Super Student Shots
This page of our website is to celebrate some of the remarkable golfing accomplishments of our golf school students.
September 15, 2008
We have just received this marvelous news from John Samerjan, who has been to two golf schools with Shelley Hamlin, reported the following story below. CONGRATULATIONS, John!
Dear Jay, Shelley and Carey:
Yesterday, I had my biggest win ever; the District Senior Amateur at Trenton District Golf Association (encompasses 22 clubs in the area and boasts some very high caliber senior players). I won in a driving rainstorm after a six hole playoff with the Champion of the host Club.
As it got tenser my Clear Key got louder: I was “Singin’ in the Rain”! After a pushed drive on the final playoff hole in the pouring rain I hit the best under pressure trouble shot of my life (a punched 5 iron out of a grove of trees to 10 feet to seal the win).
Shelley; it took until September but it came together yesterday. I hit 13 greens in regulation, in the rain and in a big tournament. My best iron play in years; just "swinging to the target, baby!"
Here’s the story from this morning’s Trenton Times (we are re-printing this excerpt with the permission of the Trenton Times):
Samerjan, Czenis enjoy TDGA Senior success Saturday, September 13, 2008 BY HARVEY YAVENER Special to the Times PRINCETON TOWNSHIP — John Samerjan couldn’t imagine having a bigger thrill on the golf course than the hole-in-one he carded here yesterday in the Trenton District Golf Association’s Senior Championship.
And then he trumped his ace.
Hours later, in the rain and quickly gathering darkness, the 56-year-old Samerjan, three-time seniors champion at Hopewell Valley Golf Club, completed a not-so- sudden-death championship playoff victory that took six extra holes before he defeated Jim Byer of host Springdale Golf Club.
“Nothing beats winning,” said the Montgomery resident, “especially a tournament like this, with the best senior players from 19 different clubs. I’ve played most of my life, back to growing up in Michigan where it was my mother who was the star golfer of the family, but I never won anything this large. In fact, I never won much of any golfing events until I turned 50. Maybe this will encourage other seniors to take up the game.”
Stan Czenis doesn’t need such encouragment. Czenis, the 75-year-old former longtime coach of many sports at Hightstown High and for the past 14 years executive director of the TDGA, repeated as champion of the 65-and-over super- seniors champions’ division, with a sparkling round of 78 despite a triple-bogey on the first hole, his score barely higher than the 76s posted by Samerjan and Byer. Since turning 65, Czenis has played the best golf of his life.
Czenis had one advantage yesterday. By playing early, he avoided almost all of the rain that not only dogged later starters but was the major factor in 23 of a banner field of 128 throwing in the sponge. That number included the lowest-handicapper in the field, scratch golfer Alan Roatche of Doylestown Country Club, who quit early and was heard declaring, “Enough is enough.”
But 18 holes weren’t enough for Samerjan and Byer, the 64-year-old Hun School headmaster who has been a major player on the local scene since his high-school days. Byer forced the playoff by holding on in the rain to match his opening 38 while the weather helped claim favorites like Beden Brook’s Dave Alampi. In sudden death, Byer and Samerjan opened with pars on the new No. 1 at the Springdale course renumbered this year after a dazzling multi-million dollar clubhouse was opened on the site of the former driving range.
They then each bogeyed the next two holes, parred the fourth and bogeyed the fifth. The end came at No. 6, which used to be No. 1 when the club entrance was at the course’s west end. Byer looked in good shape with a perfect drive, but his second shot fell just short of the green and rolled back. Meanwhile, Samerjan, who drove into a grove of trees, smiled that it was like being home at wooded Hopewell Valley, as he punched a five-iron he called, placed himself on the green where he got home in two putts. Byer didn’t, missing a par putt, and the long day ended.
Samerjan, for years a top aide to Bob Mulcahy at the Meadowlands and now back there as vice president for public affairs and communications of the NJSEA, saw his day turned earlier at the 13th hole when, after bogeying both the eighth and ninth, he drove 15 feet beyond the pin at short 13, using a 52-degree gap wedge, and saw the ball roll back straight into the cup.
“The only other ace I ever shot,” he said, “also was on the 13th hole, at Hopewell, a 146-yard hole-in-one on July 4, 2004. I guess 13 is my new lucky number.”
As for Czenis, his emergence as more than just the TDGA’s popular driving force, is a tribute to athletic skills he first showed as an all- state soccer player at Trenton Catholic. From there it was a memorable four years as baseball and basketball captain at Alliance College. When he came home, he was a standout softball player for years. At 29, he took up golf, while be coming a coach including a state soccer champion at Hightstown. Remarkably, his golf game keeps getting better, which he credits to strong wrists developed in baseball. And the putting touch of a lot younger guy.
