(November 27, 2021) - Mike Ballo, Sr. began his career in golf in 1947 as a seven-year-old caddy at Woodway Country Club in Darien. Little did he know at the time but that beginning set the wheels in motion for a life in golf that would be punctuated by his induction into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame.
“It means everything,” Ballo, Sr. said of the honor. “I was born and raised in Stamford and made my home in Connecticut my whole life, 80 years now. “To be recognized by the CSGA and inducted into the Hall of Fame is an incredible honor and something I will never forget.”
Once Mike Ballo, Sr. arrived at Woodway CC he never left, except for the four years he spent in the Persian Gulf while in the Navy. After returning from the Navy in 1964 Ballo Sr. took the assistant professional job at the club and then assumed head professional duties in 1971.
Ballo, Sr. served as the head professional at Woodway CC until 2003 and along the way he made his mark in nearly every aspect of the game. He taught the game, he served the members, he groomed assistant professionals into future head professionals, and he played the game at an extremely high level.
Ballo, Sr. won two Connecticut Opens, first in 1969 and again in 1978 while also winning three PGA Westchester Classics. The local success for Ballo, Sr. also translated to success at the national level. Throughout his career he teed it up in three U.S. Opens, three PGA Championships, the 1995 U.S. Senior Open where he made the cut, and the 1988 PGA Tour's Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic.
“It is always such an honor to be recognized by anyone in this industry,” said Ballo, Sr. who along with his wife Page and sons Mike and Peter were honored as the 2021 Metropolitan Golf Writers Association Family of the Year. “The family does not take it for granted and these honors are things we will always cherish.”
Hero Image: Courtesy of the Ballo Family
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut State Golf Association functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year.