Mark Herrmann Newsday columnist Mark Herrmann

Herrmann has covered the Mets and Yankees since 1988, and has been Newsday’s national golf writer since 2002. A former Mets beat reporter, he has covered baseball's special events, including the World Series and the All-Star Game Show More

There is one undisputed reason why the Metropolitan PGA’s series of junior tournaments nearly doubled over the years to its current slate of 120. The reason, association members said, was Tommy Kuhn.

The Port Washington resident was a former club pro who joined the Met PGA staff to administer the junior program and help on all of its other tournaments. He had an almost evangelical zeal for the game, friends said, recognizing the joy golf brought to people and wanting to spread it as widely as possible. Kuhn died Thursday after a long illness. He was 78.

“It was not unusual in the summer for Tommy to be at an event, professional or junior, every day of the week,” Charlie Robson, former executive director of the Met PGA, said, adding that Kuhn worked the Long Island PGA championship just last month despite his physical condition.

Kuhn was the son of a PGA pro and became an assistant and then successor to head pro Barney Corrigan at the former IBM Country Club in Sands Point. He left for the Met PGA when the club was sold.

Tributes on Facebook revealed the wide and deep impact he made on Long Island golfers. Herman Miranda, whose son Michael won three Suffolk high school titles and was a finalist in the Long Island Amateur Friday, posted, “He was a big part of my son Michael’s success! He will forever be in our hearts and our prayers. We love you Tommy!”

Darrell Kestner, director of golf at Deepdale Golf Club and the dean of local competitors, wrote: “What do you want when you’re teeing off in a tournament? A starter who has the nicest smile and calming influence! TK thank you so much. I’ll miss you.”

Sean Farren, head pro at The Creek and former U.S. Open participant, called Kuhn, “Maybe the most humble and nicest man I’ve ever met. Glad our paths crossed.”

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Visiting will be 2-8 p.m. Thursday at Fairchild and Sons Funeral Chapel, Manhasset. The Funeral Mass will be 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Peter of Alcantara Church, Port Washington.

Outings

The 29th Annual Hofstra Pride Golf Classic and Auction, honoring alumnus and athletic department benefactor Robert Gartland, will be July 17 at Garden City Country Club. Call (516) 463-6636 . . . The Brian Hocker Trust Golf Outing, which raises funds for rehabilitation, equipment and transportation for a youngster who nearly drowned in an accident, will be July 24 at West Sayville Golf Course. Email thocker10@gmail.com.