Jamesville, N.Y. – The New York State Golf Association Hall of Fame Committee has elected five individuals to the New York State Golf Association Hall of Fame – Class of 2015.
The elected individuals are: John Konsek – Amateur; Thomas Reidy – Distinguished Volunteer Service; Donald Ross (1872-1948) – Golf Course Architect; Lancy Smith – Amateur; and Samuel Urzetta (1926-2011) – Amateur and Club Professional.
This is the second Class to be elected to the NYSGA Hall of Fame. The NYSGA Hall of Fame Inaugural Class was inducted in November 2012 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.
The Hall of Fame Committee is co-chaired by NYSGA President, Dick Galvin and NYSGA Executive Committee Member, Sherry Heath. The Committee also includes NYSGA Executive Committee Members Joseph Enright, Edward Stanek and Iris Stanek, NYSGA Sectional Advisory Committee Member Robert Biviano and NYSGA Sectional Affairs Committee Member Floyd ‘Skip’ Brennan.
The formal induction will take place on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at The Country Club of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.
In the near future, ticket information for the induction dinner will be available on the NYSGA Hall of Fame webpage. Tickets will be available to the public and supporters of the NYSGA Hall of Fame members and inductees.
Residence: Pawley’s Island, S.C.
John Konsek grew up in Buffalo playing much of his early golf at the Grover Cleveland Golf Course. His father noticed his talent and enrolled Konsek in lessons at the Park Club with the head professional, Jack Pritchard.
Konsek won a string of local, state and national events between 1957 and 1964, including four consecutive NYSGA championships, three of which were consecutive N.Y.S. Men’s Amateur Championship titles in 1958, 1959, and 1960. In addition, he dominated the collegiate ranks while attending college at Purdue University. Konsek lead his team to three Big 10 Championship titles in 1958, 1959 and 1960. While at Purdue, Konsek also played in three head-to-head matches against a young Jack Nicklaus and defeated him two out of three times they played.
In 1961 Konsek turned down an invitation to compete in the Masters Invitational as it conflicted with his studies at the University of Buffalo. Enrolled in medical school at the time, Konsek went on to be a well-respected Oncologist in Wisconsin. Now retired, Konsek enjoys most of his time in South Carolina.
John Konsek’s Career Highlights
N.Y.S. Junior Amateur Championship – 1957
N.Y.S. Men’s Amateur Championship – 1958, 1959, 1960
East Aurora Junior Masters – 1954, 1957, 1957
Porter Cup – 1959, 1961
Monroe Invitational – 1959, 1964
Big 10 Championship Medalist and All-American (Purdue University) – 1958, 1959, 1960
U.S. Open – 1958, 1960
Purdue Sports Hall of Fame Member
Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Member
Residence: Elmira, N.Y.
Thomas Reidy, born and raised in Elmira, N.Y., became involved in the game of golf as a young man. At the age of 12, Reidy was hired as a caddy at his beloved Elmira Country Club and become an official member in 1974.
Reidy’s love for the game surpasses the average golf enthusiast and expands beyond playing the game. Throughout the last three decades, he has established a career which includes volunteer accomplishments unparalleled within the NYSGA. After becoming a member of the NYSGA Sectional Affairs Committee in 1983, Reidy served in several other capacities including: Executive Director, President, Tournament Director, Executive Committee Member, Foundation Board Member, and Tournament Chairperson. His tireless work ethic and incredible knowledge of the game led to being a mentor for numerous NYSGA committee members as well.
In addition to his accomplishments within the NYSGA, Reidy has served on the USGA Regional Affairs Committee and USGA Sectional Affairs Committee. He received the prestigious Ike Grainger Award from the USGA in 2009 for more than 25 years of service.
Thomas Reidy’s Career Highlights
NYSGA Sectional Affairs Committee – 1983, 1984
NYSGA Executive Director – 1984-1995
NYSGA President – 2003, 2004, 2005
NYSGA Executive Committee Member – 1996-2000, 2002-2008, 2011-present
NYSGA Foundation Board Member – 2003-2013
N.Y.S. Men’s Amateur Championship Tournament Co-Chair – 2012
Ike Grainger Award Recipient – 2009
Deceased (1872 – 1948)
Donald Ross, born in Dornoch, Scotland, grew up playing golf at Royal Dornoch. In his early years, he took up “keeping of the green” and even served as an apprentice at St. Andrew’s under four-time British Open champion “Old” Tom Morris.
