John Schob was as surprised as anyone when he was named head pro at Huntington Crescent Club at the age of 24. He would have been even more stunned back then if anyone had told him he would keep the job for 41 years.
Schob will retire in December, ending one of the longest runs in Long Island golf history. “Following in Lenny Peters’ footsteps, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of change in the business, some clubs haven’t even survived. So, I’ve been very fortunate. I was very blessed to chosen. I was at the right place at the right time, that’s what I always say.”
He grew up in Brentwood, captained the Rutgers golf team and began as an assistant pro at Rock Hill in Manorville. When that club changed head pros, he sought another job and signed on as an assistant for Peters, the Crescent’s head pro for 36 years. Peters had been only the second one to hold that job in club history, succeeding Jim Barnes, a two-time PGA Championship winner.
“Unbeknownst to me,” Schob said, “Lenny was going to retire.” The club evidently saw something in Schob’s one year as a protégé and gave him the top post. He has earned numerous honors, including the Metropolitan PGA’s prestigious Bill Strausbaugh Award for professionalism and leadership.
Schob and his wife, Jean, plan to move to Westchester, where she lives and where her family has long had membership at Winged Foot. He will follow the career of John Jr., a senior on the Manhattan College golf team. Aside from that, the longtime pro said, “I want to play a little more golf.”
Butler set for Junior Presidents Cup
Prescott Butler of Old Westbury, who plays at Piping Rock and the Meadow Brook Club, is on the U.S. Junior Presidents Cup team that will face the World squad in New Jersey next week. It will be the first time there will be a junior event to accompany the Presidents Cup, which includes top pros.
“We’re going to be in the history books forever, just because we played on the team,” he said. “Also, being able to see the tour pros that week and all that comes with match play tournaments is just amazing.”
The juniors will play at Plainfield Country Club in Edison before the pros play at Liberty National in Jersey City. David Toms will be the captain for Butler’s team, with Jack Nicklaus along as honorary captain. “It’s going to be pretty cool, just to be able to meet him,” said Butler, a former youth hockey star who won an American Junior Golf Association tournament this year in the Dominican Republic and has verbally committed to the University of Alabama.
Acing Meadow Brook No. 5
The 350-yard par-4 fifth hole at Meadow Brook Club is unforgettable for anyone who has ever played it or watched it during a tournament (it was the 14th for the old Northville Long Island Classic). It is a sharp dogleg left, with a green that is tantalizingly close if you want to cut the corner. But it also is steeply pitched and heavily guarded with bunkers. Nico Donaldson, a member, took on the challenge recently and was rewarded with a hole-in-one. People at the club said it was the first ace ever registered on that hole.
Hearts for Russ Housman, an organization supporting heart transplantation, will hold an outing at Wind Watch Country Club, Hauppauge on Oct. 2. Visit heartsforrusshousman.com . . . The First Tee of Nassau County will hold an outing at Rock Hill Golf & Country Club, Manorville, on Oct. 9. Visit abc123golf.net . . . An outing to support the St. John’s University men’s golf team will be Oct. 16 at Engineers Country Club, Roslyn Harbor. Call (718) 990-1873.
Reporting off-season aces
This is the final edition of Clubhouse Confidential for the season. Hole-in-one information can still be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for publication in the spring.
Kerry Klein, Willow Creek GC, 14th hole, 138 yards, 5-hybrid
Brian Gerhauser, Great Rock GC, 12th hole, 120 yards, pitching wedge
Len Hecker, Cherry Creek Links, second hole, 89 yards, pitching wedge
Pat Bohlert, Wind Watch CC, sixth hole, 164 yards, 6-iron
Christine DeBernardo, Swan Lake GC, 16th hole, 105 yards, 7-iron