JT Caddy Classic 2021 Winners

Everyone was a winner at this years Jim Tanner Caddy Classic. Riley Whitehead was recognized as the recipient of the 2021 Jim Tanner Scholarship. Jim Tanner was recognized for his 69th year of working at Pawtucket Country Club serving the members and being the ambassador of goodwill to all that visit and golf.

There was a great turn out with 20 teams competing on a perfect mid 70s golf day at the club. Pawtucket Country Club was in perfect condition. There was new sand in a number of the bunkers and the food and banquet that followed was very good. Every player received a FootJoy rain jacket with the Jim Tanner Caddy Classic Logo.

John Carta was a double dipper winning the team low net, as well as, the $500 50/50 prize. The Burke Fund was also a winner of $500 from the 50/50 drawing. When all is tallied, the Jim Tanner Scholarship will have raised more than $125,000 in scholarships since the tournament started 15 years ago.

Closest to the Pin #7 Les Kennedy Jr.
Closest to the Pin #15 Rich Matte
Long Drive #18 Men Jeff Macchi
Long Drive #18 Women Jayne Bellows

3rd Net Team: 55 Henry Lopez
Tom Gifford
Bill Skwirz
Joe Wetton

2nd Net Team: 55 Rodney MacKenzie
Bruce MacKenzie
Tim McCarthy
Austin Toole

1st Net: 53 Joe Audette
Bob Audette
John Cotta
John Murphy

1st Gross: 63 Nate Hall
Jeremy Hall
Bill Fischer
Kyle Hoffman

JT Scholar this year is Riley Whitehead

Riley Whitehead, 18, the son of Michael and Ellen Whitehead of Rumford, has been awarded the James Tanner Scholarship from the Rhode Island Golf Association’s John P. Burke Scholarship Fund. Riley is a 2021 graduate of Saint Raphael Academy, and is starting his freshman year at The University of Rhode Island in the College of Business this September. Riley has worked as a greenkeeper at Pawtucket Country Club for the past four seasons. He played varsity lacrosse for Saints and enjoys golf, basketball and football in his spare time. Having known Pawtucket’s beloved Caddie Master for as long as he can remember, Riley feels especially honored to be selected as this year’s recipient of the scholarship endowed in JT’s name.

Caddy Classic rescheduled for Tuesday August 31, 2021

The rain came down in buckets so the tournament was postponed with hope that we will have better weather on the last day of August.

JT Classic 2021

The Jim Tanner Caddy Classic will be played for the 15th consecutive year on Monday July 12th at 9:00. There will be 28 foursomes that will play the best ball of the foursome with a gross and net total. 112 players will celebrate the tradition of caddying and the 70 year career of Jim Tanner at Pawtucket Country Club.
The Jim Tanner Caddy Classic Golf Tournament started as a gathering of many friends that caddied, worked on the grounds crew and played golf together as teenagers. The first year of the event there were 24 players. The tournament was postponed twice because of bad weather. We finally had the event in late October. We decided to do a collection at the end of the tourney and the money would go to the Burke Scholarship Fund in honor of Jim Tanner.
Since then the JT Classic has raised over $120,000 and more than a dozen students that work at golf courses around the state have received the Jim Tanner Scholarship. Every year there are thousands of Charity Golf Tournaments but very few last more than a few years.
The JT Classic continues to be successful because of the man that it honors, as well as, the money that it raises for scholarships. Jim Tanner grew up on Crescent Street in Pawtucket. Jim started caddying when he was 10. Jimmy would leave his house in the morning and spend a good part of his day at the course shagging balls and carrying bags for the members. Over time JT became a skilled golfer and eventually became the assistant golf professional at Pawtucket.
Jim took a brief time away from the course to serve in the Navy. When he came back to the club, he was offered the position as Caddy Master. Today there are no caddies at Pawtucket Country Club. Most golfers take a cart. Those that walk carry their own bag or use a push cart. Jimmy manages the members’ bags making sure that the clubs are always clean and that the bags are placed on the carts assuring that all players are paired properly.
JT is the official ambassador of goodwill at Pawtucket Country Club. When a guest shows up at the club, JT greets them with a big smile and how can I help you. If they are golfing, Jimmy will ask who is their host member and what time they will be playing. JT will make sure their golf bag will be paired with their hosts bag. Jimmy will provide directions on the club house, proshop and practice facility. In that short moment, the guest will realize that Pawtucket Country Club is welcoming and that he or she is dealing with a first class organization. JT has been providing a first class “Welcome” for over 70 years.
I learned about caddying, golfing and providing service to the membership when I started caddying in 1967. JT was my mentor and a mentor to hundreds of other young men and women for many years.
On Monday, I will be playing in my 15th Jim Tanner Caddy Classic. I will be playing with my brother Bruce, my golfing buddy Austin Toole and my golf professional friend Rob Baxter. We will all experience the big Welcome and will recognize this event as the Celebration of a special man and his service to golf. The golf course will be in perfect condition. It will be another great day for all who participate.
In addition to the Jim Tanner Classic, the membership has recognized Jim Tanner’s service by naming a second tournament in his honor, the Jim Tanner Spring Member Guest. JT has also been inducted into 3 Hall of Fames. They are the Pawtucket Country Club Hall of Fame, the Professional Caddie Hall of Fame and the Rhode Island Golf Association Hall of Fame.

