In 2013, rather than interview the champions of local, state and national events (who knows, we still might…) BuffaloGolfer.Com chooses to honor the passionate golfers of western New York, from all walks of life. Lawyers, bus drivers, cooks, cleaners, you name it. If you know one, email us or leave a comment at the end and we’ll feature her or him. We begin with a local lawyer. We hope that you enjoy this revealing interview and that you consider making a donation to his organization.

Joe Hanna hitting golf balls off of the USS Little Rock at the Erie County Naval and Military Park

Joe Hanna hitting golf balls off of the USS Little Rock at the Erie County Naval and Military Park

1. State your name, home course and average 18-hole score or handicap.

My name is Joe Hanna. I do not have a home course in Buffalo- I try to play as many courses as possible in the area. However- if you were to ask me what my favorite local course is- flip a coin between Ivy Ridge (best customer service in the area and meticulous golf course) and Sheridan (the best test of a golfer’s overall golf game from tee to green). My average 18 hole score is 84.

2. How did you get hooked by this game?

When I was 13 years old I used to deliver The Buffalo News in Amherst. One day- one of my customers had thrown a set of clubs out in the garbage. I decided to pull them out of the garbage- and the rest is history.

3. How often do you play?

Not enough… I wish I could play more. I am a Partner at Goldberg Segalla and President of Bunkers in Baghdad (golf charity for the military)- between the both of those adventures- I do not golf as much as I would like to.

4. Do you ever practice? If so, what parts of your game?

What did Allen Iverson say- “Practice?!? Practice?!?!” Of course if I spent more time on the range I would improve- but I prefer to use as much of my golf time on the course than on the range. If I get to the course early- I will spend 15 or 20 minutes on the putting green.

5. Describe the best shot you have hit in this lifetime.

2 shots in the same round- 1. After a couple drinks on the course- I was all loosened up and not as interested in golfing as I was in drinking. However- coming down the home stretch- I had an 80 yard chip in for birdie on the hardest hole on the course. 2. A couple holes later- I won a long drive contest hammering the ball dead straight in the middle of the fairway about 300 yards. It was even more gratifying in that I was golfing with an Admiral from the US Navy and my brother-in-law.

Moral of the story- have fun out there- enjoy the company, the weather, the drinks and cigars, and if you are playing well- then you have a perfect day.

6. Describe the worst shot you have hit in this lifetime.

Where do I start?

7. Are you a walker or a rider most often and why?

Absolutely a walker… First and foremost- I enjoy the exercise. Secondly- it certainly helps my pace and rhythm out on the course. Finally- if the rest of my group is walking- it gives us more time to BS out there together.

8. Reveal the best golf course you’ve ever played and what makes it “the best” from your vantage point.

Bethpage Black. Think of the most difficult golf course you have ever played in your life and multiply it by 5. It is a challenging, well maintained, hilly, golf architecture masterpiece that is not pretentious. Bring your A game or it could make for a long day.

9. What does golf do for you? What keeps you coming back?

As I previously mentioned- I enjoy nothing more than laughing with the guys, having a couple drinks and a cigar, telling a story or three, getting a little exercise, and enjoying the weather. There are not too many places on this planet that you can do all of those things at the same time. The sport is too tough to take serious. No matter how good you are- if you take it too serious and you have a bad day- the fun and enjoyment gets sucked out of it very quickly.
10. What question haven’t I asked, that you would love to answer? Ask it and answer it.

How many golf balls and golf clubs has Bunkers in Baghdad collected and shipped to our soldiers and wounded warriors around the world?

4 million golf balls, 70,000 golf clubs to our soldiers and wounded warriors in 21 countries around the world. We have shipped equipment to VA Hospitals, Fisher Houses, wounded warrior programs, and military bases in all 50 states as well.

Check out our webpage at: