In the spring of 2004, Steve Mazzariello didn’t have a job for the upcoming golf season. He considered leaving the PGA industry and starting a new career in another field.
Then he got a phone call from Tom Sullivan, who Mazzariello first met as a junior golfer.
“I think I have a job for you,” Mazzariello recalls Sullivan saying.
It had been years since he had seen Sullivan, who became the PGA Professional at Wyantenuck Country Club in Great Barrington in 1999. But Sullivan heard about his situation and wanted to help.
Not long after that phone call with Sullivan, Stockbridge Golf Club hired Mazzariello. He’s been there ever since.
“That’s the type of guy Tom is,” Mazzariello said. “I’m one of 100 golf professionals who have a story like that about him.”
Last fall, Sullivan died tragically when a tree collapsed on his golf cart during a sudden and violent storm that swept through Wyantenuck.
This fall, The Berkshire Eagle will celebrate Sullivan’s life in a multi-episode, narrative podcast titled “Sully.”
Among other topics, the series will explore:
Sullivan’s early years on Cape Cod, where he burnished a reputation for being a ‘renegade golf pro nobody could beat’ and a ‘gregarious’ bartender who ‘made people feel better.’
The 1995 PGA TOUR Greater Hartford Open, where Sullivan made the 36-hole cut, a feat that no PGA Professional has duplicated since.
His lifelong affinity for helping others, whether personally, professionally or on the lesson tee, where Sullivan would often punctuate his students’ most meaningful breakthroughs with his trademark ‘there’ in his thick, eastern Massachusetts accent.
“Nobody was a stranger to Tom,” said Fran Kringle, the former head professional at Worthington Golf Club who first met Sullivan in 1987. “He did so many nice things for so many people, and he did it very quietly, with no showboating.”
The series includes interviews with more than 20 people, including:
Mark Chasson, who loved ‘Sully like a kid brother’ and let him live in the attic of his Cape Cod home for two memorable summers.
3-time Massachusetts Amateur champion Jim Salinetti, arguably Sullivan’s most accomplished student.
Berkshire Eagle golf columnist Richard Lord.
Berkshire County golf professionals Josh Hillman, Marc Levesque, Steve Mazzariello and Erik Tiele.
Northeastern New York PGA Executive Director Tracie Warner.
The Berkshire Eagle will present the podcast in partnership with Wyantenuck Country Club, the Northeastern New York PGA Section and Pittsfield native Dominic Dastoli, who produced a documentary about former Pittsfield High shortstop Mark Belanger that aired on MLB Network last fall.
The Berkshire Eagle will provide information about how and when to listen to the podcast later in the year.
For a preview of the podcast, click on the link below.