage, Cazenovia Country Club’s Mark Tucker (2-under 142) and Rick Bronson (1-under 143) also advanced to the 51st annual national championship.   


2011 champion Tucker, who won the Emmett Kelly Masters on Aug. 14, fired a 4-under 68 in the final round to place third and earn $2,300 for third.


Bronson (Bronson Aerifying) cashed $ 2,000 for fourth. He won the CNY PGA Senior Championship in July.


This year’s alternates are Oswego Country Club’s Michelle Murphy, Cortland Country Club’s Eric Manning and Lake Shore Yacht and Country Club’s Nick Serafino.

At Turning Stone Subregional, Juniors Foreshadow Great Future for Golf


Olivia Mill (left) practices chipping while her brother Ewan looks on at the DC&P Subregional Qualifier

For Scott Baker, there’s no better way to spend quality time with his daughter Tenly than on the golf course.

Baker, who owns Stone Creek Golf Club in Oswego, N.Y., enjoys having 8-year-old Tenly by his side on the course and has been teaching her the fundamental skills of the game for the last two summers.

“Golf is fun. I like being outside. I get to play a lot,” Tenly said.

“I think she likes it because she gets to spend time with her father,” Scott Baker said with a smile.

“Yeah that too,” said Tenly, who broke into a wide grin as she looked up at her dad.

Connecting as a family through golf is also one of the special features of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. The Bakers from Hannibal, N.Y., were among the 144 families to take part in the Aug. 16 subregional qualifier held at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Peter Giacomelli, of Toronto, and his 11-year-old daughter Sophia used their four-hour road trip to the subregional for some daddy-daughter bonding which included outlet shopping in Kingston, Ontario.

“We did some shopping on the way here,” Sophia Giacomelli said. “The Adidas store was the best.”

“Getting that one-on-one time with her is what I like the most about going to these competitions,” Peter Giacomelli said.

Family support was wide spread at the Turning Stone subregional qualifier. Grandparents, parents and siblings closely followed competitors from one discipline to another to offer many things like a bottle of water, a word of advice or high-five. Parents also provided emotional support and encouragement to players.

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2017 CNY Senior PGA Professional Championship

                              From left to right: Rob Phelps, Rick Bronson, & Eric Manning

With a birdie putt on the first playoff hole, Rick Bronson prevailed over Rob Phelps to win the Central New York PGA Senior Section Championship sponsored by Mid-State Club Car on July 31. The two-day event for players ages 50 and over was held at Onondaga Golf and Country Club.

Bronson (Bronson Turf Renovation) and Phelps (Bellevue Country Club) finished regulation deadlocked at 6-under-par 136 overall when both players made par on the par-4 18th hole. The pair headed back to the 18th tee to start the sudden-death playoff.

Bronson and Phelps, both former champions, were on the green in two. Bronson sank his 15-foot birdie putt from straight on, forcing Phelps to convert his birdie attempt from 12 feet away to extend the playoff. But Phelps’ putt from the right side of the cup didn’t break and rolled away to the right giving Bronson his second career Senior Section Championship crown. He also won in 2009.

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Clare, Petrin & Tesori Receive Northeast-10 Conference Major Awards

Le Moyne College senior John Clare, freshman Jonathan Petrin and head coach Joe Tesori swept the major men's golf awards in the Northeast-10 Conference as Clare was selected as Player of the Year, Petrin was named Rookie of the Year and Tesori earned Coach of the Year honors.

It's the second straight year Clare was named Player of the Year. Clare (72.38 scoring average) led the Dolphins to a 13th-place finish in the NCAA Division II Championship last month and tied for third individually.

The 22-year-old Clare turned pro after nationals. He is competing in the 108th Massachusetts Open this week with former Le Moyne teammate Aidan Fuller as his caddie. On Thursday, Clare set a course record at Falmouth's TGC at Sacconnesset with a third-round score of 8-under-par 64.

Petrin's scoring average of 75.15 is the best mark by a freshman since Dan McCarthy recorded a 73.94 during the 2003-04 year.

Tesori won his second Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Dolphins to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Atlantic/East Regional en route to the NCAA Championships.