Ross immigrated to the United States in spring of 1899. He arrived in Boston, Massachusetts to build and run the Oakley Golf Club. After a year in Boston, Ross relocated to North Carolina to work with the Tufts family at Pinehurst, a decision that would forever change the landscape of his life.
While at Pinehurst, Ross designed and rebuilt four courses at the Pinehurst resort and took special care with the layout of Pinehurst No. 2. His work at Pinehurst lead to a lifelong practice of designing and building courses throughout New England, the Midwest and down the Southeast coast. Ross did much of his design and renovation work at home in a cottage behind the third green at Pinehurst due to travel constraints. Ross designed or renovated 30 courses in New York State including arguably one of his greatest designs Oak Hill Country Club.
The NYSGA has been fortunate to host state amateur championships at several Ross designed courses including: Bellevue Country Club, Glens Falls Country Club, Mark Twain Golf Course, Oak Hill Country Club, Teugega Country Club and Thendara Golf Club. Ross designed courses are a favorite among NYSGA members.
Donald Ross’s Career Highlights
Designer/re-designer of 600 courses
Over 100 U.S. National Championships played on his designs
Designed Pinehurst #2 – 1903-1935
Officially Launched Career in Design – 1910
Designed Oak Hill Country Club (East & West) – 1923
Founding Member of American Society of Golf Course Architects – 1947
World Golf Hall of Fame Member – 1977
Residence: Buffalo, N.Y.
Lancy Smith is considered the best woman player to ever come out of Western New York. Growing up in a golf family, Smith took up the game at age eight and won her first N.Y.S. Women’s Amateur Championship title ten years later in 1966.
Smith went on to win numerous other local and national awards and became recognized as one of the best amateur golfers in the nation. From 1970 to 1984, she was ranked in the Top Ten by Golf Digest Magazine 12 different times, 11 times consecutively including No. 1 in 1980. Smith was named to the Curtis Cup team nine times, five times as a starter and four times as an alternate. The Curtis Cup team competes against the best women golfers from England and Ireland. She achieved one of her proudest honors when she was named captain of the 1994 Curtis Cup team.
More recently, Smith won the N.Y.S. Women’s Senior Amateur four times in the years 1998-2002. In 2001, Smith and her sister Debby Ego won the Trans-National Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Lancy Smith’s Career Highlights
N.Y.S. Women’s Amateur Championship – 1966, 1969, 1979
N.Y.S. Women’s Senior Amateur Championship – 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002
U.S. Women’s Open Championship – Competed in 15 U.S. Women’s Open Championships.
Curtis Cup Captain – 1994
Curtis Cup Member – 1972, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984
Women’s Western Amateur Championship – 1974
Women’s Eastern Amateur Championship – 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974
Women’s Buffalo District Golf Association – 15 time champion.
Women’s Golf Association of WNY – 1970, 1971, 1990
Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Member – 1994
Deceased (1926 – 2011)
Sam Urzetta is a golf legend in Rochester, N.Y. At the age of 22, he won the N.Y.S. Men’s Amateur Championship and Monroe Invitational, which he went on to win two more times. Two years later, he won the 1950 U.S. Amateur Championship over career-long amateur Frank Stranahan. The match went on for a record 39 holes; a record that stood alone until 2000 when it was tied. Urzetta played on two winning Walker Cup teams and competed in 12 major championships; four appearances in the Masters Tournament, four appearances in the U.S. Open, four appearances in the PGA Championship.
In 1954, Urzetta turned professional. His best finish on the tour came in the 1956 Masters Tournament when he finished tied for 12th. After limited success on the tour, he decided to take the head golf professional position at the Country Club of Rochester in 1956. Urzetta remained at CCR until he retired in 1993. Urzetta is remembered as one of the finest gentlemen the game has ever produced.
“When you were in his presence, you knew you were around someone special,” Jim Mrva, head golf professional at Monroe Golf Club, said in a GolfWeek magazine interview in 2011. “For anyone who knew him, you felt like he was your best friend.”
Samuel Urzetta’s Career Highlights
N.Y.S. Men’s Amateur Championship – 1948
Monroe Invitational – 1948, 1949, 1950
RDGA Amateur Championship – 1947, 1950
U.S. Amateur – 1950
Walker Cup – 1951, 1953
Head Golf Professional at CCR – 1956-1993