December 2019 Newsletter









All members of the MGWA, with items for our newsletter, are urged to e-mail them to Chuck Stogel (



Board Sets Dinner Date, Dues Structure for 2020

Dave Donelson of Westchester Magazine has been re-elected to a second consecutive one-year term as President of the Met Golf Writers Association. His re-election was affirmed by the MGWA Board of Directors, which met on December 15th and unanimously accepted the recommendations of our Nominating Committee. In addition, re-elected as Vice Presidents: Mark Cannizzaro, New York Post; Brian Crowell, CBS Sports/Sirius XM Radio; and Hank Gola, The Met Golfer. Additionally, Crowell also was named Treasurer. At the same time, re-elected as Board members: Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV Channel 4; Dan Berger, DMB Media Network; I. Martin Davis, The American Golfer; Bill Fields, freelance; Damon Hack, Golf Channel; Pete Kowalski, USGA (ret.); Ann Liguori, Ann Liguori Productions; Bill Meth, JB Sports Service; Peter Morrice, Golf Digest; Jay Mottola, Met Golf Association; John Paul Newport, freelance; Patricia S. Norton, On Course Strategies; Bill Pennington, The New York Times; Jimmy Roberts, NBC Sports; and Chuck Stogel, freelance. Robin Sauerhaft continues as MGWA Client Administrator.


The date and venue for our 69th Annual MGWA National Awards Dinner has been set for Monday evening, June 22, 2020, at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY. The date is the day after the scheduled final round of the 120th U.S. Open golf championship at Winged Foot GC, Mamaroneck, NY. The MGWA Board is currently working on our roster of honorees for the dinner and will be making announcements about recipients beginning in January. The cost of the Dinner has been set at $250 per person, with a special fee of $125 each for MGWA members plus one guest. Raffle tickets will be available for $20 each, or six tickets for $100.


The MGWA Board also set the dues structure for 2020, deciding to continue with the same fee schedule we had this past season: $75 – Regular; $100 – Associate; $25 – Retired. Definitions of the membership categories are listed in the MGWA by-laws, which are available online ( Forms for membership renewal and for new members are both available on our website. Renewals will be accepted beginning January 1, 2020, with a deadline of February 14th. The Board encourages everyone to invite potential new members, if qualified, to join the MGWA. Applications from new members need the endorsement of two current members. Applications are reviewed by a three-person MGWA Membership Committee, comprised of Hank Gola, Pete Kowalski and Bill Pennington.  To access the membership renewal forms, click the green Login box in the upper right corner of the Home page, and when prompted, enter your username (your email) and your password (your last name; capitalize the first letter).  Then click the Membership tab on the far right of the page.  You will receive an “Access Denied” notice if you’re not logged in.


Our MGWA Activities Committee reported that it is currently working on our schedule of meetings and outings for 2020 and should be able to reveal the full schedule in early March. It is anticipated that we will host four regular meetings this coming season, plus our annual visit to Bethpage State Park. The MGWA Activities Committee comprises Dan Berger, Dave Donelson, Howie Munck, Jon Olson and Chuck Stogel.



Berger Kings Claim Shootout in Season Finale

The MGWA schedule for 2019 wrapped up in October at Manhattan Woods GC, West Nyack, NY, with a pair of overlapping annual competitions: our Quill & Tee Club Championship, which had been postponed from July’s weather-shortened outing at The Tuxedo Club; and the MGWA Team Shootout. The weather was sunny and mild, and the club played an excellent and ultra-accommodating host for the 52-plus members in attendance. Our sincere thanks to Club Manager Ian Gillule and first-year Head Pro Reid Howey (previously an assistant at Oakmont in PA) for all the arrangements. Co-owners Mike Kulchin and John Koh were both on hand, with Kulchin addressing our group at the indoor meeting. The food & beverage offerings for the day were sumptuous, and the course was in terrific shape. The undulating greens proved particularly perilous due to heightened speed but with a true roll.


Manhattan Woods was proud to showcase its renovated practice facility, which now features a golf academy --- with a new, varied short game area --- staffed by full-time teaching professionals. Kulchin pointed out the club’s locker rooms were entirely renovated; MWGC is encouraging more social golf among members; has upgraded its caddie program; and is promoting practice and lessons to a greater extent. “We’re looking to make golf a fun experience, and at the same time improve the golfers’ games,” said Kulchin. Manhattan Woods currently lists just under 200 members and the club does not invoke prearranged tee times. Kulchin explained that upcoming course work includes bunker renovation and a strategic tree program.


Our special guest speaker and presenter for the day was Tyler Stanulonis, Marketing Support Manager at Casio America, which is based in nearby Dover, NJ. In addition to staying for the entire day and competing on the Frew/Lundgren Connection (which placed second in the Team Shootout), Stanulonis provided a demonstration during the morning meeting of the Casio Pro Trek Smart WSD-F30 smart watch. Equipped with low-power GPS and full color maps with navigation, even when offline, the watch also offers Casio’s Triple Sensor Technology (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass). Of particular interest to golfers, Casio has partnered with Hole19, one of the most comprehensive Android golf assistants, to optimize the WSD=F30 golfing experience. At the end of the day, during our prize session, Stanulonis presented several of the smart watches via a membership raffle drawing.


