Down the Fairway: Schenectady’s Jeffes set to test game with pros
Brendan Jeffes thinks he’s ready take his game to another level this winter.
Jeffes, the Schenectady High School graduate who has been working as an assistant pro at Schen-ectady Municipal Golf Course this summer, plans on competing once again on the Florida Professional Golf Tour this November.
He tried that pro tour last winter but appeared in only five events without much success.
He believes he’s a better golfer and a lot more prepared this time around.
“I had no real financial success last winter, but it was a learning experience,” Jeffes said. “They go really low there, and it was a wake-up call, for sure. I basically came to a point where I had to do one of two things — either do more to keep up with the other guys or find something else to do with my life. I really love golf, so I have no problem putting more time into practicing, putting my nose to the grindstone and working harder.”
Jeffes played varsity for six seasons with the Patriots. He’s finished in the top 10 in the Gazette Schen-ectady County Amateur, and he once posted an eight-under-par 64 at Schenectady Municipal.
“That’s where it all started with me thinking that maybe I could do something in my life with golf,” Jeffes said about his career best round.
“But in a way, the 64 was nice, but it was almost a curse. I had very high expectations. The bar was set too high, and I put undue pressure on myself. But then again, something clicked last winter. I stood up on the tee of the second round after shooting a 78 in the first round, and I told myself not to take myself so seriously any more and to have some fun. From there, everything started to get a little better.”
Jeffes made some major changes to his game, and they are just now starting to fall into place.
“I started working with [Stadium head pro] John Souza, and I got away from hooking the ball. Now, I play more of a fade, but I can still draw it when I need to,” he said.
“The fade has made my game more manageable. Over the winter, I got stuck between two swings, and it was tough, but now I’ve got just one. If I can get dialed in comfortably with my irons, from my 7-iron to my 3-iron, I think I can have a good winter.”
Jeffes said he knows he could use some improvements in every aspect of his game, but he’s very happy with his short game, and he knows how to score.
“Everybody can use more work on their short game, but that’s one of the things I’m the most confident in,” he said. “I still work a lot on it, but it’s one of the strongest parts of my game.”
Jeffes will continue to work at Muny until late October. He plans on leaving for Florida to play in the first FPGT event on Nov. 8.
It’s that time of year again to start thinking about high school sectional golf.
All three class tournaments will be held Oct. 3, with Town of Colonie hosting the Class A event, Rolling Hills at Antlers entertaining the Class B tournament and Schenectady Municipal Golf Course holding the Class C-D event.
From there, all the top qualifiers advance to the Section II Class A-B-C-D Playoffs on Oct. 9 at Orchard Creek.
The top 16 from the playoffs advance to the State Qualifier on Oct. 11, when the top nine make the team for next spring’s New York State Public High School Championship.
Keep an eye on Suburban Council tournament champion Victor Fox of Bethlehem Central.
Unfortunately, this is the time of year that golfers often exper-ience one of the most frustrating nuisances in the game — the aer-ation of greens.
We all know it’s necessary for the good health of the green, but trying to putt over all the bumps and holes that the aeration leaves is extremely difficult, especially for a less-than-capable putter like myself.
No matter how you strike the putt, you have little power over how it bounces off line. And it’s always challenging to figure out exactly how hard to strike the putt.
Soon, if we continue to have good weather, we in the Northeast will also endure another frustrating part of autumn golf — leaves. Depending on how many trees there are at your favorite course, these leaves can frustrate you on the greens, and also hinder your attempts to find your golf ball, even in the fairway.
