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Volunteer of the Year- Jim Daly
Club of the Year- Lake of Isles
Dick Tettelbach Player of the Year- Zach Zaback
Dick Siderowf Senior Player of the Year- Dave Szewczul
Hall of Fame Inductions- Betty Boyko, Ted May and Roy Pace
For many years the CSGA’s tournament operations have included the services of many committed volunteers. Currently more than one hundred men and women throughout Connecticut give their time for the good of the game. Many arrive early and stay late working at tournaments spread across the state. Each year, the CSGA Executive Committee selects one individual as the “CSGA Volunteer of the Year,” someone who has gone “above and beyond” in serving tournament players and fellow officials.
The 2014 CSGA Volunteer of the Year is James R. “Jim” Daly of Trumbull and Tashua Knolls Golf Club.
A retired risk manager for the Ethan Allen Company in Danbury, Daly brought a good-humored enthusiasm to all of the events he worked in 2014. According to CSGA Director of Operations, Ryan Hoffman, “Jim is the kind of guy who finishes his assignment and immediately asks, ‘What else do you need me to do?’ He has a great, positive attitude and we really appreciate having him at our tournaments.”
Daly can often be found at one of the more remote and challenging locations on a golf course. But when the CSGA needed a last minute replacement at starter for its biggest tournament of the year, the Connecticut Open at Rolling Hills, Hoffman immediately called on Daly to come in and take over the job. “It was like going to the bullpen to bring in an ace reliever,” recalled Hoffman, “I knew we could count on Jim, and he handled the job expertly.”
Longtime CSGA Rules Official and fellow Tashua member Owen Evans first introduced Jim to the CSGA volunteer program in 2011. “I needed someone to drive the car so I could sleep on the way home,” quipped Evans, “but seriously, Jim is a really good guy and I knew he’d be a good fit with the CSGA.”
“I tease Jim about the time he signed up to work a tournament that he thought was at Connecticut Golf Club close to his home,” recalls CSGA Executive Director, Mike Moraghan. “When he discovered it was actually at Connecticut National in the far northeast corner of the state he had a four-hour round-trip drive. But typical of Jim, he just laughed it off, and of course he worked the tournament.”
A native of Philadelphia who moved to Connecticut in 1987, Daly attended St. Joseph’s University, one of Philly’s “Big-5” schools known for intensely competitive athletics and academics. A champion hurdler and high jumper, Daly was a track and field star for his alma mater. School records he set in the hurdles during his senior year in 1968 were untouched for twelve years after he graduated.
“I’ve always loved sports,” said Daly, “The camaraderie of the CSGA crew is just great, and being outdoors and seeing some excellent golf at the tournaments is a real bonus. I keep hoping some of the championship golf I’m witnessing through my binoculars will rub off, but so far that hasn’t happened. But I’ll keep hoping and I’ll definitely keep coming out to be part of the CSGA.”
The Connecticut State Golf Association has named Lake of Isles the 2014 CSGA Club of the Year. Lake of Isles, a 36-hole Rees Jones-designed golf club located in North Stonington, Connecticut, opened in May 2005 and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014. Lake of Isles has hosted a CSGA event nearly each of its ten years including the 112th Connecticut Amateur in 2014, the 78th Tri-State Matches in 2011, the 73rd Connecticut Open Championship in 2007, the 25th Senior Four-Ball Championship in 2006, and the 24th Senior Four-Ball Championship in 2005.
According to CSGA Executive Director, Mike Moraghan, “Lake of Isles is a first class facility that has always been an outstanding site for championship golf. Having hosted a number of events over the years, including our Annual Meeting and our Amateur Championship within the last year, they’ve repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to excellence. They exemplify the very best in golf facility operations.”
Conducting the Connecticut Amateur Championship using two golf courses at a property as vast as Lake of Isles presents numerous challenges. Ryan Hoffman, CSGA Director of Operations, explained “Lake of Isles covers a large area of natural topography and contains many hazards and environmentally sensitive areas. Conducting five days of competition over two golf courses with all of the corresponding course marking and setup, is a lot of work. Jim Ritorto, Director of Agronomy who oversees both courses, his staff, and the staff of the entire golf operation did an exceptional job of preparing the courses and helping us conduct an outstanding event.”
Archie Cart, PGA Professional and General Manager of Lake of Isles, speaking on behalf the Club of the Year, said, “We are truly honored to receive this award and this recognition from the CSGA. We always strive to be exceptional, and knowing how many outstanding clubs there are in Connecticut we are humbled and grateful for the award.”
Owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and located across the street from Foxwoods Resort Casino, Lake of Isles’ two courses wind their way through nine hundred acres of wooded Connecticut countryside and around a ninety-acre lake. Lake of Isles has received many accolades since opening in 2005. It is ranked No. 1 by Golfweek as Best Places You Can Play In Connecticut, ranked in the Top 100 Courses You Can Play in America by Golf Magazine, and it is consistently ranked in the Top 10 Courses in Connecticut by Golf Digest.
“In just ten short years, Lake of Isles has established itself as one of the best golf facilities in the country,” Cart commented when speaking of the club’s anniversary, “We take great pride in providing our members and guests with the ultimate experience from pristine course conditions, five-star service and amenities that are found only at Lake of Isles and Foxwoods.”