A Brief History of the Huntington Senior
Citizens Golf Club at Crab Meadow
Crab Meadow Golf Course
The Crab Meadow Golf Course traces its beginnings to the early 1920s when land owned by Brown and Lambert was converted into the Northport Country Club. The club only lasted about twenty years and the abandoned club house burned to the ground in 1949.
Huntington Town Supervisor Robert Flynn (1960 – 1966) established the first municipal parks system in 1961. A town referendum was approved that year leading to the acquisition of land and development of the Crab Meadow Golf Course. The course architect was William F. Mitchell and the course was opened for play in June of 1965. Electric carts were introduced in 1969 and irrigation was installed in 1979 and 1980.
Club Beginnings (1975 – 2003)
Jack Lockwood was the leader in starting the HSGC in 1975 with approximately 30 male members. Annual membership fee was $10.00 and Green Fees were $10.00. The club operated in a relatively informal manner with key tasks being performed by Art Bettinger and Harry Gannon.
In 1976, Art Bettinger opened the club’s first bank account and was Secretary/Treasurer for over 30 years. Art also performed the duties of Handicap Chairman and Membership Chairman.
In these early days, the members made their own tee times. Harry Gannon, in addition to acting as Rules Chairman, also performed the duties of Tournament Chairman. He scheduled the weekly tournaments, ran the President’s Cup and Club Championship Tournaments and started the awards program (monetary awards and trophies).
When Art Bettinger and Harry Gannon went to the Town’s Senior Citizen Center in 1978 to get help with their printing and mailings, they were told yes, if the club included all senior citizens. As a result, the club opened membership to women as well as men. The first lady members were Ginny Perry, Flo Campbell, Lorraine Hotenger, Audrey Gasser and Mary Mueller.
The Modern(?) Era (2003 – present)
Things changed in the new millennium. Up until early 2003, member handicap calculation was outsourced to an outfit in Minnesota that charged $3 to $4 per member. Each week, the members entered their scores on a summary sheet in the clubhouse. On a bi-weekly basis, the Handicap Chairman mailed these summary sheets to Minnesota, where the vendor processed them and returned an updated handicap report to the club along with individual handicap cards. The price was increased significantly in 2003, so the club decided to investigate the idea of joining the MGA.
The MGA had two pre-requisites for a club membership, namely: 1) someone qualified to issue handicaps and 2) a set of by-laws. A committee, comprised of Ells Welch, Fred Danner and Mike DePirro developed the initial set of By-Laws, which was approved and accepted by the members on October 18, 2004. Mike DePirro was granted a license to issue Handicaps (and became Handicap Chairman) and the Club officially joined the MGA.
In 2003, we transitioned from “get your own” tee times to a system where Crab Meadow allocated a block of reserved tee times for the club on Wednesdays. Mike DePirro developed a scheduling system over the next two years and in 2005 we changed over to Thursday morning play.
When membership declined in the late 1990s, the club sought ways to increase member interest. In 2003, Harry Gannon, always searching for new tournaments, took a suggestion from Al Heinlein to add a Doubles Championship to the list of club championships. That same year, a recruiting campaign was undertaken which resulted in a roster of 160 members. This number of members exceeded our ability to schedule tee times within the limited number of reserved tee times allowed by the town. It was determined that membership should be limited to 150, where it stands today.
At the membership meeting in 2006, President Dick Hohenrath asked for volunteers for the position of Secretary. Joanne Viccaro volunteered to be Corresponding Secretary and Lee Cerabone volunteered to be Recording Secretary. In 2009, Lee Cerabone assumed all responsibilities of Secretary.
Rich D'Amato took over as Tournament Chairman in 2007, responsible for the scheduling of all events. During Rich’s tenure, the club increased the ladies’ participation in club activities and events by promoting Ladies only, 18 hole medal competitions and simplifying signup for the Ladies Championship Tournament. In 2014, Al Heinlein suggested and the club added a championship tournament for members over 80 years of age (Super Senior Championship). As of this writing, club conducts 27 weekly events (9 different events) and 5 Championship Tournaments.
The website was started by Dennis Gallagher in 2012 to provide remote access to club information.
In 2015, an extensive review of the club's By-Laws was undertaken. The purpose was to update and modernize the original document, to incorporate various board policies, and to add a new office, that of Vice President, to the Board of Directors. The new By-Laws were adopted by the membership in 2016 and Bob Cerabone was elected the first Vice President.
Researched by: Ed McGovern
Edited by: Dennis Gallagher
APPENDIX A CLUB PRESIDENTS
APPENDIX B CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS
APPENDIX A – CLUB PRESIDENTS
1975 - 1978 Lawson Colen
1978 - 1981 George Petrelak
1982 Andy Lang
1982 - 1985 Pat Corso
1986 Ken Shoman
1986 - 1988 Don Faulkner
1989 Joe Montana
1989 -1992 Pat Catapano
1993 - 2003 Paul Fazio
2004 - 2006 Dick Hohenrath
2007 - 2011 Frank DeGraff
2012 Paul Fazio
2013 - Present Ed McGovern
APPENDIX B Club Championship Winners