TDGA Senior Championship Age-Flight winners
50-54– Jim McMacken (T) 77, Bill Hellman (Y) 80, Tom Beer (T) 80, Rocco Cuozzo (F) 81, Mark Inman (CV) 81, Don Slick (OY) 81. Net– Slick 71, Norm Staub (SR) 71, Hellman 72, John Tarnecki (R) 73, McMacken 73.
55-59– John Samerjan (HV) 76, Mike Bohard (OY) 78, Mike Brazin (R) 79, Don Lilly (R) 79, Dave Alampi (BB) 79, Jeff Stemple (OH) 80. Net– Samerjan 72, Bill Stone (HV) 73, Lilly 73, Bob Bruschi, 73, Ed Harlukowicz (OH) 73, Rick Brooke (HV) 74, Sam Steber (JN) 74.
60-64– Jim Byer (S) 76, Dave Anderson (OH) 79, Norm Linker (OY) 79, Rich White (JN) 79, John Forker (R) 79, Doug Watson (S) 80. Net– Forker 64, Anderson 72, Bill Staub (SR) 72, Bob Fitzsimons (R) 72, Byer 72.
65-69– Clark Pidcock (R) 80, Gerry Gatt (F) 80, Conrad Gack (JN) 86, Bob Dolan (R) 87. Net– Pidcock 70, Gatt 71, Cliff Maurer (P) 75, Gack 75.
70-Plus– Stan Czenis (P) 78, Don Cripps (P) 87, Bob Cox (P) 87. Net– Czenis 72, Ted Kopp (S) 73, Bill Kane (S) 73, Bill Hardesty (T) 74, Don Kentis (SR) 76.
©2008 Times of Trenton
© 2008 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.
July 15, 2008
This wonderful news comes to us from Jon McMahon, who we first met three years ago. Jon, at that time was 20 handicap who was passionate about the game. Jon has remained just as passionate except now he is becoming a very good player. Jon was one of the winning team members at the 2007 Invitational, but on June 24 2008, he found himself in some unchartered waters (he will be getting a lot more used to being there now!).
Playing at the Ash Brook Golf Course in New Jersey with his regular group, magic happened. Jon was one under for the first 9, and finished with a one over par, 73. Jon’s friends commented on “how easy it looked”, which is kind of like when people watch Tour players and make that same remark. The harder you work at something and the better you get at it; the more effortless it looks. Jon has worked very hard on his golf game (his current handicap of 9 is surely coming down, again) and his success is so very much deserved.
Jon’s teacher, Tim Peightal, is certain that Jon is going to become a very fine player, and that this is just the start, of something, special.
Great job, Jon!
June 22, 2008
CONGRATULATIONS TO: Hub Donald (who is taught by Jim Samsing), as he relays this wonderful news:
"My first hole in one was on June 22 2008, at Calvert Crossing Golf Club in Calhoun, La. It was on the 8th hole, a 143 yard par three, uphill to a blind green. I hit a 5 iron and saw it bounce once. My friend playing with me, [Ed Lepp],said ,”That went in the hole’. I said ,”It probably rolled to the back of the green”. His shot was off the green so when we got to the green and saw no ball on the green, he said ,”I told you it went in”. I said, “I’m going to look in the hole first”. And there it was!
Great feeling! Seems like I’ve been playing all my life for that feeling."
Hub has also been doing great things with his swing for the last few months and is playing the best golf of his life. Well done, Hub and keep up the awesome work!
P.S. You owe Jim a "cocktail"!
January 27, 2008
Hi Jay, I received your note today. Thank you!
I know he was a little disappointed that I was not quite getting it together on the golf course; well on the last couple of holes we played together it started happening. After Jim left, I stayed out until dark and just let it happen; I had simple swing images (no clear key yet) in my head and I truly just did the best swing I could for each shot. Suddenly hitting fairways and greens was routine; the consistency of the practice tee was coming out.
Over the next 4 days we played Cattail, Devil’s Claw and The Duke and I went 74, 80, 75. The thing that is remarkable for me is that these were OK (Cattail), terrible (The Duke) and great (Devil’s Claw) ball striking days; my differences between good and bad scoring is becoming my proficiency at chipping and putting, my misses are becoming much better. My fairways hit average was 72% and my GIR were (8/18); (4/18) and (13/18).
Please pass this on to Jim and thank him. I also would like the list of ‘misses-to-faults’ to fine tune my practice and continue on my progression.
Interestingly, I went out and practiced today … the 7-iron photo below was the result of a group of warm up swings on clear-key; they were all pretty much clubface center, 175 yards and within 5 yards of target …. hmmm maybe there is something in this clear-key stuff after all.
Jim and myself (wearing a Bird Golf hat)
1st practice session back in Seattle(using clear key)
Devil’s Claw - 75 (+3)
The Duke (+8)
Cattail - 74 (+2)