WELLESLEY, Mass – How good of a year was 2018 for Mass Golf? If you ask Executive Director Jesse Menachem, he’ll tell you “let me count the ways.”
For the country’s sixth largest golf association, catering to about 360-member clubs and 90,000 golfers, 2018 was historic, adding yet another memorable chapter to its long and storied past that dates back to 1903, exactly 116 years.
First, on January 1, 2018, Mass Golf Association merged with the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts to form Mass Golf, expanding their portfolio of events, players and duties.
Second, both the Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships were held in July at a public golf course – George Wright and William J. Devine – for the first time ever.
Third, three Bay State players held national championship titles – Matt Parziale (U.S. Men’s Mid-Amateur), Shannon Johnson (Women’s U.S. Mid-Amateur) and Michael Thorbjornsen (U.S. Junior) –which are unprecedented accomplishments.
“This was a special year for Mass Golf,” Jesse Menachem told 200 attendees at Wellesley Country Club on January 15 who turned out for the 2018 Mass Golf Champions Dinner. “Honoring three national champions from Massachusetts in one year is unprecedented. This is something that doesn’t happen when you play golf in New England.”
In celebration and recognition of the 2018 historic season, 83 champions were acknowledged, with 20 claiming state titles. Former WCVB TV sports reporter Mike Dowling hosted the event for the 20th time and was also honored with the Andrew Blau Volunteer of the Year award.
The highlight of the evening was a “Fireside Chat” with Dowling who sat down for an unfiltered chat with Matt Parziale, Shannon Johnson and Michael Thorbjornsen. Each player explained in breathtaking detail the thrilling, heart-wrecking and pressure-packed journey to win a national championship.
The 2018 Mass Golf season was a banner year for competitors, family, friends and golf enthusiasts. And, more good news is the 2019 is starting soon!