Eric Manning’s affinity for golf began at a young age.


“I started playing golf at around the age of 5, tagging along with my parents who were both avid golfers,” Manning, PGA said. “As I got older, I just found that I enjoyed being on the course and would spend most every day playing with my friends.”


Golf eventually became Manning’s career calling and it’s been a successful one especially as a competitor. Last season, Manning earned Central New York PGA Section Player of the Year honors for the second straight year as well as 2023 Senior Player of the Year.


Manning has also won three straight Section Championships and a record seven overall.


With 2023 season fast approaching, the 58-year-old Manning is eager to test his skills against the top CNY PGA Professionals.


“The biggest thing that I am looking forward to this season is just to get out and compete and  to see if I can continue to have success and keep playing the same way that I have for the past couple seasons,” Manning said.


Here’s what the Cortland native and assistant golf professional at Elm Tree Golf Course had to say about his approach to the game and tournaments:


What do you attribute to your competitive success?

I really wish there was a specific answer as to why my last couple seasons have been so successful. I would have to say that I have just been consistent with what I have been doing for the past few years. My practice has become more specific and focused. I have a few drills and routines that seem to do the best for me and keep my swing mechanics from getting to far out of whack. The one area that I have been spending more time on leading up to the tournament is my short game. Also, because I have played most of the courses quite I few times, when I am practicing the week prior to an event I do my best to imagine the course I am going to, and practice some specific shots that I feel will benefit me at the course we are going to play.


What do you like most about competing in tournaments?

I really look forward to going and playing in every event that I go to. I get to see how my game stacks up against my fellow Professionals. I also see if my game can hold up under the pressure of tournament golf and if it is good enough to have a chance to win.


Best advice ever received

One of the best tips I have ever gotten about playing is that it only takes one good shot to make par and two to make birdie. That way I am able to stay patient on the course and not let poor shots or holes get to me (too much).


Three most important items in your golf bag (besides clubs)?

Being that I am not superstitious there is very little in my bag that I feel is that important (besides my clubs). But here are three:

  1. Rangefinder
  2. Rain or wind shirt/sweater (I hate being cold)
  3. Spare change in case I forget a ball marker