The Locally Owned Voice of the Capital Region

Area's top amateurs get home field edge

Sunday, July 21, 2013
Joe Ruszas, Billy Shields (three times), Rich Serian, Bill Boland and Jay Gunning. They are the only five Capital Region players to ever win the prestigious New York State Men’s Amateur Golf Championship since the tournament began in 1923. Despite a wealth of talent, no local player has been able to the hoist the winner’s trophy since Gunning did it in 1986. The area contingent will get another great opportunity this week, when the championship is played Tuesday through Thursday at Schuyler Meadows Club in Loudonville.

Down The Fairway: Souza rallies on second day to earn first pro win in playoff

Sunday, July 14, 2013
Stadium Golf Club head pro John Souza has two passions outside of his family: golf and road racing. Since he enjoys running longer distances rather than sprints, it’s not surprising that he picked up his first professional golf victory in a two-day tournament instead of the usual one-day events the local club pros play.

Down The Fairway: Future stars on display at Symetra Tour

Sunday, July 7, 2013
The next Inbee Park could be playing in our own backyard this week. Park, who honed her game on the Symetra Tour, formerly the Futures Tour, and played the local stop at Capital Hills at Albany, has jumped into national prominence as the best player on the LPGA Tour, with four majors and 13 wins at age 25.

Down The Fairway: Second State Am sectional at Pinehaven on Monday

Sunday, June 30, 2013
Many of the best players in the Capital Region will be shooting for berths in the 91st annual New York State Men’s Amateur Golf Championship — this summer’s showcase event — when the second of two sectional qualifiers is held Monday at Pinehaven Country Club.

Down The Fairway: Sprenger likes trickiness of of short Pioneer Hills Golf Club

Sunday, June 23, 2013
First-year Pioneer Hills Golf Club head pro Keith Sprenger says his favorite clubs to hit are his irons, and as it turns out, those are the most important tools in the bag for anyone who plays this tricky 5,135-yard layout from the white tees and nearly 5,400 test from the blue tees.

Down The Fairway: 'While we're young' campaign addresses pace

Sunday, June 16, 2013
Slow play in golf is one of the sport’s biggest concerns, and the United States Golf Association is trying to improve the often frustrating situation with its new “While We’re Young” campaign.

County Am rivalry remains friendly for Mueller, Pratico

Sunday, June 9, 2013
Time almost stands still for Gazette County Amateur friendly rivals Jim Mueller and Paul Pratico. Almost, but not quite.

Down The Fairway: It's all uphill from here for Bigley, Fox

Sunday, June 2, 2013
Only the toughest survive the next test. It’s hard enough to grab one of four spots at the local level of U.S. Open qualifying when the field includes 70 or 80 top amateurs and club professionals from around the Northeast.

Down The Fairway: Divnick's solution for bag clutter: have club, will travel

Sunday, May 26, 2013
Golf is a game loaded with trad-ition, where changes in rules and technology have often moved at a snail’s pace over several centuries.

Steve Divnick is a talented inventor who tries to make one of the world’s toughest games easier to play for the average person.

Down The Fairway: McMahon’s simpler technique gets the point across

Sunday, May 19, 2013
LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Hall of Fame member Kay McMahon has been giving golf lessons for more than three decades. But eventually, she realized that her students weren’t getting the right message.

Down The Fairway: Amateurs, pros eye Gazette Cup

Sunday, May 12, 2013
Local club professionals play the game of golf as part of their job, although they rarely tee it up as often as they would like. The pros normally play for pay in their weekly events. Area amateurs, however, compete mainly for fun. Both sides are passionate about the game, each squad is loaded with talent and both teams will be shooting for bragging rights when the 11th annual Gazette Cup tees off Wednesday morning at Mohawk Golf Club.

Down the Fairway: Hales Mills owners aim to please

Sunday, May 5, 2013
Golf may be their passion, but customer service is their specialty.
The new owners of Hales Mills Country Club vow to set the bar extremely high in terms of the total golfing experience at their 17-year-old club, located just off Route 29 on Steele Road in Johnstown.

Down the Fairway: CRAGA enables amateurs to play top courses

Sunday, April 28, 2013
Golf is a diverse game with many levels of challenges, both physical and mental. One of its most cherished rewards is the opportunity to play on scenic courses with unique holes. That’s why the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association is reaching out to the average player to join its membership and play some of the Capital Region’s finest layouts.

Down the Fairway: Smack, longtime area pro, retiring to Maryland

Sunday, April 21, 2013
Tom Smack, one of the most popular and talented club professionals in the Capital Region for nearly three decades, is saying goodbye. The longtime head pro at The Sagamore Resort for 25 years before moving over to Top of the World Golf Club in Lake George for the last four seasons, has dec­ided to retire to Annapolis, Md., to be closer to his son, daughter and grandchildren.

Down The Fairway: Learn to play by focusing on basics

Sunday, April 14, 2013
Golf is a game for a lifetime, so even if you missed all the fun as a youngster, it’s never too late to learn how to play.

columnists & blogs

Log into

Forgot Password?