In the Quill & Tee club competition, Jon Olson prevailed in the Championship Flight by two strokes with a 5-over-par 77. Patrick Lundgren was runner-up at 79, Yale Stogel third at 80 and John Napier fourth at 84. Bill Fullard won the A Flight title in a match of cards at 91 with David Barrett finishing second. Gordon Andrew placed third at 93 and Wayne Kamidoi fourth at 97. Kelly Campbell, who played in the weather-abbreviated Q&T tournament at Tuxedo but was unable to play at Manhattan Woods due to a work conflict, was named the Q&T Women’s Club Champion. Both Olson and Campbell are featured among the annual roster of area club champs in the current issue of The Met Golfer magazine.


The MGWA Team Shootout was won by a version of the Berger Kings foursome for the sixth time in the past 10 seasons (previous wins in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017). This year’s winning foursome comprised Dan Berger, Joe Ruggiero, Jon Olson and Richard Moscowitz, with Berger and Ruggiero having been part of all six winning team variations. With a net two best balls of foursome format, using 80% of handicap strokes, the Berger Kings won with a 13-under 131 total. The Frew/Lundgren Connection was second at 134 and The Outsiders third at 137. The rest of the scores, in order: Let’s Go Mets, 138; Fore Golfers, Choking Dogs, Mr. Rogers’ Neighbors, and The Young & The Restless, all 141; Post-Times and X-Golf Mag, 143; Great Expectations and Puttsmutters, 145.


NOTE: Photos from all the 2019 MGWA meetings and outings are being posted online ( Click on the Meetings & Outings tab; links to photos from each outing are on the Meetings & Outings home page (again, you must be logged in to view the photos or you will receive an “Access Denied” notice).



Seawane Country Club in Hewlett Harbor, NY has been sold by its membership to a pair of “young” businessmen who plan to continue operating the facility as a golf and country club. The sale closed in mid-November; purchase price was not disclosed. The new owners are Jared Brecher, 33, and Dan Klein, 34, both graduates of George Washington University who live in Manhattan. Brecher is a hedge fund investor and Long Island native from Woodmere whose parents belong to Seawane. Klein is a real estate investor.


Seawane, which abuts the Long Island Sound with several fescue-rimmed holes set in and around various inlets, encompasses 120 acres with a 6,725-yard, par-72 golf course originally designed by Devereux Emmet and opened in 1927, with subsequent architectural work by Alfred Tull and Stephen Kay. The club also has 10 tennis courts, a swimming pool, driving range and health club. The owners are currently seeking a new Head Golf Professional.


The club plans to broaden its outreach with the hiring of a Membership/Sales Director and to expand catering facilities to accommodate more revenue-producing outside events. As to the membership, Brecher told “Country clubs need to be family epicenters. There will be more activities for women and families.”



PERSONNEL: During the past season, MGWA Board Member and media maven Pete Kowalski left the U.S. Golf Association after more than 20 years, most recently as Senior Director of Championship Communication. Previously, he worked in Sports Information at Rutgers and Penn State. He is now President of Kowalski Sports & PR, based in Lehigh Valley, PA. Contact: 908-216-8435; . . . To replace Kowalski, the USGA named Beth Major as Senior Director of Championship Communication (908-234-2300; . . . CLUB PRO MOVES: MGWA VP/Treasurer Brian Crowell resigned as General Manager/Director of Golf at Silo Ridge FC, Amenia NY, to pursue other opportunities. His new contact email: . . . Veteran Club Pro Heath Wassem has left Fenway GC, White Plains, NY . . . Chris Case resigned as Head Golf Pro at Mount Kisco (NY) CC . . . The Powelton Club, Newburgh, NY, was seeking a new Head Golf Pro . . . MGA AWARDS: The Met Golf Association earlier this month held its Annual Meeting and awards dinner at Westchester CC, Harrison, NY. Suzy Whaley, first woman President at the PGA of America, received the MGA’s Distinguished Service Award. Chris Gotterup of Rumson, NJ was the recipient of this year’s MGA Jerry Courville, Sr. Player of the Year Award.  He won the 117th Met Amateur Championship at Hudson National GC, Croton-on-Hudson, NY, among other accomplishments . . . PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS NEWS: Congratulations to second-time grandparents Patty and MGWA Board member Jay Mottola, whose daughter Lauren and husband Robert Crosby welcomed their second child, Nora Eileen, on November 29th. She joins big sister Louise . . . And never-too-late congratulations to first-time parents Jess and MGWA member Jon Olson whose son William Joseph “Will” Olson III was born on June 21st . . . PARTING REMINDER: The new World Handicap System will be launched jointly by the USGA and the R&A in January 2020, designed to provide golfers “with a unified and more inclusive handicapping system.” For further info:


SOCIAL MEDIA ADDENDUM: The MGWA online is now more available than ever before. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Met Golf Writers Association, and on Twitter at @metgolfwriters.


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