On a Mission to Get the Ball in the Hole:

Warrior Golf Program Helps Service Members

PGA Professional Ric Pettit (left) instructs Army veteran Michael Raith as part of the Warrior Golf Program at Ridge Golf Club in Chittenango. (M.F. Piraino)

By M.F. Piraino
Contributing writer

For PGA professional Ric Pettit, golf instruction is an important part of his job at the Clear Path for Veterans Golf Course. But for the last four years, Pettit's work has taken on a deeper purpose.

After listening to a military veteran talk about the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, Pettit was inspired to establish the Warrior Golf Program, an eight-week how-to-golf tutorial for service members and veterans. The free program includes golf lessons on chipping, putting, rules and etiquette at the nine-hole, par-35 golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, formerly known as Skyridge Golf Course, in Chittenango.

"One of the kids started telling me about his day and PTSD," Pettit said. "I just dropped everything so I could focus on him. Then I thought how can I help? I thought maybe golf could definitely help them get through things."

Pettit's Warrior Golf Program, now in its fourth season, is one of the many support programs for military members and their families provided by Clear Path for Veterans, a local non-profit organization located on 78 picturesque acres of fields and woodlands which straddles the borders of Onondaga and Madison Counties. Clear Path leases the golf course from The Ridge Tavern, which offers a panoramic view of Oswego County's Nine Mile power plant to the foothills of the Adirondacks.

In addition to golf instruction, nutrition and personal wellness at Clear Path are incorporated over the eight weeks. Since its inception, the Warrior Golf Program has graduated 36 veterans and active service members. Past graduates have been rewarded with a new set of basic golf clubs, balls, golf glove and a polo shirt.

Army veteran Michael Raith, 37, was among the first graduates of the Warrior Golf Program. Raith, who served in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division, said the Pettit's program in addition to the incredible view at the Ridge has been therapeutic."I'd never golfed before but I was always stuck in my house which didn't help my depression." said Raith, a native of California. "Ric's an awesome teacher. Golf helped to get me out. It's the scenery, it's the socializing. You're out talking to people. It's calming and relaxing. It really helped me. "

Any service member is eligible. Most of Pettit's golf students are on active duty. Those interested must fill out an application through the Clear Path website to get into the program.

Pettit meets 10 to 12 men and women per eight-week program Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Six of Pettit's CNY PGA peers have helped out with golf instruction. Students can practice away from class at the Clear Path for Veterans Golf Course and golf for free.

"There's a lot of goal setting," Pettit said. "You have to be committed to getting better. My teaching isn't overly regimented. I try to have as much fun as I can with them."

"It's like being back in the military and you're on a mission to get that ball in the hole. It's fun," Raith said.

Under the direction of Pettit, who is employed by Clear Path, the Clear Path for Veterans Golf Course has begun the process of operating with an all-volunteer staff, many of whom are military veterans. The 14 volunteers, including 12 veterans, all help with course maintenance and mowing the nine fairways and greens. The Clear Path for Veterans Golf Course is open to the public. All proceeds benefit Clear Path programs.

Clear Path for Veterans, which is in its sixth year, is located on the site of the former Skyridge Country Club. The former clubhouse has been renovated and now serves as Clear Path's main building and center of operations.

Pettit knows his program has made an impact. A former student, a Vietnam veteran, wrote him a letter that made his eyes well-up.

"He talked about friendship more than anything," the 53-year-old Pettit said. "A lot of people think I'm just teaching. But for me, it's a lot more than that. I believe this is helping people. I'm not an expert in PTSD or depression. But those who suffer them get holed up in their house. They've got to get out of the house. That's key for them."

2017 Spring Meeting of the Membership

The Annual Spring Meeting of the Membership held on Monday, April 17th at Turning Stone Resort Casino drew 81 PGA Members and Apprentices. The Section welcomed current PGA of America President Paul Levy, PGA. Paul discussed the importance of committing to the Long Term Strategic Plan along with the Association's ongoing efforts in pursuit of the PGA of America's Mission: Growing the Game and Serving the PGA Member.

Martha Wells - Best Practice Featured on


100th PGA Annual Meeting - New York City

Congratulations, Joe Tesori, PGA!

2016 Bill Strausbaugh National Award Winner Video:

Joe Tesori, PGA National Award Presentation and Interview:


Congratulations, 2016 CNY Special Award Winners!

