Discover Top Golf Destinations for Late Summer and Fall with Exclusive Area Rankings

Rankings have always intrigued me, regardless of the sport. College football and basketball wouldn’t be the same without their top 25 teams, and even tennis seedings are determined by computer rankings.

In the world of golf, rating players has been a tradition since the establishment of the Official World Golf Ranking in 1986. On a local level, I was responsible for compiling the Capital Region Amateur Golf Association rankings for a period of twenty years. Additionally, the Northeastern New York PGA uses a points system to determine its Player of the Year.

Apart from the pleasant weather, late summer and fall golf takes on added significance.

This year, the Capital District Golf Association, a subsidiary of the New York State Golf Association, implemented a new points system for area amateurs. Tom McGinn from Mohawk currently holds a commanding lead in the men’s division, following his victory in the Tri-County Match Play and top-five finishes in the Schenectady Classic and Troy Invitational.

With only the State Mid-Am tournament remaining from September 22-24 at Crag Burn, McGinn (590 points) is in first place, followed by Ben Bates of eClub Capital District (422.5) and Lance Hope of Schenectady Municipal (415).

There is also a women’s point list, with Samantha Schuffernecker from Troy occupying the top spot after her victory in the Women’s Mid-Am. Area juniors are also ranked in the boys’ division (Carter Sica of Saratoga Springs) and girls’ division (Kennedy Swedick of Albany).

The NENYPGA rankings for area professionals attract considerable attention. Last year, Scott Berliner, the teaching pro at Glens Falls, saw his 11-year grip on the Player of the Year trophy come to an end at the hands of Justin Hearley from Burden Lake.

Although the standings could shift with two majors still on the calendar – the Match Play championship on September 19-20 at Colonie and the Tour Championship on October 3-4 at Wyantenuck – Berliner (1,815.83 points) currently enjoys a comfortable lead over Chris Sanger of Woodstock (1,355.00) in his quest to reclaim the crown. Kyle Kressler of Cedar View (1,179.16) is in third place.

So there’s no need to put those golf clubs away just yet.

Area roundup

Mike Shine from Schuyler Meadows emerged victorious in the Northeastern New York PGA Assistants Championship, defeating A.J. Cavotta of Anders Mattson Golf in a playoff after both players finished with a score of 5-over-par 149 at Schuyler Meadows. Shine will represent the section at the Assistant PGA National Championship from November 16-19 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The NENYPGA Pro-Pro event scheduled for Monday was canceled due to heavy rain in Ticonderoga.

Dan DeNyse claimed his third Rensselaer County Men’s Amateur title, shooting a 1-over-par 143 over two days. In the senior division, Kurt Schnellbaecher took home the trophy with a score of 142. In Brattleboro, Vermont, David Arakelian from Troy emerged as the champion of the Vermont Senior Amateur, winning in a playoff on the third hole against Greg Birsky after both players finished the 36 holes tied at 6-over 148.

Jerry Brescia (Eagle Crest), Jim Welch (Olde Kinderhook), David Fizer (Ballston Spa), and defending champion Dan Russo (Schuyler Meadows) are all in contention heading into the final round of the State Senior championship at Yahnundaisis in New Hartford. Meanwhile, Kennedy Swedick of Albany tied for fifth place in the American Junior Golf Association’s Girls’ Invitational at Bowling Green, Florida, shooting a 5-under-par 67 in the final round.

Club roundup

Colonial: Dylan Legg secured the men’s club championship with an impressive final round score of 67.

Colonie: The club champions for 2023 are Tim Carlson (men), Celene McManus (women), Rob Leonard (senior men), and Johnny Rawson (junior).

Edison: Assistant pro Nicholas Franki has achieved PGA registered associate status.

Hoosick Falls: Stevie Carknard (men) and Shari Hand (women) emerged as club champions.

Shaker Ridge: The club dedicated a wooden rocking chair in memory of Al Stranahan, a longtime member who passed away in April.

Troy: Jack Downey (men) and Sherry Piscitella (women) captured club championships. Assistant pro Angelo Cafaro has been granted PGA membership.


Jenny Bae, who won the Twin Bridges Championship in July at Pinehaven, has moved up to sixth place on the Epson Tour money list. Despite turning professional midseason, Bae from Suwanne, Georgia, is in a strong position to secure an LPGA card, which is given to the top 10 players on the Epson money list. After a two-week break, the tour will conclude its schedule with four consecutive tournaments in the southeastern United States.

Pete Dougherty is a freelance writer. He can be reached at [email protected].


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