Numbers are up for LI private clubs

There might be some hope for golf, after all. That was the message taken by club presidents from the Long Island Golf Association's Presidents Invitational seminar this week at Garden City Country Club. They heard figures that suggest the worst is over from the economic collapse and that business actually is improving.

Of the 30 Long Island private clubs surveyed by the accounting firm Condon, O'Meara, McGinty & Donnelly, membership dues averaged $3,172,600 in 2011--up 2.6 percent from 2010 and continuing a five-year rise. Most other revenues were up, too, with the exception of initiation fees. Several clubs, citing a competitive market, have reduced those.

Overall, it was seen as good news at a time when the number of golfers nationally is slipping and more courses are closing than opening.

"We were happy to learn that the tide truly seems to be turning in the private club industry on Long Island," said Frank Perlman, president of Nissequogue Golf Club, which has focused on initiatives for families. "We see more interest in membership with each passing month. This year alone, we attracted 35 new members."

So how much does it cost to join and stay in a club? The survey, which did not identify any of the clubs, indicated that the average initiation fee is $53,667. Annual dues average $9,530.

Father, son in U.S. Open qualifier

St. John's sophomore Ryan McCormick, the medalist at the Long Island local U.S. Open qualifier, said that making the Open sectionals had been a goal for a long time. "I've watched my dad play in sectionals a bunch of times. I've just wanted to be out there," McCormick said after qualifying at Wheatley Hills on May 7.

Both he and his dad, Mark, the pro at Suburban Golf Club, are in the sectional at Canoe Brook in Summit, N.J. June 4. Ryan starts at 7:30 on the North Course, Mark starts at the same exact time on the South Course . . . Teenage standouts Jim Liu of Smithtown and Matt Lowe of Farmingdale will play in back-to-back pairings at Canoe Brook . . . The field will include several PGA Tour players, including Long Island native Marc Turnesa.

Miranda adds to his victory list

Follow-up on last week's item about Michael Miranda of Selden, 15, who had his teacher Bob Joyce on the bag at the local qualifier: Miranda this past week won a qualifier at Eisenhower White for the Callaway World Junior Golf Championships in San Diego and then won the Suffolk High School title at Indian Island . . . For the eighth consecutive year, Jeffrey Poplarski, an Amityville sports chiropractor, has been director of the Wellness Team at the U.S. Open. He will head 115 health-care providers at San Francisco's Olympic club June 11-17.

Barclays tickets can benefit charity

Former Nassau Coliseum executive Hilary Hartung reports that the Education and Assistance Corporation is one of the charities people can support buy buying tickets to the Barclays at Bethpage Black in August. In the Tickets Fore Charity program, fans can designate which organization gets the proceeds from their purchase. The list is at www.buytfc.com.

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