Miles Blundell Named CNY PGA Golf Professional of the Year

Miles Blundell, Director of Golf Operations at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, has been named 2016 Central New York PGA Golf Professional of the Year.

The highest honor paid to a CNY PGA Professional went to Blundell for his overall performance at his facility, level of service to the PGA, leadership ability, image and ability to inspire fellow professionals and promotion of golf.

This past year was especially busy for Blundell.  He received the National PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award, for Resort Facilities, last November in Palm Beach Gardens and played host to the PGA Professional Championship this past June all while helping to manage the extensive redesign of the Shenendoah Golf Course. 

Miles is a PGA Master Professional, one of only five in the Central New York Section.  He recently joined the Club Managers Association of America and is two thirds complete with his Master’s Degree in Turf-grass Management from Penn State University.  His passion and desire for higher education is a major driving force for the PGA Professionals who are part of his team, many of which he has encouraged to also complete the PGA’s Certified Professional Program.  Blundell was recognized for these efforts in mentoring in 2014, earning the CNY PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award.   

As Director of Golf Operations at Turning Stone Resort Casino, Miles is involved in growing the game in a number of ways and oversees 65 team members, six of which are PGA Professionals.  His team approach focuses on customer satisfaction, which has allowed for increased rounds played and revenue growth.  He recently established a relationship with PGA Reach to create PGA HOPE Turning Stone which provides military instruction for veterans.  He assists with golf programming for the Oneida Nation’s Summer Jam series, a series of summer camps for Oneida Indian Nation children ages 8-16.  He worked diligently to bring the Drive, Chip & Putt Sub-Regional Qualifier to Turning Stone and has made a commitment to promoting PGA Junior League Golf. 

Blundell’s commitment to the local community, youth and growing the game is at the forefront of all of his recent accomplishments.  When Miles was contacted about this prestigious award he gave recognition to all the other Turning Stone Management Team Members who allow him to provide a superior customer experience and build loyalty.  He feels very fortunate to be part of a great team.  Miles is a team leader, valued professional in the community and the Central New York Section PGA is excited to announce Miles Blundell as the 2016 Golf Professional of the Year!

Other CNY PGA Special Award winners for 2016, all of whom will be honored Dec. 1st at Drumlins Golf Course Banquet Facility, are:


Dustin Jones, Deer Run Golf Facility
Eric Lorenzetti, Turning Stone Resort Casino
Dustin Jones, Deer Run Golf Facility
Ruth Weydig, Oneida Community GC
Stan Gorman, Pompey Club
Martha Wells, CC of Ithaca
Ben Pasquith, Seven Oaks GC
Naomi Nesenoff, Traditions at the Glen
Lauren Tallman, CC of Ithaca
Dave Clinkhammer, Under Armour
Teacher of the Year
Player Development Award
Horton Smith Award (Education)
Youth Player Development Award
Patriot Golf Award
Merchandiser of the Year - Private
Merchandiser of the Year - Public
Merchandiser of the Year - Resort
Assistant Professional of the Year
Sales Representative of the Year

Bradley’s Jewelers Players of the Year:

Dennis Colligan, Cazenovia GC
Kevin Savage, Timber Banks GC & Marina
Robert Larsen, Onondaga Golf & CC
Colin McGaugh, Hamilton, NY
Lena Jones, Dewitt, NY
Junior Boys
Junior Girls

Overtime Regulation Webinar

Please take a moment to watch the Overtime Regulation Webinar.  If you have not done so already there is a tremendous amount of valuable information in this video.  It is about an hour long so plan accordingly.  Accessing the video can be done through the below link.

Click here to watch the video.

We hope you find the webinar helpful, and also recommend clicking here for additional background information on this subject.


PGA National News

The PGA Professional Championship Moves to April

Beginning in 2019, the PGA Professional Championship will be conducted in late April. View More

GB&I Storms Past the U.S. to Capture the 28th PGA Cup

Great Britain & Ireland retain the Llandudno International Trophy with a 16-10 victory over the United States. View More
UPDATED 08/31/2017:

Click Here to read this week's article. Articles submitted by
Joe Tesori, PGA & Chuck Harty

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Steve Aloi, PGA


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