Our good friend John Winters passed

John played in every Jim Tanner Caddy Classic. John caddied Pawtucket Country Club as a youngster and loved golf like no other. John played early on at Stone Lea and eventually bought a home on 18th tee at Wannamoisett.
John played Pawtucket most every day and had membership at Pawtucket and Wannamoisett.
We will miss John and hoping that there are no bad lies and no three putts where he is now.

Jim Tanner Caddy Classic – 15th annual

Tournament will be held Monday July 12, 2021 with a shotgun start at 9:00


Pawtucket Country Club created new forward “green” tees this year.
TEE IT FORWARD is a joint initiative between the USGA and The PGA of America that encourages players to play from a set of tees best suited to their driving distance. In addition to providing more enjoyment for golfers, teeing it forward also can be one of the most important steps that golfers take in improving pace of play.
A recent survey of TEE IT FORWARD participants found that:
56 percent played faster
56 percent are likely to play golf more often
83 percent hit more-lofted clubs into greens
85 percent had more fun
93 percent will TEE IT FORWARD again
I have played several rounds with long term members that regularly play the forward green tees. Some of the senior members have shot rounds in the 70s.
They enjoy playing the game from the forward tees and the average handicap has fallen by 6 shots. Everyone is happy with “Tee it Forward!”

Erase the Blackboard – Essay by Ava Santamaria

“Erase the blackboard.” Such a simple yet powerful metaphor that can have many implications in life – beginning on the golf course. Golf has always played a major role in my life, though not in ways you might expect. When people ask how long I have been playing, I often respond with the phrase, “I was born with a putter in my hand” – which is not very far from
the truth. I started playing golf at the age of two, and have oftentimes heard stories about my father strapping me to a golf cart in my infant car seat while my mother was at work; exposing me to the game before I could even formulate words.
Learning how to play golf as a child, however, was not as easy as some may think. Aside from the obvious skill and coordination a perfect golf swing requires, a major component of the game must be conquered psychologically. As a child, I considered hitting a poor shot or having a
bad hole the end of the world. My frustrations led to meltdowns on the putting green, with cries and pleads to my father to let me give up and no longer play. At this level of frustration, there was no psychological recovery for me. My emotions took over to such an extent, that I lacked the ability to focus on any future shots or strategy. Whenever this would occur, my father would say, “Erase the blackboard.”
As a 10 year old girl struggling with my emotions, I took the phrase quite literally; not understanding its true meaning. I would fire back at my father, “What blackboard are you even talking about?” As I grew older and competed in tournaments, I finally began to understand the meaning of the cliché my father preached each round we played together. Hit a ball in the water?
Erase the blackboard. Mark a triple-bogey on the scorecard? Erase the blackboard. Rather than psychologically berating myself and dwelling on past holes, I instead decided to re-focus on the present and the next shot that I needed to hit. This small phrase had such a large impact on my
golf game, as my scores drastically improved with each round.
Aside from golf, I found myself “erasing the blackboard” in many aspects of my life.
Receive a disappointing grade on a test? A friendship ends that you thought would last a lifetime? Miss a perfect goal opportunity in soccer? Erase the blackboard. I grew to become mentally resilient, as my self esteem was not based solely on outcomes. As I navigated through my teenage experiences, I always remained optimistic, rarely falling into a state of despair or regret of the past. Similar to moving on from a poor shot during a round of golf, I learned to move on from certain life occurrences that challenged me. As I had an entire round of golf ahead of me after a poor shot, my entire life remained ahead of me after these presented obstacles.
The utmost rewarding aspect of playing golf is the strong mentality that you develop as a competitor. Without the opportunity to learn golf as a child, I would not have the same optimistic outlook on life that I possess now. I have learned that a golf round doesn’t always turn out how you originally intended it to be, but is analogous to life – you need to recover quickly and move forward. As I excitedly move onto the next chapter of my life and begin studying the challenging subject of Neuroscience, I will hold this motto close to my heart. Any upcoming obstacles I will face as a college freshman and beyond, I will revert back to my frustrated 10-year-old self on the golf course, and repeat the familiar phrase over and over in my head – Erase the Blackboard.

