Tee to Green: McMahon expanding golf program

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the date for the Paul Dowd Jimmy Fund Classic. The tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, June 14

After being based at the Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort for the past five years, Kay McMahon's eduKaytiongolf is now providing its golf instruction at three different locations in the Berkshires and beyond.

The indoor facility adjacent to the driving range that McMahon had used in the winter was no longer available, so it was time to move on.

"They remodeled the building last summer. That left us with no winter place so we decided we would go back to working at satellite sites," said McMahon, with the "we" being partner Eloise Trainor.

McMahon and her staff will be teaching her trademarked Golf 8.5 course at Skyline Country Club in Lanesborough, Mill Road Acres Golf Club in Latham, N.Y., and at the Triple Nickel Learning Center on Route 20 in New Lebanon, N.Y.

"We wanted to get back into the Albany area," said McMahon, who had been active in Capital Region, including giving tips on television on My4 Albany for several years.

Plans are uncertain for the winter, but McMahon and Trainor are considering adding a building at the Triple Nickle with garage doors that would be open to allow students to heat from the warmth inside to the cold outdoors.

McMahon won't have set days at each site, instead building her schedule around the student and what works for them. Kind of like Doctor Kay making house calls.

As usual, eduKaytiongolf has an ambitious schedule for the summer that includes Golf 8.5 workshops and junior camps. McMahon said the four-day camps will start with two days at the range at the Triple Nickel and finish with two days on one of the golf courses.

Go to edukaytiongolf.com for complete information on all the lesson options available.

If the Triple Nickel sounds familiar, by the way, that is because McMahon and Trainor ran it between 2003-08 as a coffee shop/restaurant that included a miniature golf course and a nine-acre field used as a range for golf lessons.

"It's a very private place to take lessons," McMahon said. "A lot of golfers get nervous when a lot of people are around while they are being given instruction. That won't be the case at the Triple Nickel."

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The Berkshire County Senior Golf Association's annual three-tournament schedule will begin on Monday, June 19, when Egremont Country Club hosts the group.

The other tournaments will be played at Pittsfield's Berkshire Hills Country Club on July 24th and at the Waubeeka Golf Links in Williamstown on Aug. 14.

According to Frank Kelley, a Wahconah Country Club member who runs the organization, the BCSGA had 82 playing members last year and has room for new members this season.

All three tournaments are scheduled for Mondays and will begin with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. The membership dues are $190, which includes greens fees, dinner and prizes.

Those interested in joining should contact Tom Halstead by email at thalstead@berkshire.rr.com or at 413-443-2711.

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The 34th annual Paul Dowd Jimmy Fund Golf Classic, which raises funds for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, will be held on Wednesday, June 14, at Berkshire Hills Country Club.

There are still playing spots and sponsorship opportunities available for the event, which is sponsored by the Berkshire County Jimmy Fund Council.

The tournament features a scramble format with a fee of $150 per player and $600 per team. That includes golf, breakfast for the morning flight, lunch for both flights, refreshments on the course, gift bags and an awards dinner at 6:30 p.m.

There are six levels of sponsorships available, ranging from the Bronze ($150 for a tee sign) to the Double Shamrock (Tee and green signs, sponsor award, signs overlooking the golf course and in the dining room, company name and logo on golfers gift, and golf for eight players).

Donations of gift certificates or prizes for the golf raffle are also welcomed.

The Berkshire Council is affiliated with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and the Jimmy Fund Golf Program. Last year the program's tournaments raised more than $7.2 million. All proceeds of the tournament benefit Dana-Farber for cancer research and treatment.

For further information or to enter call Bob Tucker at 413-499-1099 or 413-441-9155.

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Taconic Golf Club will host a qualifier for this year's Massachusetts Open on May 23, a week from this coming Tuesday.

The Massachusetts Golf Association's main event is considered one of the best of the state opens. A look at the 51 golfers in the field at Taconic shows its appeal with players from all New England states, two Canadian provinces, Kentucky, New York and New Jersey will be traveling to the Berkshires just for chance to get in the Open field.

Only three Berkshire County golfers with direct county ties are entered — Stockbridge Golf Club head professional Steve Mazzariello, former Wahconah Country Club and Country Club of Pittsfield assistant Milt Torres Jr. and Skyline Country Club amateur Matt Gilardi. James Patterson, a former Worthington Golf Club member who is currently a member at The Orchards in South Hadley, is also in the field.

The Berkshires have one pro who has already earned his spot in the Open, which will be played in June at TGC at Sacconnesset in East Falmouth on Cape Cod. Wyantenuck head pro Tom Sullivan got his ticket to the Open by capturing the Berkshire County Professional Championship last fall.

The 51 golfers are likely competing for four or five spots (and ties) in the Open.

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The MGA's first major event of 2017 is history and the outcome didn't come as a big surprise as Herbie Aikens (Pinehills Golf Club) and Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea Golf Club) successfully defended their Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship in Haverhill.

Parziale drained a 22-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff against Christopher Tarallo (Thorny Lea GC) and Sean Fitzpatrick (George Wright Golf Course). The teams both finished at 16-under 126 after playing the first round at Renaissance and final round at Haverhill Country Club. Both teams birdied the final hole of regulation to force the playoff.

Aikens, who finished in a tie for third in last year's MGA Public Links at Waubeeka Golf Links, also won the Four Ball three years in a row from 2009-11 with Ryan Riley as his partner. He is the first golfer to be part of five winning teams in the event, which was first played in 1981.

Reach golf columnist Richard Lord at relord633@gmail.com or 413-281-2226.

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