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Not a Jedi mind trick

May 4, 2016

It’s been a cloudy, chilly and rainy start to the 2016 tournament season.

May the fourth be with you. Mother Nature certainly hasn’t been with the Association at the start of its 2016 tournament season. Save for Week Two of the BMW GAP Team Matches, cloudy skies, cool temperatures and scattered showers have stolen the spotlight. Rain is also in the forecast for tomorrow’s Francis B. Warner Warner Cup (Gross) at Whitford Country Club.

Unfortunate, yet we’ll press on and hope to get it in, as the saying goes. Same goes for the BMW GAP Team Matches Playoff and Challenges on Saturday.

May is expected to be chock-full of Communications activity. From tournament coverage to magazine work to new Web features such as the 1 MORE campaign and Philling the GAP, we’ll certainly be on our toes. Oh, and next Monday, we’ll welcome Tim Merrick back to our team for the summer ahead. Tim served as our intern a year ago. He will be heavily involved with the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust as well.

May the force be with us this month.

The start of the season

April 8, 2016

Greate Bay Country Club will host a Middle-Amateur Qualifier tomorrow. 

The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 2016 season formally began a week ago. Technically speaking, it coincides with the start of active handicap score posting. As a result, activity in the Communications department is akin to that on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Here’s a rundown of the latest:

  • April’s Philling the GAP focuses on handicapping services.
  • The Association launched its 1 MORE campaign, which, as its title suggests, encourages golfers to play one more round, eat one more meal or take one more caddie in 2016.
  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine’s Spring 2016 issue is finally here! It focuses on the balancing act that today’s woman golfer faces — juggling family, business and the game of golf. Other features include Bala Golf Club’s 115th Anniversary and Players to Watch in 2016, to name a few.
  • It will be a busy weekend in GAP land. The first official event of the season will take place tomorrow at Greate Bay Country Club. Seventy-six players will attempt to qualify for the Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf. Twenty-four hours later, the BMW GAP Team Matches kicks off. The weather forecast isn’t ideal, but our team coverage is. Check out the BMW GAP Team Matches section of the Web site for all of the latest. Good luck to all those competing over the weekend.

Speaking of Greate Bay, I’m reminded of a story I wrote about the club’s goats.

Stay warm. Stay optimistic. The season is here. Enjoy The Masters.

Magazines in motion

March 22, 2016

Bala Golf Club will be featured in the Spring 2016 edition.

The Communications department is placing the finishing touches on the spring edition of the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine. I won’t tease its cover topic and theme here, but I will reveal a nugget or two. Bala Golf Club, a William Flynn design in Philadelphia, Pa., celebrates its 115th anniversary in 2016. The BMW GAP Team Matches is around the corner. And what’s cooking — better yet who’s cooking — at The Masters? Look for the Spring 2016 edition soon.

As we ready one issue of the magazine for distribution, we’re already at work on the next. I will tell you that the summer topic involves locker room lore. Does your club feature a locker room with a unique history? A longtime attendant who’s heard tale after tale from all walks of the membership? A vintage set-up that cries “old school?” Ghost stories that add to the intrigue? We want to throw the region’s coolest locker rooms in the spotlight.

Any suggestions, feel free to let me know. E-mail

Picture this

February 11, 2016

“What do you guys do in the winter?” is a popular question that we hear toward the end of a tournament season. “A lot” is a popular answer. Among a litany of offseason activities is photo archiving. We review all of the photos that we took throughout the tournament season — hundreds of thousands of photos — and label the keepers accordingly. Event, player(s) and hole included in the descriptors. Archiving allows the Communications department to retrieve photos on call. We’re continuing to work through photos this winter. Can you picture that?


One of the my favorites from the 2015 season — now labeled and archived. 

Dean of influence

January 20, 2016

Writing is a must in the Communications department. We, true to our name, spearhead the majority of the Association’s Communication and produce copy on a daily basis. The Web site and Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine alone demand coherent, informative, and well-structured stories. Our department puts a premium on good writing.

With each passing piece, I remind myself of two things: avoid clutter and use active voice. Both are lasting lessons that I learned as a student at La Salle University. During my freshmen year, I enrolled in a college writing class taught by Professor Madeleine Dean. She stressed active voice, which I rarely considered at the time, and introduced clutter, a word I associated with household objects instead of writing. Her instruction, without a doubt, made me a better writer. I always think active voice and comb through my stories for clutter.

I recently decided to reach out to Professor Dean with a note of gratitude. She is now a State Representative in the 153rd Legislative District. To my surprise given her demanding schedule, I received a prompt and thoughtful response. She is fighting the good fight in Harrisburg. I’m fortunate to be writing the golf write (going for clever rhyme scheme here) in Philadelphia.