The Winners of 2020 JT Classic

After 14 years there are so many winners. I watched as many players approached JT with a big smile, a hand shake and congratulations for another year celebrating Jim Tanner’s service to the members of Pawtucket Country Club. There are old friends like Al Pellegrini who always marks the date on his new calendar in January.
Steve Napoli, the golf professional at Pawtucket in the 80s and 90s and Jim’s boss for more than a decade, always makes the Classic a day in July to play a round at Pawtucket with old friends.
Kevin Fortin, an ex-caddy that spent a dozen years working as a caddy and the grounds crew and one of the original founders of the tournament, greets JT, “Jimmy old boy, how ya doin?”
My brother, Bruce MacKenzie, who has played in all 14 tourneys and has won 4 times made back to back birdies on the 10th and 11th holes.
John O’Neill who worked as a caddy and in the pro shop in the 70s and 80s remembers those summers fondly. His nephew, Peter O’Neill, who caddied at Pawtucket and was an assistant golf professional, is now the President of the Burke Fund and heads the committee that runs the Jim Tanner Caddy Classic Tournament.
We are all winners for the years of friendship with Jimmy Tanner. Jim’s continued service to the Pawtucket Country Club members is celebrated one Monday of every July. The Burke Fund will receive new money for a new scholar. This year’s Jim Tanner Scholar is Aidan Morrison.
Aidan has been part of the PCC food and beverage team since 2017. He is currently enrolled at Bentley University studying Data Analytics. During school he works as a stat keeper for a number of the sports teams at Bentley.
In 2018 he achieved Eagle Scout honors. To this day he continues to be involved with the Boy Scouts leading the next generation. Aidan logged over 100 hours of community service during his high school tenure.

This year’s tournament winners were as follows:

4TH Net: 56 David Spencer, Joe Green, Max Jackson, Gary Taraian Jr.
3rd Net: 55 Leon Boghossian, Paul Boghosian, Matt Boghossian, Joe McNamara
2nd Net: 55 John Godinho, Bill Hughes, Paul Rego, Paul Chalmers
1st Net: 54 Rodney MacKenzie, Bruce MacKenzie, Austin Toole, Scott Cronin
1st Gross: 67 Jay Amin, Nathan Hall, Nate Trimble, Jeremy Hall

Hall of Famer

Jim Tanner Caddy Classic will be played at Pawtucket Country Club on Monday July 20th 9:00

Pawtucket Country Club has suffered a tough start to the 2020 season. The COVID pandemic with all the state regulations has made it difficult for the membership and the owners. There was a point when members of PCC that lived in Massachusetts were not allowed to play their own golf course. The state of Rhode Island was only allowing residents living in RI to play golf on Rhode Island golf courses. Many members living in Seekonk, the Attleboros, Wrentham, Norton, Franklin and other southeastern Massachusetts towns could not play their own golf course. At the same time, Massachusetts golf courses were totally closed for golf.

Golf is slowly getting back to normal. Golfers can use electric carts. Golfers are not allowed to remove the flag from the golf cup avoiding potential COVID infection. Next Monday July 13, 2020 will be the opening round of the RIGA State Championship.

The following Monday July 20th, will be the 14th Annual Jim Tanner Caddy Classic. Yesterday, several regular contestants of the State Amateur Championship were playing a practice round. I was chatting with JT when Dr. George Pirie exchanged pleasantries with Jim. JT and the doctor have known each other for many decades. JT asked, “How you hittin’ em?” Pirie responds, “Often. Then asks, “How you doing Hall of Famer?” JT was
inducted in the RIGA a few years back. The good doctor was inducted to the Hall a few years earlier.

There was a mutual recognition and respect for their golf accomplishments. JT received the RIGA Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award in 2015. It was 1952 that Jim started at Pawtucket as a caddy, then Assistant Professional working for Les Kennedy. Les also was a RIGA Hall of Fame inductee. 68 years later and Jimmy is at Pawtucket Country Club most every day starting the day before 6:00.

The world is all messed up with schools closed, no major league sports, but golf seems rather typical at PCC with JT at the helm.