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SportsColumnistsMark Herrmann

Charlie Robson to get Sam Snead Award for service to golf

(l-r) Tim Finnegan, president of Huntington Country Club,

(l-r) Tim Finnegan, president of Huntington Country Club, Doug Vergith, head of LIGA, Charlie Robson, head of Metropolitan PGA (seated), Sal Cappuzzo, ownership group of the Golf Club of Middle Bay and John Ammerman, past president of St. Georges Country Club on Monday, May 23, 2016 at Garden City Country Club. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

AUGUSTA, Georgia — One of the annual highlights in Charlie Robson’s long run as executive director of the Met PGA was presenting the Sam Snead Award. It is the association’s highest honor, recognizing service to golf.

Now, in his first year of retirement after 43 years on the job, Robson will be involved in the ceremony again, this time as the recipient.

He will be honored Tuesday at the Met PGA’s Spring Forum, an event that attracted a record crowd in 1973 because Snead attended. The event that year was so impactful that the organization established the award in Snead’s name.

In accepting it, Robson will join a distinguished list that includes Gene Sarazen, Claude Harmon and Dave Marr. In terms of advancing golf’s cause on Long Island and the rest of the area, Robson is said to be in a class by himself.

“Charlie Robson is a true legend in our business,” Brian Mahoney, executive director of the Metropolitan Golf Association, said while he was here for the Masters. “He has always been the consummate professional, and golf in the Met Area has significantly benefited from his dedication to the game. On a personal level, Charlie is an idol of mine, someone I’ve always looked up to. There’s no one more deserving to receive the Sam Snead Award.”

Deepdale assistant off to the Web.com

Recent Deepdale Golf Club assistant pro Ben Polland was at the Masters as a spectator early in the week, then he was off to practice for his next start on the Web.com Tour. While he worked at the club in Manhasset, Polland was runner-up in the National Club Pro Championship and won the Met Open and national assistant pros tournament.

“I want to thank everybody in the Met Section for making me a better player,” he said. “It’s the most competitive section in the country.”

Turning losing into winning

Sam Weinman, who covered all of the Met Section events when he was the golf writer for the Journal News in Westchester, has written one of the most talked-about golf books of the year, “Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Greatest Gains.”

It was inspired by Weinman’s effort to teach his two sons and revolves largely around Greg Norman’s epic collapse at the 1996 Masters.

“I think I’ve always been drawn to the topic of losing. Part of it was writing about sports and always finding the loser’s locker room more honest and interesting,” Weinman, now digital editor of Golf Digest, said at the Masters. “I think golfers in general understand losing better than most because at whatever level you play, disappointment is such a part of the game, and you need to find creative ways to make it work for you. When I talked to Greg Norman or Adam Scott, a lot of what they talked about was finding the lessons in their defeats, so they weren’t just these painful episodes, but opportunities for real growth. That’s what winning at losing is all about.”

Chip shots

A quick look at the landscape on Long Island at the traditional start of the golf season, following the Masters:

Tallgrass Golf Club in Shoreham has closed. The site will house a vast solar energy farm with construction expected to start this month . . . Heatherwood, the neatly maintained executive course in Centereach where many Long Islanders began playing golf, announced it will streamline from 18 holes to nine in two years . . . Shelter Island Country Club officials have agreed to lease the bar and restaurant to keep the 115-year-old public course open . . . The Troon organization, which has a wide national portfolio, has agreed to manage the Woodmere Club . . . Engineers Country Club and St. George’s Golf and Country Club both are celebrating their centennial, Spring Lake Golf Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

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