Try to stay patient.
u Eagle Crest Golf Club hosts the next Eastern New York Golf Assoc-iation weekly event Wednesday.
u Local club professionals will compete in the Pro-Pro Championship at Normanside Country Club Monday and the Assistants Championship Wednesday at Colonie Golf & Country Club.
u Speaking of Normanside, next year’s New York State Senior & Super Senior Championship will be played there. It’s extremely rare for the New York State Golf Association to hold the exact same tournament in the same region two years in a row.
u Airway Meadows Golf Club’s 14th annual Oktoberfest Tournament will be held Oct. 7. The four-person scramble begins with a 9 a.m. registration and continental breakfast. Entry fee is $94 for non-members and includes golf, lunch at the turn and prizes. Call 792-4144 for more information.
u Dave Lombardo won the Gazette’s Bryce Hume Memorial Tournament Sunday at Orchard Creek. Bob Weiner was second in the Calloway net division, followed by Steve Ostrander. Jerry Shoemaker was the low gross champion, and Jay Hamel won the visitors’ championship.
u The Stadium Golf Club Falling Leaves Tournament will be held Oct. 20 with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. The format will be two-person scramble. Entry fee is $90 for non-members and $70 for members. Top prize will be $450 for both the gross and net divisions. The top six teams in each division will be paid, based on a full field of 72 teams. Golf, cart, range balls and a buffet are included in the entry fee. Entry deadline is Oct. 17. Call Stadium at 374-9104 for more information.
u The 63rd annual Senior Golfer’s Association of Eastern New York Championship will be held Monday at McGregor Links Country Club. Teams from Ballston Spa CC, Colonie G&CC, Columbia G&CC, The Edison Club, Glens Falls CC, McGregor Links CC, Mohawk Golf Club, Normanside CC, Pinehaven CC, Schuyler Meadows, Shaker Ridge CC, the CC of Troy and Wolferts Roost CC will bring their senior amateurs and their club professionals to compete.
u The Union College Golf/Basketball Fundraiser will be held Monday at noon at Mohawk Golf Club. Entry fee is $550 per team, and includes lunch at 11 a.m. and appetizers and awards following golf. The format is either two best balls of four or a scramble. It’s your choice. Contact Mary Ellen Burt at 388-6546 for more information.
u SUNY-Cobleskill’s inaugural Fighting Tigers Club Golf Tournament will be held Friday at Cobleskill Golf & Country Club. Entry fee for the two-person best-ball tournament is $90 per team member, and will be limited to the first 136 players. There will be a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. Call 255-5127 for more information.
u Glens Falls Country Club is the host site for Monday’s New York State Turfgrass Association’s annual Poa Tournament. Proceeds help support turfgrass research and education. Call 783-1322 for more information.
u The second annual Saratoga County EOC Golf Tournament will be held Oct. 2 at McGregor Links Country Club. Entry fee for the four-person scramble is $100 and includes golf, cart, continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments and prizes. Call Dottie Sellers at 587-3158, ext. 111, for more information.
u Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s golf team rallied from 15 strokes back to win the 28th annual Duke Nelson Tournament last week at Middlebury College’s Ralph Myhre Golf Course. RPI’s Brandon Mader shot a two-day total of 145 and lost medalist honors in a playoff to Hamilton’s Greg Scott. Grant Rosener (77-75-152) finished seventh, and Craig Bokenfohr (81-73-154) was 16th for the Engineers.
u All tee times at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course end Sept. 30. After that, golf will be on a first come, first served basis.
Dave Longley of Saratoga Springs collected his second career hole-in-one at Pioneer Hills by holing out a 6-iron shot on the 152-yard 11th hole. He was playing in the Skidmore Employees league.
Ray Bouvier of Scotia aced the 147-yard 14th hole with an 8-iron at Saratoga Lake Golf Club.
At Schenectady Municipal Golf Course, Greg Kerr holed out with a 5-iron on the 165-yard sixth hole.
Nick Walsh used a pitching wedge to record a hole-in-one on the 158-yard 13th hole in the Thursday Morning Traveling Hackers league at Nick Stoner Golf Course.
Tina Romanowski aced the fourth hole at Windy Hills Golf Course while playing in the Empty Nesters league.
At Hales Mills Country Club, Terry Passero hit a 3-wood on the 190-yard second hole for his ace.
John Young of Mechanicville, a sophomore on The College of Saint Rose golf team, aced the 155-yard ninth hole with a 9-iron at Pinehaven Country Club. Young was the Section II Class C-D champion in 2011.
Dan Giovannangelo III eagled the 12th hole at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.