LI GOLF BEAT / Golf Prof of Woodmere
Just about all you have to know about Joe Moresco is that
he is retiring as head professional of the Woodmere Club at the end of this
season after 41 years. For any club pro to spend 41 years at one club these
days is a testimony not just to his playing and teaching ability, but his
ability to get along with so many people over so many decades in an ever
changing social structure.
"He is the consummate professional," club manager Don Molitor said. "He
lives for the game. With 41 years at this club, it boggles my mind. That he
survived for all that time just shows that his love of the game has carried
over to the members for a very long time."
"Joe is one of the most articulate, thoughtful, bright individuals we have
ever had in our section," said Charles Robson, executive director of the Met
PGA. "He cares so much about the game, about teaching the game that all his
assistants had to be the same way or they were gone."
Moresco has played in more than 100 PGA Tour events, a winter way to
supplement his summer job as a club professional. He has met all the great
players of the game, has given Arnold Palmer a tip or too, has won all the top
awards from the Met PGA, such as Professional of the Year, the Sam Snead Award,
Teacher of the Year and Horton Smith Award for education. Most of all, he's
taught thousands how to play the game. He's just turned 70, and he's no less
"When you are at a club as long as I've been, it's a family," Moresco said.
"This club is a throw-back to the old days, when golf was golf. It's not
foo-foo golf, as I call it. People care about the game here. We've hosted more
of the local major tournaments than any other club. It's a pleasure to be
working for people like this."
Moresco grew up on Staten Island, became an all-state quarterback and went
to Notre Dame. During the summers, he played some golf. When he injured his
knee his freshman year, he played for the golf team instead of football. After
getting a degree in English, he went into the Army and, because he was
fortunate enough to serve between wars (Korea and Vietnam), he was able to hone
his golf game. In the serendipitous nature of life, an injury in one sport led
to a career in another.
That English degree has come in handy. "I've had a knack for explaining
things," he said. "I've been able to simplify things, pick out one or two
factors to work on instead of trying to redo the whole thing for somebody."
Club president Fred Schlaff has been a beneficiary. "I didn't know much
about golf when I joined the club in 1986," Schlaff said. "Joe worked on me, on
my swing, in so many different ways. I realized just how much goes into
teaching. He knows how to get to people, how to find the right things to say.
He's really a lovely man."
PGA Tour pro Steve Elkington can also attest to Moresco's teaching ability
and generosity. Moresco used to spend winters in Houston, where he was good
friends with Jackie Burke and Jimmy Demaret, owners of the Champions Golf Club.
Elkington was a member there and got a free lesson in bunker play from
Moresco. He credits that lesson for his victory in the very next tournament,
the season-opening Tournament of Champions in 1992.
Moresco has also taught other club pros to be club pros. Some of his
assistants have gone a long way in the game, such as Pete Davison, who became
head pro at Middle Bay and went on to run all the Tournament Players Clubs for
the PGA. Bobby Jenkins became the pro at Westhampton, Rick Vershure the pro at
Quaker Ridge and Don Reese has been on the PGA Tour and Buy.com Tour.
"I'll stay active," Moresco said. "I'll still teach and play in some senior
events. I still love to compete. Like the man said: 'You can't retire if
you've never worked.' "
Ernie Hoffman aced the 152-yard sixth hole on the North nine at Mill Pond
using a 9-iron . . . Tim Kiront aced the 124-yard seventh at the Ponds at Lake
Grove using a 9-iron . . . Gale Katz aced the 163-yard third at Lake Success GC
using a driver . . . Rich Peterson aced the 133-yard third hole on the Lake
nine at Colonial Springs with a 7-iron . . . Gary Waldman aced the 189-yard
17th at Lido GC using a 3-wood . . . Irwin Markowitz aced the 175-yard second
at Cedar Brook CC with a 5-iron . . . Brian O'Donnell aced the 85-yard fourth
at Sandy Pond GC using a 7-iron ... Tony Santilli aced the 140-yard 16th at
Muttontown CC with a 7-wood ... Michael Galvin aced the 176-yard eighth at
Bethpage Black using a 6-iron.
Fairways Nine at Centennial GC using a 9-iron ... David Wasserman aced the
195-yard 17th at Bethpage Black with a 5-wood ... Jay Kittay aced the 165-yard
14th at Bethpage Black using a 6-iron ... Steve Kittredge aced the 124-yard
16th hole at Swan Lake GC with a 9-iron ... John Sweeney aced the 154-yard 16th
at Douglaston GC using a 6-iron ... August Stile, 85, aced the 150-yard sixth
at Peninsula GC with a 5-wood.
Sal D'Amico aced the 172-yard seventh at Smithtown Landing using a 7-wood
... Bruce Jaeger aced the 205-yard fourth of the Oak Nine at Middle Island CC
using a 5-wood ... Eric Cantos aced the 150-yard 11th at Engineers CC with a
7-iron ... Richard Meehan aced the 185-yard sixth at Wheatley Hills using a
A team from Woodcrest Club will represent the metropolitan area in the
Oldsmobile Scramble in Orlando in October. The team of Dale Clift, Jerrold
Weinstein, Craig and Wayne Brewer, and assistant pro Donnie Jarvis won the net
division of the sectional qualifier at Hamlet WindWatch ... The father-son team
of Rene and Marc Lohser, who play their golf at Oyster Bay GC, won the annual
Society for Industrial Microbiology tournament at Forest Park Golf Course in
St. Louis ... Woodcrest's pro-member tournament was won by pro Tommy Thomas of
Inwood and his team of Jeff Fortgang, Gary Goldman and Mark Goldstein.
The Potunk Masonic Lodge of Westhampton will hold its annual TSM golf
outing at Mill Pond GC on Sept. 12. Proceeds benefit high school scholarships
and Westhampton charities. Players and sponsors are sought. Call Kenn Brown at
631-399-9349 or Art Rumph at 631-878-0091 ... Roy Anderson eagled the 276-yard
fifth hole at Bellport CC by driving the green and leaving himself a tap-in.
To report golf news, contact Jeff Williams at 631-843-3895, fax at
631-423-7692 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to leave your telephone
number and spell all names.
Joe Moresco, head professional, Woodmere Club
I see so many people who are taking up golf because of the television and
commercialism that surrounds it, and not just for the sheer joy of playing the
game. What people have to understand is that it's an amateur game, not a pro
game. It's to be played for the fun of it. Part of that is learning the
traditions and etiquette of the game, not just learning how to swing or having
the best golf clubs. I hope we don't lose sight of what the game really is
because of the almighty dollar.