The moral of this entry is twofold. It’s a reminder of writing’s importance within the Communications department, and encouragement to say thanks to those who influenced you.

GAP Magazine: Winter 2015 issue

January 7, 2016

The Winter 2015 issue of the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine is available. Continually proud to play a role in producing the publication. Under the leadership of Marty Emeno, the magazine’s editor and co-author of this blog, it continues to improve in terms of content, art, layout and direction. The topic principle that we implemented last year has been a home run, in my opinion.

The Winter 2015 issue focuses on winter golf (naturally). Tackling this topic was tough. I tried to present as much information as possible to showcase the benefits of winter golf for all parties. Not sure if I succeeded, but it felt gratifying to piece everything together and to see the finished product.

Furthermore, I love the art that the Communications department used for the Winter 2015 issue and its presentation. I’ll refer you to the Player of the Year profiles. A few years back, we decided to cut down on story length, to highlight more art and to extract a punchy quote or two. The 2015 results are striking to me.


This photo brilliantly supplements the story it accompanies. 

Happy reading.


Players to Watch follow-up

December 15, 2015

In its spring issue, the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine profiled six Players to Watch during the tournament season. With 2015 coming to a close, let’s see how those individuals fared.


Amateur: Alex Blickle, LedgeRock Golf Club

  • won the 26th Four-Man Team at Moselem Springs Golf Club alongside Joe Butto, Grant Skyllas and Evan Thornton; carded a 14-under-par 126
  • tied for fifth in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Amateur Championship presented by Allegheny Health Network at the Country Club of Scranton (70-77-68)
  • missed match play cut in the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship at Llanerch Country Club (75-77)
  • tied for 27th in the Joseph H. Patterson Cup at Chester Valley Golf Club (71-77)
  • tied for 18th in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Open Championship at Rolling Green Golf Club (72-68-74)
  • turned professional late summer
  • ranked 64th in William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings

Amateur: Christopher Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club

  • advanced to match play in the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship in a sudden-death playoff
  • (carded rounds of 78 and 72 in regulation)
  • lost to Aaron Fricke of Lancaster Country Club, 5&3, in the Round of 32
  • missed cut in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Amateur Championship presented by Allegheny Health Network (74-83)
  • missed cut in the GAP Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf at St. Davids Golf Club (83)
  • ranked 49th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings

Junior: Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club

  • Junior Player of the Year
  • won the Christman Cup presented by Global Golf Post at Gulph Mills Golf Club (71-68)
  • 101st Junior Boys’ Championship runner-up; lost to Kyle Vance of the GAP Junior Players Club, 4&2
  • Pennsylvania Golf Association Junior Boys’ Championship co-runner-up (70-76)
  • 31st Jock MacKenzie Memorial runner-up; lost to Mark Benevento, Jr. in a sudden-death playoff
  • Harry Hammond Award runner-up; lost to J.T. Barker in 91 holes
  • Williamson Cup team member

Jon Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club

  • tied for 33rd in the Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf (75-78)
  • tied for 31st in the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) at Berkshire Country Club (81)
  • tied for 49th in the Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) at Little Mill Country Club (82)
  • missed match play cut in the Brewer Cup presented by Callaway Golf at Saucon Valley Country Club (Weyhill); carded an 81

Senior: Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

  • qualified for match play in the U.S. Senior Amateur at Hidden Creek Golf Club; lost to Gary Robinson of Fayetteville, N.C., 4&3, in the Round of 64
  • placed third in the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross); carded a 74
  • tied for third in the Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross); carded a 76
  • qualified for match play in the Brewer Cup presented by Callaway Golf; lost to Duke Delcher, 2-up, in the Round of 16
  • tied for 15th in the GAP Senior Amateur at Union League Golf Club at Torresdale (69-82)
  • tied for 7th in the Open Championship at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon); carded rounds of 74 and 71
  • tied for fourth alongside Raymond Thompson in the Senior Four-Ball Stroke Play at North Hills Country Club (68)
  • missed match play cut in the U.S. Mid-Amateur at John’s Island Club (74-76)
  • missed match play cut in the BMW Philadelphia Amateur (77-76)
  • tied for fourth in the Senior Silver Cross Award standings
  • finished second in the Senior Player of the Year standings

Super-Senior: Thomas O’Rourke, Chester Valley Golf Club

  • finished 37th in the Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross); carded a 90
  • finished 37th in the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross); carded a 90
  • tied for 30th in the Senior Amateur (78-86)